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David Bowie Dies at 69, Hip-Hop & R&B Community React

David Bowie
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

David Bowie, a pioneering music legend, passed away on Sunday night (Jan. 10) after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.

The pop and rock icon was reportedly suffering from cancer for eighteen months before he succumbed to the illness.The sad news was confirmed by Bowie’s son, director Duncan Jones. “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all,” he tweeted.

However in true Bowie fashion, he left fans with a goodbye album, Blackstar, just two days prior on his birthday (Jan. 8). “Look up here. I’m in heaven. I’ve got scars that can’t be seen. I’ve got drama can’t be stolen. Everybody knows me now,” he sings in the album’s single, “Lazarus.”

“His death was no different from his life – a work of Art,” wrote Bowie’s longtime producer, Tony Visconti, on Facebook. “He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”

Bowie, who was known for portraying his alter-egos such as Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke, crafted hits like “Space Oddity,” “Fame,” “Under Pressure,” “Let’s Dance,” “Blue Jean” and “Dancing in the Street” with nearly 50 years in music and 28 albums released over the span of his lifetime.

In hip-hop, Bowie’s songs have been sampled by hundreds of rappers, most notably, Vanilla Ice, who sampled “Under Pressure” for his 1990 hit, “Ice Ice Baby.” Diddy sampled Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” for his 1997 banger, “Been Around the World” and Jay Z used Bowie’s “Fame” for his braggadocio track “Takeover” for his classic 2001 album, The Blueprint.

Bowie’s enigmatic personality also found his way to the big screen in several films such as Labyrinth, Just a Gigolo and The Man Who Fell to Earth. He was a weirdo, a creator, an innovator and an icon who was loved by many.

Bowie is survived by his wife, the iconic supermodel Iman, his son Duncan Jones, and his daughter, Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones.

Upon hearing the news of Bowie’s death artists from the hip-hop and R&B community paid tribute to him on social media. Read their tweets below.

We want to send our heartfelt condolences to David Bowie’s family. His contributions to the music culture were impactful and life changing. He will be truly missed. May he rest in peace.

David Has Gone To Mars. Earth Thanks You #BowieChangedUs #DavidBowie

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

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