David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians of his era, has passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, after an 18-month battle with cancer.
The singer, who'd been living in New York in recent years, released his latest album Blackstar only last Friday, on his 69th.birthday. It's been well-received by critics and was intended as a "parting gift", says his long-time friend/producer Tony Visconti: "His death was no different from his life - a work of art...an extraordinary man, full of love and life."
Sir Paul McCartney: "David was a great star...his music played a very strong part in British musical history and I'm proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world."
Brian Eno: "David's death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now."
The Rolling Stones: "...an extraordinary artist...a true original."
Brian May, Queen guitarist: "...a fearsome talent."
Iggy Pop: "David's friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person."
Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis: "Bowie's one of the three greatest in the world, ever - Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and David Bowie. There's no-one else even close."
In a career spanning 51 years, Bowie clocked up:
+ estimated net worth of £135m
+ 140 million albums sold, since his first release in 1967
+ 111 singles - averaging more than two a year
+ 51 music videos and a number of film roles
+ 25 studio albums
Throughout his career, Bowie was an innovative, visionary, restless artist. He reinvented not just his sound but his persona over and over. His style shifted with the sands, but he was always recognisably David Bowie.
Along with the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, Bowie defined what pop music could be. Described as the 'Picasso Of Pop', he brought art to the pop party, infusing his music and performances with avant-garde ideas.
He also carved out a successful acting career, including his role as an alien seeking help for his dying planet in The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Other roles included Labyrinth, Cat People, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Hunger.
The Thin White Duke suffered a heart attack in 2004, after which he largely stopped making public appearances.
He was a great singer, songwriter, performer, actor, producer and collaborator - but beyond all that, David Bowie was quite simply... cool.