LONDON/NEW YORK – David Bowie’s supermodel wife, Iman, who was married to the legendary musician for 23 years, posted a series of poignant Facebook messages in the days leading up to his death.
“The struggle is real, but so is God,” she wrote on her public Twitter and Facebook accounts Sunday, the day that her husband died surrounded by his family after a private 18-month battle with cancer.
In the hours after news broke Monday of his death, the post collected more than 2,000 messages of condolence to the 60-year-old Somali-American model and the couple’s teenage daughter, Alexandria.
Iman has not commented publicly since her husband’s death was announced.
“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory,” she wrote Saturday.
Iman reposted a series of old photographs of Bowie and a string of loving messages to mark his 69th birthday on Friday.
“I will love you til i die, i will see you in the sky #tonight happy birthday mr. bowie,” read one next to a photograph of her husband with Tina Turner.
“Happy Birthday to the man who fell to earth. Forever Bowie,” read another.
“Life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. It’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it,” she wrote to her 108,000 Twitter followers Friday.
The couple, who enjoyed one of the most enduring marriages in the celebrity world, wed in 1992 and divided their time between London and New York. Their daughter was born in 2000.
From the International Space Station to the Vatican, tributes poured in on Monday for rock legend Bowie following his death at 69 from cancer.
Taking to social media as well as in statements, music world collaborators and fans praised Bowie’s groundbreaking oeuvre and offered their own recollections of the singer, known for a string of hits such as “Space Oddity” and “Let’s Dance.”
Below are some of the tributes to Bowie, who released his last album “Blackstar” on Friday, also his birthday:
DUNCAN JONES, BOWIE’S SON, POSTING A PICTURE OF THE SINGER ON TWITTER:
“Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”
TONY VISCONTI, MUSIC PRODUCER AND LONG-TERM BOWIE COLLABORATOR:
“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. His death was no different from his life — a work of Art. He made ‘Blackstar’ for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”
THE ROLLING STONES’ OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT:
“The Rolling Stones are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie. As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.”
QUEEN OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT, POSTING A VIDEO OF “UNDER PRESSURE”:
“This is our last dance…”
QUEEN DRUMMER ROGER TAYLOR:
“David Bowie: The cleverest and most interestingly brilliant man of our time. What a vacuum he leaves, and how he will be missed. Roger”
IGGY POP, SINGER:
“David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.”
PAUL MCCARTNEY, SINGER:
“David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together. His music played a very strong part in British musical history and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world … His star will shine in the sky forever.”
JIMMY PAGE, FORMER LED ZEPPELIN LEAD GUITARIST:
“Bowie was an innovator, a unique artist with a vision that changed the face of popular music. He is greatly missed.”
GARY KEMP, ACTOR AND SPANDAU BALLET MEMBER:
“Shocked to the core.”
“It feels as if the world has suddenly gone out of joint.”
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER:
“I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of reinvention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss.”
“Im Devastated! This great Artist changed my life! First concert i ever saw in Detroit! R.I.P.”
KANYE WEST, RAPPER:
“David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.”
GIANFRANCO RAVASI, CARDINAL AND HEAD OF THE VATICAN’S CULTURE COUNCIL, QUOTING “SPACE ODDITY” LYRICS:
“Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (David Bowie)”
TIM PEAKE, BRITISH ASTRONAUT, CURRENTLY ONBOARD INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION:
“Saddened to hear David Bowie has lost his battle with cancer — his music was an inspiration to many.”
RICKY GERVAIS, COMEDIAN:
“I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.”
GERMAN FOREIGN OFFICE ON TWITTER:
“Goodbye, David Bowie. You are now among Heroes. Thank you for helping to bring down the (Berlin) Wall.”
GENE SIMMONS, ex-KISS FRONTMAN AND ROCK SINGER:
“David Bowie, you will be sorely missed. Bowie’s ‘Changes’ and the Ziggy story songs were a major influence for me.”
URI GELLER, CELEBRITY PSYCHIC:
“I was profoundly impressed by his deep understanding of mysticism, the mysterious and the universe. There is no doubt in my mind that David believed in Heaven.”
From his birthplace in London to his final home in New York, David Bowie fans around the world gathered Monday to mourn a star who many said had shaped their lives.
In the gritty south London district of Brixton where Bowie was born in 1947, people laid flowers beneath a giant mural of him, while others gathered in tears outside his building in New York’s exclusive Soho neighborhood.
Berliners left pictures and candles outside the building where Bowie lived during the 1970s as he was trying to kick drink and drug addictions in Cold War-era West Berlin — one of his most creative periods.
Wherever they were, many spoke of Bowie as an artist who had an extraordinary impact on both their own lives and times.
“I share a birthday with him. He’s so young. He was such an amazing person. He means my youth, the challenge to gender stereotypes,” said Charlie Rice, a 66-year-old charity worker.
“For gay people, he was a leading light to give us hope.”
Bowie announced he was gay in an interview in 1972 but was married twice and remained ambiguous about his sexuality in later life.
Rice was among a steady stream of mourners in Brixton who came to lay flowers and pay tribute by the giant mural of Bowie painted in 2013 by Australian street artist James Cochran, or Jimmy C.
Some came wearing face paint inspired by the cover of Bowie’s 1973 album “Aladdin Sane” or had tattoos featuring the singer.
“RIP David, a starman gone to heaven, love his old friend,” read one bouquet.
Bowie, who died Sunday aged 69, was born in Brixton and lived there until he was 6 years old with his waitress mother and his father, who worked for a children’s charity.
“I discovered him when I was about 12 or 13 and we all think we’re freaks at 12 or 13,” said 35-year-old Claire Ronai, describing him as “a great inspiration.”
“He helped us through that period. He meant a lot to me.”
n New York, Penelope Bagieu, a 33-year-old French cartoonist, cried after leaving a bunch of flowers outside Bowie’s former home. “I feel devastated,” she said.
Michelle Lynn, who stopped off on her way to work carrying photographs of Bowie in her handbag, said she had been “a fan forever.”
“We did feel that on the photos he looked gaunt. We were all concerned but you never think that… you think it will go on forever,” she said.
Berlin’s Hansa Studios, where Bowie recorded songs including “Heroes,” said it would hold a memorial for Bowie Friday, possibly with a public party for city residents featuring live music.
“I think he would have liked that,” organizer Thilo Schmied told DPA news agency.
A major exhibition about Bowie in Groningen in the Netherlands reported that its phones had been busy all day with thousands of people trying to buy tickets after hearing the news.
“We expect even more people want to come and pay homage to David Bowie, because if you want to be close to him, you have to be at this exhibition,” said Andreas Bluehm, director of the Groninger Museum.