US English singer David Bowie has died after an 18-month battle with cancer, his publicity company said. “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his whole after a courageous 18 month battle with different diseases and specially cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” said a statement posted on his official social media accounts.

Conceived David Jones in the Brixton territory of south London, Bowie took up the saxophone at 13. He shot to notoriety in Europe with 1969’s “Space Oddity”.

However, it was Bowie’s 1972 depiction of a destined swinger outsider rock star, Ziggy Stardust that impelled him to worldwide fame. Bowie and Ziggy, wearing crazy ensembles, cosmetics and splendid orange hair, took the stone world by tempest.

Bowie said he was gay in an interview in the Melody Maker newspaper in 1972, coinciding with the launch of his androgynous persona, with red lightning bolt across his face and flamboyant clothes. He told Playboy four years after the fact he was androgynous, yet in the eighties he told Rolling Stone magazine that the assertion was “the greatest slip-up I ever constructed”, and he was “dependably a storage room hetero”.

Bowie kept a low profile after undergoing emergency heart surgery in 2004 but marked his 69th birthday on Friday with the release of a new album, “Blackstar”, with critics giving the thumbs up to the latest work in a long and innovative career.

English Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “I grew up listening to and watching the pop virtuoso David Bowie. He was an expert of re-development, who continued hitting the nail on the head. A gigantic misfortune.”

Steve Martin from Bowie’s publicity company Nasty Little Man confirmed the Facebook report was accurate.

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