Legendary Artist David Bowie has Died

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David Bowie died last night. The world has lost an incredible talent, a force for innovation and a cultural icon.

When his death was first reported there was a flurry of disbelief. His latest album Blackstar came out only a few days ago, on his 69th birthday. Surely this was all a mistake.

A heartbreaking tweet from his son Duncan Jones provided confirmation, and the internet began to mourn in earnest.

The BBC and the New York Times have already posted their initial reports, and in the coming days we will see countless retrospectives and memorials. They will all illustrate Bowie’s pervasive cultural impact, as well as the utter impossibility of summarizing his achievements. This has already begun: some articles cite Labyrinth as the defining moment of his film career, while others wax rhapsodic about The Man who Fell to Earth. I’ve seen Heroes, Changes, and Space Oddity all listed as his most iconic song, and I’m sure there will be more by morning. Always changing, always innovating and always transforming, David Bowie’s oeuvre offers so many different things for different people.

The best way to remember a genius is to keep their work alive. Right now all my feeds are full of people sharing their favorite songs, images, and moments. I hit play on each song, as it comes up – even if I played it just a moment before – and I cry with friends and strangers alike.

It’s difficult for me to condense all my thoughts and feelings into something coherent. David Bowie represented the dream that uniqueness would be accepted and beloved, that transformation and remaining true to yourself were in no way contradictory.

It’s at times like this that I most appreciate the poetry and community of the modern internet. In those early hours people all over the world shared their thoughts and feelings, capturing things I could not yet give voice to. I’ll leave you with some of their words as I hit play on the next song, the next album, the next movie, the next memory.

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