David Bowie has died at the age of 69. In a statement posted to his official Facebook account, Bowie’s representatives said the singer, actor and legendary musician died “surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer.” A post confirming his death also appeared on his official site.
The news was also confirmed by Bowie’s publicist to The Hollywood Reporter, and by his son, Duncan Jones, the director of “Moon” and the upcoming “Warcraft” movie. Bowie’s death came as a shock to fans, who were unaware that the artist had been apparently been fighting cancer for the last year and a half.
After a storied career in which he reinvented both his sound and himself several times, Bowie seemed to step away from the spotlight in 2003. But after ten years of what appeared to be retirement, he returned, releasing his 24th studio album — “The Next Day” — in 2013. That seemed to kickstart a renewed interest in producing music, and his most recent album, “Blackstar,” was released just a few days before his death. In that time, it had already reached No. 1 and No. 2 in the U.K. and U.S. album charts, respectively.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.