It is with profound sadness that we must report on the untimely death of David Bowie, as the beloved musician passed away yesterday after an extended battle with cancer, at the age of 69. Bowie was the champion of glam rock at the height of its popularity, and leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of 28 albums and dozens of film credits, both as an actor and musician.

A post on Bowie’s Facebook page confirmed the tragic news:

January 10 2016 – 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.

Bowie’s artistic genius was unparalleled. The singer championed outrageous personae throughout his career, permeating pop culture with his androgynous power and fashion. His music often focused around the “outsider,” from the space-fueled adventures of Ziggy Stardust all the way to the recently-released Blackstar album, which premiered on Bowie’s birthday just two days ago. Even Bowie’s earliest single, “Space Oddity” (1969), would shape the direction of his music.

In 2004, Bowie was on his Reality tour when he suffered a heart attack along the road. Stricken with health problems, Bowie would ultimately cancel the tour and take a more behind-the-scenes approach to creating music. He performed a handful of occasions throughout 2005 and 2006, appearing on stage with Arcade Fire. A 2006 appearance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, NY would be his last live performance.

Through all of Bowie’s ever-changing characters, the displays only complemented an impressive catalog of compositions. Songs like “Life On Mars?” and “Starman” are operatic at times, challenging the boundaries of rock music with complex progressions and emotional performances. Even his more straightforward radio hits, songs like “Let’s Dance” and “Fame,” are riddled with top-notch production and addition to detail. Bowie is truly one of the more thoughtful composers of his generation, seamlessly integrating fashion, visual arts, and music to create a product wholly unique and undeniably David Bowie.

The news of Bowie’s death comes as a shock to the music community at large, though the long battle with cancer suggests that his recent works, including the album Blackstar and the off-Broadway musical Lazarus, were something of a swansong for the musician. There’s something poetic about Bowie gifting the world with one last musical creation, as The Man Who Fell To Earth has finally left this planet behind.

RIP David Bowie. Our thoughts are with your loved ones, friends, family, and everyone who’s lives were touched by your music.