David Bowie Dead after Secret Cancer Battle

Iconic. Infinitely changeable. Chameleon. Fiercely forward-looking.  Influential.

All words used to describe singer/songerwriter/actor David Bowie. But now add another word. Intensely private.

Word came last night that Bowie had died after a secret 18-month battle with cancer:

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who directed the Bafta-winning film Moon, wrote on Twitter: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”

Bowie’s wife of 23 years, supermodel Iman had tweeted several inspiring messages in the days before his death. The last said:

“The struggle is real, but so is God.”

The release of his last album, Blackstar, on  his 69th birthday last Friday, took on a whole new meaning with the announcement of his death. The video for one track, entitled Lazarus, features Bowie confined to a hospital bed with dirty gauze covering his eyes. The song opens with the lyrics: “Look up here, I’m in Heaven!”

Tony Visconti, the producer who worked with Bowie to complete this final album, released a statement saying it was deliberately created and timed as a “parting gift” for his fans.

Here is his gift. R.I.P. David.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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