David Bowie dies of cancer at 69
Bowie’s last live performance was in 2006.
His son director Duncan Jones confirmed the news and a statement was released on his official social media accounts.
“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer,” it said.
“While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
The singer only released his latest album Blackstar on his birthday on Friday.
There had been rumours about Bowie’s health for years.
His last live performance was at a New York charity concert in 2006.
Blackstar, which includes just seven songs, has been well received by critics.
Bowie’s breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
His hits include Let’s Dance, Space Oddity, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel, Rebel, Life on Mars and Suffragette City.
He was also well known for creating his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
He also carved out an acting career including his role as an alien seeking help for his dying planet in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1976.
He did a three-month stint as The Elephant Man on Broadway in the 1980s.
Bowie also starred in Marlene Dietrich’s last film, Just a Gigolo (1978), and played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).
Bowie was born David Jones in London on 8 January in 1947 but Bowie changed his name in 1966 after The Monkees’ Davy Jones achieved stardom.
He was in several bands before he signed with Mercury Records, which released his album Man of Words, Man of Music in 1969, which included Space Oddity, his first UK number one.