David Bowie has died at the age of 69 after an 18 month battle with cancer, his son has confirmed.

A statement on the rock star's official Facebook page said he died yesterday.

The statement said: "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."

The singer's official Twitter account confirmed the news.

Bowie's son Duncan Jones tweeted to confirm the star's death.

His publicist also confirmed his death.

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Bowie released his 25th studio album Black Star on Friday, January 8. The album was released on the star's 69th birthday.

His final video for his last single, Lazarus, was released last week. It includes the verse: "Look up here, I'm in heaven. I've got scars that can't be seen. I've got drama, can't be stolen, Everybody knows me now. Oh I'll be free. Just like that bluebird. Oh I'll be free. Ain't that just like me."

He made a surprise comeback in 2013 when he suddenly released a new single on his 66th birthday with an album out just weeks later, his first for 10 years.

The star made a habit of confounding the critics - killing off his most famous creation, Ziggy Stardust, at the height of his fame - and reinventing himself in roles including glam rocker, soul singer and hippie songwriter.

Bowie, born David Jones in post-war Brixton, south London, kicked off his music career in the R&B boom of the early Sixties.

The Thin White Duke made his first appearance in the charts in 1969 with Space Oddity.

A string of albums followed, before 1972's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars made him an international star.

The 1980s saw him combine his pop career with appearances in films including Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and Absolute Beginners.

Paying tribute on Twitter, comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, who convinced his long-time idol to star as himself - and ridicule Gervais - in an episode of 2006 sitcom Extras, wrote simply: "I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie."

Scottish singer-songwriter Midge Ure, on ITV's Good Morning Britain, said: "We are all swimming in his wake, so I don't think you could top, on creativity, and consistent creativity, I don't think you could top, anyone could top, David Bowie in the UK musical history."

On Bowie's illness, Ure said: "I think people within the industry had heard rumours about cancer, we'd heard rumours about him not being well.

"We all knew something was amiss but this is more than just turning on your phone in the morning or turning on the television and finding out that another celebrity has passed on.

"I'm standing here, my hands are shaking, I feel as though I've lost something, I've lost something incredibly important today."

Fans including Nicola Sturgeon, Jon Snow, JK Rowling, Biffy Clyro, David Cameron and Edith Bowman have paid tribute to Bowie on Twitter.

Bowie's ex-wife Angie is currently appearing on Celebrity Big Brother and has been discussing her marriage to the star.

HeraldScotland:

HeraldScotland:

Many social media users initially claimed that Bowie's social media accounts had been hacked and the reports were a hoax.