Musicians React To David Bowie’s Death & Pay Tribute

Carl Williott | January 11, 2016 9:53 am

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


Paul McCartney

Iggy Pop

Kanye West



Brian Eno



The Weeknd


Sam Smith

Thoughts and heart with David’s family and loved ones 💔 A photo posted by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on

Florence + The Machine

David Bowie was a huge influence on me throughout my life… The original star-man returned to the stars. Thank you for everything you brought us. RIP David Bowie xx Posted by Florence + The Machine on Monday, January 11, 2016


David Has Gone To Mars. Earth Thanks You #BowieChangedUs

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on



Marina Diamandis

Ryan Adams

Sky Ferreira


A photo posted by Sky Ferreira (@skyferreira) on

Erykah Badu

Courtney Love

Farewell Major Tom 🚀… There are no words. RIP David, another hero remembered #legend #davidbowie A photo posted by Courtney Love Cobain (@courtneylove) on

St. Vincent

NO A photo posted by St. Vincent (@st_vincent) on

Pet Shop Boys

We are all David Bowie’s children. He inspired us and changed our lives. Love, gratitude and respect always for him and… Posted by Pet Shop Boys on Monday, January 11, 2016

Peter Gabriel

I was shocked to learn of David Bowie’s death this morning. He meant so much to me and to so many.He was a one-off, a… Posted by Peter Gabriel on Monday, January 11, 2016

Foo Fighters

Massive Attack

The Kinks

Gary Numan

Big Boi

#RIP David Bowie #StardustHeaven

A photo posted by Big Boi (@therealbigboi) on

Win Butler

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

Caroline Polachek


A photo posted by Caroline Polachek (@carolineplz) on

Linda Perry

Randy Jackson

Liz Phair

Duran Duran


Planet Earth is blue – Bono A photo posted by U2 Official (@u2) on

Kendrick Lamar

Justin Timberlake

Mariah Carey



Michael Stipe

DAVID BOWIERight now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has…

Posted by R.E.M. on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cyndi Lauper

Gwen Stefani

@davidbowie 🙏🏻💓✨gx

A photo posted by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on

❤️❤️ ⭐️man. #ripdavidbowie

A photo posted by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on