The sad news has just broken that David Bowie has died after a battle with cancer. The news was released on his official Twitter site.

"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," read a statement posted on the artist's official social media accounts.

The legendary singer-songwriter and producer was know for his glam, art, soul, rock, dance pop, punk and electronica during his eclectic 40-plus-year career.

Bowie's son Duncan Jones, also known as Zowie Bowie, confirmed the news, with the Twitter post: 'Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all.'

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief," continued the families spokesman.

The singer had only released his latest album Blackstar on his birthday on Friday.

There had been rumours about Bowie's health for years but the singer had kept his battle with cancer secret.

His last live performance was at a New York charity concert in 2006.

Blackstar, which includes just seven songs, has been well received by critics.

A pioneer of the music industry he will be sorely missed.

Bowie, a protégé of avant-garde mime artist Lindsay Kemp, also became an accomplished actor. His movie’s included ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’, ‘The Elephant Man’, ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’, ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Christiane F’ and ‘The Hunger’.

Bowie suffered a heart attack in Germany during the ‘Reality’ tour of 2003 and retired from live performance and recording for the next 10 years. On January 8, 2013 he returned with his first album in a decade ‘’The Next Day’. Last Friday he released another album ‘Blackstar’ on his 69th birthday.