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David Bowie dies of cancer at 69

David Bowie dies of cancer at 69

David Bowie as his androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, in 1974.

Glam rock legend – and one of the world’s most famous bisexuals – David Bowie has died after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69.

‘David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,’ read a statement posted on the British musician’s social media accounts.

Bowie was one of the most successful artists of the 20th century, his career spanning more than 40 years and several genres.

At the height of his fame, his flamboyant androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, came out as gay in January 1972 – five years after homosexuality had been decriminalized in the UK.

‘I’m gay and always have been, even when I was David Jones,’ he told Melody Maker magazine.

In 1976, he said he was bisexual and, according to his first wife, he had a relationship with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger in the 1970s.

In the early eighties, Bowie denied that he was gay or bisexual, insisting he was ‘always a closet heterosexual’ and that his sexuality was an image given to him by his record label.

Even so, he had already done much to change attitudes to sexuality and gender.

Watch Ziggy Stardust below: