Music legend David Bowie died on Sunday at age 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. The news was released on his official Facebook page and was shortly after confirmed by his son Dunkan on Twitter. Longtime friend Brian Eno and Derek Boshier shared with People Magazine their last moments with Bowie.
Bowie’s passing occurred two days after his final album, Blackstar, was released as part of his 69th birthday celebration. His producer and friend Tony Visconti told the magazine that he sang “with powerful energy and determination”. Blackstar, Bowie’s 25th album, contains seven songs featuring strong topics such as death and rebirth. The rock icon celebrated his birthday with a lunch party in Berlin.
According to his close friends, Bowie began saying goodbye before his passing. Brian Eno, a longtime collaborator, was in touch with the rock icon and received his last email just a week before his death. Eno, who knew him for over 40 years, expressed in a statement that Bowie’s death completely surprised him, leaving him with a “huge gap.” He said that they had been in touch by email over the past few years, as Bowie was living in New York and Eno in London.
“We signed off with invented names: some of his were Mr. Showbiz, Milton Keynes, Rhoda Borrocks and the “duke of ear”, told Eno. He described Bowie’s last email as “funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did”.
“It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian. they will never rot’. And it was signed ‘Dawn’. I realize now he was saying goodbye,” Eno concluded.
Derek Boshier also received a kind of a farewell. Two weeks ago, Bowie sent him an email to congratulate him for his book, Rethink/Re-Entry by Paul Gorman. Boshier created Bowie’s 1979 Lodger album art and he was also the artist behind some stage sets.
“David was such a creative force that working with him sort of imbued that spirit onto you; he passed it on to you”, he expressed.
Visconti shared his thoughts about the music legend in a Facebook post on Monday, saying Bowie’s passing had been “a work of art,” just like his life. Visconti added that Blackstar was the gift Bowie had left for his fans, friends and family.
“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,” the producer wrote.
Last month in New York, Bowie made his last public appearance at the opening night of Lazarus as the co-writer of the musical, which is based on The Man Who Fell to Earth. The artist starred the piece in the 1976 film.