It seems unimaginable that it has been five years since the legendary David Bowie left this plane of existence. On his birthday, January 8, 2016, Bowie turned 69 and gave us a gift, Blackstar, his 25th and final studio album. Two days later, Bowie died of liver cancer. While it came as shock to fans, it was revealed that Bowie’s struggle with cancer began 18 months earlier.
During filming of the music video for “Lazarus” in November 2015, Bowie found out his cancer was terminal and the doctors were ending his treatment, and although the video’s director, Johan Renck, stated the video had nothing to do with Bowie’s illness, it would be Bowie’s final music video.
Tony Visconti, longtime producer and friend of Bowie’s, posted on Facebook the day after Bowie died concerning Blackstar: “He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”
Visconti posted on Sunday his memory of Bowie’s death.
Duncan Jones, Bowie’s son from his first wife, Angie Bowie, tweeted on Sunday, the fifth anniversary of his father’s death:
Today marks 5 years since dad died.
We are all a little sad, coping individually in our own ways.
But it’s both remarkable & delightful that dad is still so clearly loved by so many. Yes, he’s missed… but with so much of “him” in the work he made, he’s clearly still here. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/o8IPTRni73
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2021
Jones also posted on his Twitter page a birthday tribute to his father along with an old photo of the two of them:
Happy birthday, goofball. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/K8yyF1kEaA
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 8, 2021
Bowie’s widow, supermodel Iman posted her own tributes for her late husband on her Twitter:
— Iman Abdulmajid (@The_Real_IMAN) January 10, 2021
— Iman Abdulmajid (@The_Real_IMAN) January 9, 2021
— Iman Abdulmajid (@The_Real_IMAN) January 8, 2021
Author and professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research, Simon Critchley wrote an opinion piece on the death of Bowie called “What Would David Bowie Do?” for the New York Times. In the piece, Critchley wrote concerning Bowie’s death and how the denizens of New York City grieved the singer’s passing:
“I recall how perfectly New York City played itself those dolorous dollar days after Bowie’s death. There were vigils and flower shrines near his apartment building on Lafayette Street. There were Ziggy and Aladdin Sane murals and graffiti. People somehow knew what to do without being told to do it.
I mostly remember walking around in the East Village and closer to home, in Brooklyn. It was beautiful. Every bar seemed to have its doors open and Bowie’s music poured into the streets. It seems bizarre to think now of bars full of people, listening to music and having a good time, sad but happy to grieve together.”
Duran Duran released their cover of “Five Years” from Bowie’s fifth studio album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on Friday, January 8.
Although the loss of Bowie was, and maybe still is, a blow to many of us who were fans of his, he left behind a grand legacy both in his music and his gender-bending style.
— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) January 10, 2021
Sources: Reuters, The Advertiser, Tony Visconti Official Facebook Page, Duncan Jones Official Twitter Page, Iman Abdulmajid Official Twitter Page, New York Times, Billboard, David Bowie Official Twitter Page, David Bowie Official YouTube Channel