Musicians React To David Bowie’s Death & Pay Tribute
David Bowie died Sunday (January 10) at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer, and just days after releasing his 25th album, Blackstar. He was a progressive, genre-bending pop and rock visionary, and nothing illustrates that better than the tremendous scope of his influence. There’s that old saying that everyone who bought The Velvet Underground’s debut album was inspired to start a rock band, and Bowie had a similar effect on musicians. He pioneered glam rock, and pretty much any artist who has unveiled a new persona, aesthetic or sonic palette between albums is indebted to Bowie. Everyone from Madonna to Kurt Cobain, Lady Gaga to St. Vincent, Nicki Minaj to Kanye West, were inspired and influenced by the legend.
And so Bowie’s death has led to an outpouring of tributes from musicians across generations, whether collaborators, peers or just fans. His longtime producer Tony Visconti started things off with a heartfelt message on Facebook which effectively confirmed that Bowie fully intended for Blackstar to be his final artistic statement:
He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.
Below, see more reactions from Bowie’s fellow musicians. We’ll be updating the list throughout the day as tributes roll in on social media.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie… 1/2
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) January 11, 2016
As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original. 2/2 #DavidBowie
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) January 11, 2016
— Madonna (@Madonna) January 11, 2016
“Very sad news to wake up to on this raining morning. David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together. 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. I send my deepest sympathies to his family and will always remember the great laughs we had through the years. His star will shine in the sky forever.” – Paul Photo of Paul and David Bowie by @LindaMcCartney 1985 #PaulMcCartney #DavidBowie
MESSAGE FROM IGGY:"David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.– Iggy Pop"
— Iggy Pop (@IggyPop) January 11, 2016
David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 11, 2016
rest in peace you beautiful soul. you will live forever through your art. your influence is infinite. pic.twitter.com/marfv0jd5o
— kesha (@KeshaRose) January 11, 2016
DEVASTATED…💔A LEGEND IS GONE✨🌟✨
— Cher (@cher) January 11, 2016
— Brian Eno (@dark_shark) January 11, 2016
David Bowie was a true innovator, a true creative. May he rest in peace 🖖🏾 #RIPDavidBowie
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) January 11, 2016
So much love to @DavidBowieReal 's family right now. what a great loss.
— sia (@Sia) January 11, 2016
rest in peace David Bowie .
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 11, 2016
can't believe it. we will forever be inspired by/love u, bowie 💙 pic.twitter.com/oXMq6HuhWY
— HAIM (@HAIMtheband) January 11, 2016
Thoughts and heart with David’s family and loved ones 💔 A photo posted by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on
Florence + The Machine
🙏🏼😔 Spent a substantial amount of time studying and learning this great mans music at school. Mr. Bowie.. Us and planet Earth will miss you. A photo posted by Disclosure (@disclosure) on
As I get older my respect 4 Bowie grows.He transcended every genre & generation during his career-We lost a good one pic.twitter.com/WcuyypsOGc
— florence mayweather (@diplo) January 11, 2016
— Marina Diamandis (@MarinaDiamandis) January 11, 2016
You made being yourself look so cool. The universe is only as bright as what you showed us.Truly gratefulRIP Bowie pic.twitter.com/0eab3NnvmO
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) January 11, 2016
DAVID BOWIE 💜💜💜💜💜
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 11, 2016
Farewell Major Tom 🚀… There are no words. RIP David, another hero remembered #legend #davidbowie A photo posted by Courtney Love Cobain (@courtneylove) on
NO A photo posted by St. Vincent (@st_vincent) on
Pet Shop Boys
Rest in peace, David. pic.twitter.com/9Kv9yM9igh
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) January 11, 2016
— Massive Attack (@MassiveAttackUK) January 11, 2016
RIP Bowie, a true genius. Davie Jones and the Manish Boys toured with the Kinks back in 1964.and ever since they… https://t.co/LtxP2E4eVy
— TheKinksOfficial (@TheKinks) January 11, 2016
A True Legend. David Bowie. RIP
— Gary Numan (@numanofficial) January 11, 2016
Goodbye friend. So many tears, and so lucky to have passed in the same solar system. A photo posted by djwindows98 (@djwindows98) on
“Weird” Al Yankovic
I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me – I was not ready for this. RIP Bowie.
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) January 11, 2016
Oh this is terrible news. We lost an extremely important and influential artist. David Bowie has been a huge inspiration and will be missed.
— LINDA PERRY (@RealLindaPerry) January 11, 2016
The legend that pushed all the boundaries so that artistic freedom of music, style, fashion and life were at the discretion of that artist
— Randy Jackson (@YO_RANDYJACKSON) January 11, 2016
I can't handle that he slid that one by us new level of appreciation for the man IMO David Bowie top 5 all time, curator to the end
— Liz Phair (@PhizLair) January 11, 2016
"Seriously, what could you say to the man who changed everything, and made anything possible?" – John Taylor https://t.co/9b5S5Og3vT
— Duran Duran (@duranduran) January 11, 2016
Planet Earth is blue – Bono A photo posted by U2 Official (@u2) on
What a honor, what a soul. David Bowie, Spirit of Gold. RIP.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) January 11, 2016
David Bowie we will remember your brilliance. Heartfelt condolences to family, friends & fans around the world pic.twitter.com/hhLocL4hDS
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 11, 2016
RIP David Bowie – someone who was connected to the source
— M.I.A P.O.W.A (@MIAuniverse) January 11, 2016
Oh no I am so sorry to hear of David Bowie's passing. He was such a great artist and has lead the way for so many of us.
— Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper) January 11, 2016
A photo posted by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on