Fans Pay Tribute to Musician, Cultural Icon David Bowie in NYC

Fans left flowers and candles outside of David Bowie’s residence in New York City early Monday morning, hours after the legendary rock star's spokesman confirmed that he had died at the age of 69. 

Representative Steve Martin said early Monday that Bowie died "peacefully" and was surrounded by family. He had battled cancer for 18 months.

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief," the statement read. No more details were provided.

Candles burned outside of Bowie’s home on Lafayette Street in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood early Monday. The mementos had been left by fans from all over the world.

“I was really shocked when I heard,” one fan said. “I saw it on Facebook, you know, a lot of times your Facebook feed blows up and you see somebody died. It’s sad. He was a very influential guy. He was an actor and a great musician. It’s a very sad loss.”

Fans were also starting a memorial at the New York Theatre Workshop, where Bowie's musical, Lazarus, is playing. 

Lazarus is one of the hottest tickets in town and received top billing at the New York Theatre Workshop. Michael C. Hall, the show's star, said that he sought the role out because of Bowie's influence. 

Other fans said Monday that they were tuning in to radio stations to hear the artist’s greatest hits, part of a musical career that spanned decades and came in many forms.

The singer, who was born David Jones in London in 1947, came of age in the glam rock era of the early 1970s. He had a striking androgynous look in his early days and was known for changing his looks and sounds.

He had launched a provocative alter-ego named Ziggy Stardust, and the stuttering rock sound of "Changes" gave way to the disco soul of "Young Americans," co-written with John Lennon, to a droning collaboration with Brian Eno in Berlin that produced "Heroes."

He had some of his biggest successes in the early 1980s with the stylist "Let's Dance," and a massive American tour.

"My entire career, I've only really worked with the same subject matter," Bowie told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview.

"The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I've always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety — all of the high points of one's life."

Bowie kept a low profile in recent years after reportedly suffering a heart attack in the 2000s. He made a moody album three years ago called "The Next Day" — his first recording in a decade which was made in secret in New York City.

Bowie turned 69 on Friday, the same day he released a new album called "Blackstar."

"Blackstar," which earned positive reviews from critics, represented yet another stylistic shift, as he gathered jazz players to join him.

He released a music video on Friday for the new song "Lazarus," which shows a frail Bowie in bed and singing the track's lyrics. The song begins with the line: "Look up here, I'm in heaven."

Tributes poured in for the singer. British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted about his sadness from outer space aboard the International Space Station, saying "his music was an inspiration to many."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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