David Bowie is one of our all-time personal favorites. His musical genius will be missed by many generations across the world. He was truly one-of-a-kind. Godspeed…

Thousands of David Bowie fans paid emotional tributes to the star today following his death, setting up impromptu shrines all across the world.

The iconic singer, whose new album came out just last week, died from cancer aged 69 in New York City yesterday surrounded by his family.

Following an outpouring of grief from celebrities, public figures and music fans, several significant sites in Europe and the US were transformed into memorials for the rocker, who had secretly battled illness for 18 months and was said to have suffered six heart attacks in the past few years.

His childhood home in South London, his apartment building in New York, a Dutch museum hosting a Bowie exhibition and the spot where the Ziggy Stardust album cover was captured were among the areas to host vigils.

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Several fans burst into tears while laying flowers at a mural dedicated to the star in his birthplace of Brixton, with many saying his death – which was announced this morning – felt like losing someone close to them.

Bowie’s death came just three days after the release of a music video which featured chilling footage of the singer confined to a hospital bed with his eyes covered by a bandage.

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Here is the video of one of Bowie’s songs, “Lazarus” that appears on his final album, “Blackstar” released just last week. The song speaks of death, illness and heaven:

His producer Tony Visconti suggested that Bowie knew for a year that his cancer was incurable, and added that his final album Blackstar -recorded in early 2015, after the singer’s diagnosis – was ‘a parting gift’ to the world.

One week ago Bowie sent Brian Eno, a frequent collaborator, a farewell email, saying: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian, they will never rot.’

Wendy Leigh, who published a biography of the star in 2014, told BBC News today: ‘He had six heart attacks in recent years – I got this from somebody very close to him.’

Following Bowie’s death a flood of celebrities and other public figures such as politicians and even the Archbishop of Canterbury rushed to pay tribute to the impact he had on the cultural landscape of his era.

A spokesman for the singer said today: ‘David Bowie died peacefully surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. Via: UK Daily Mail

Before the album was released there was much talk about how the title track was inspired by the Islamic State – a fair enough assessment given the references to “executions” and the fact that Donny McCaslin, the jazz musician who helped shape Blackstar’s sound, had hinted as much in an interview. But this also has allusions to saviour myths and what we leave behind when we’re gone. “I’m not a pop star,” sings Bowie at one point. “I’m a blackstar.” It seems to set out his desire to be regarded as something beyond just a flash-in-the-pan fad, as Martin Amis wrong-headedly suggested Bowie was in a 1973 New Statesman piece. The album’s cover art, a solitary black star, was the first Bowie release that did not feature his image, and it seems to complete this symbolic journey from one world to another.

Here is the title song, “Blackstar” from his final album:



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