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David Bowie dead: When did he realize the life-threatening illness?

by Ana Lopez
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Twenty years ago, David Bowie made the Glastonbury crowd eat out of his hand. After years of touring, the Thin White Duke finally gave a set full of his best songs, such as Heroes, Life on Mars and Let’s Dance.

Bowie guaranteed that the field at Glastonbury would be littered with familiar tunes for that performance this year. With a few details, of course.

After a heart attack in Germany during his Reality tour four years later, which required immediate heart surgery, Bowie’s touring days came to an end.

After that, he performed relatively rarely in public and on stage before shocking his fan base in 2013 by releasing his 24th studio album, The Next Day.

On Bowie’s 69th birthday, album number 25, Blackstar, was released three years later.

Sadly, Bowie passed away suddenly at his home in New York City two days after Blackstar’s debut.

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How did David Bowie die?

David Bowie battled liver cancer for the past 18 months after being diagnosed in mid-2014. Bowie kept his illness a secret from many of his friends and countless followers for much of his final years. He only disclosed this information to his family and some colleagues.

One of them was director Ivo van Hove, who was in charge of Lazarus at the time, a play that Bowie co-wrote and for which he also wrote most of the music.

“We started working together on our show, Lazarus, and at one point he took me aside to say he wouldn’t be able to be there all the time because of his illness. He told me he had cancer, liver cancer,” he later recalled.

“The cast didn’t know it all along, and I suspect the musicians he recorded Blackstar with didn’t know either. He did everything he could to complete those two projects on time, so as not to let his illness win.”

He told Tony Visconti, a producer and friend who was simultaneously collaborating with David Bowie on what would be his final studio album, in January 2015.

David Bowie dead
David Bowie dead

Visconti described how Bowie’s hair and eyebrows fell out due to the treatment. The cancer was thought to be in remission by the middle of that year, but the devastating news that his illness was fatal came in November.

Bowie received the devastating news while he was working Lazarus music videoone of the songs from his Blackstar album.

In an effort not to let his followers down, he made one last public appearance in December 2015 when he showed up for the opening night of the Lazarus show in New York.

Van Hove later said: “It was written that he looked so good, so healthy. But behind the stage he collapsed from exhaustion. At that moment I realized that it might be the last time I would see him.”

On January 10, 2016, Bowie died at home. A statement on his social media accounts read: “January 10, 2016 – David Bowie passed away peacefully surrounded by his family today 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 as they grieve.”

His Blackstar album was described by Visconti as his “parting gift”.

“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. he said. “His death was no different from his life – a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”

Bowie’s last intentions said he wanted to “go without a fuss” and avoid a funeral or public tribute. Two days later he was secretly cremated.

His will stipulated that he would be secretly cremated and his ashes scattered in Bali.

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