Everyone is paying tribute to David Bowie’s musical feats, as well they should. Seldom, if ever, has one man made such a massive, beautiful dent on pop music and pop consciousness. A gender-bending, genre-hopping genius, deserving of all the accolades coming his way today.
But I want to pay tribute to another of Bowie’s feats, which strikes me as quite extraordinary: the fact that he kept his cancer private, or ‘secret’, as the press insists, for 18 months. This, more than anything, has blown me away today. In this era of too much information, when over-sharing is virtually mandatory, Bowie’s decision to suffer away from the limelight, among those closest to him, appears almost as a Herculean achievement.
The reason the world is so shocked by Bowie’s death is not simply because we have lost one of pop’s great innovators — inventors, in fact — meaning his death feels as significant as Elvis Presley’s in 1977. It is also because no one saw this coming.
Yes, with the hindsight provided by his demise, we can now see that his last album, Blackstar, released just last week, was a kind of gracious and moving bowing-out from life. With a song called ‘Lazarus,’ and mournful lyrics such as ‘I know something is very wrong’, this is clearly a man who knows his end his near. Listening to the album today is a jolting experience.
Brendan O'Neil - The Spectator/Jan. 13, 2016
"Privacy" of Bowie's Life Reflects Strengths Far Past Those of Musical Talent Alone