Music fans all over the world were stunned to learn on Sunday that David Bowie had passed away at the age of 69.
"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," read a statement released on Facebook. "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."
The news was so shocking since Bowie's career appeared to be resurgent. Only two days prior to his death Bowie released Blackstar, the 25th studio album of his illustrious career. In addition to the album a play written by Bowie and Edna Walsh, Lazarus, is currently playing on Broadway starring Michael C. Hall. The first single from the new album, also entitled "Lazarus," is now being seen as a prophetic swan song for the iconic musician. Aside from the obvious biblical allusion made by the title, the song opens with the line, "Look up here, I'm in Heaven."
The only constant throughout Bowie's career was that he was always changing, he would reinvent his sound and look seemingly every other album. And unlike so many other musicians that attempt to make such bold changes, Bowie was able to pull it off. The Ziggy Stardust persona that wondered if there was life on Mars is lightyears away from the grizzled man who sang "I'm Afraid of Americans," and Bowie is the only man that could make that journey completely believable. Through every different iteration of Bowie the same innovative genius was at work and that's why it always felt genuine.
Throughout his career Bowie inspired millions of people with his music and image, and those many of those fans chose to show their love through tattoos. These inkings take the form of song lyrics, portraits of Bowie (many from his role as the Goblin King in Labyrinth) and, of course, there are a huge amount of tributes to the one and only Ziggy Stardust.
Put on Hunky Dory, Heroes, Let's Dance, or Blackstar—whatever your favorite Bowie album is—and check out this gallery of tattoo celebrating the life of David Bowie.