Were These David Bowie's Last Words?

David Bowie is a legend in so many different senses of the word, a superstar who transcended mediums, gender roles, and personas. Just like his life is shrouded in layers of mystery and lore, Bowie's death has also become a somewhat mythical event.

Bowie passed away at age 69 on January 10, 2016, after a battle with cancer, according to The Guardian. He had kept his terminal illness a secret from the world until the very end. During his last years of life, he worked relentlessly on a number of different projects, including the album "Blackstar," which was released on January 8, 2016, just two days before Bowie's death, and the stage musical "Lazarus," which debuted in 2015, per Tech Times. He died "peacefully...surrounded by his family," according to posts on his social media accounts.

He left behind an enduring legacy, one that no doubt will continue to morph and change as time goes on.

What were David Bowie's last words?

Increasingly private at the end of his life, Bowie's actual last words are unknown. However, at a posthumous tribute to Bowie at the 2016 Brit Awards, Bowie's friend Gary Oldman shared words from a letter Bowie had written to him near the end of his life, according to Consequence.

"Music has given me over 40 years of extraordinary experiences ... I can't say that life's pains or more tragic episodes have been diminished because of it, but it has allowed me so many moments of companionship that when I have been lonely and sublime means communications when I have wanted to touch people," Bowie wrote. "'It has been my doorway of perception and the house that I live in.'"

That last line is the last confirmed statement Bowie is known to have made, according to Express. They are fitting last words for someone who spent decades opening up doors for other people, inspiring countless artists and fans to explore new horizons — from his gender fluidity to his adept ability to weave together disparate musical genres, Bowie broke so many boundaries, and his music was the thread that connected it all together.

Life after death: David Bowie's posthumous releases and enduring legacy

Since his death, Bowie's estate has continued to steadily release music. Numerous Bowie albums have surfaced since he passed away, ranging from the EP "No Plan," released on January 8, 2017, to the album "Toy," released on November 26, 2021, per Dazed. His legacy lives on and on, both in the form of these new releases and through his iconic body of work.

Over the course of his career, David Bowie released a total of 26 studio albums, according to Fortune, and he reinvented himself from release to release, embodying iconic characters from Ziggy Stardust to The Thin White Duke. His first hit was the song "Space Oddity," released in 1969, and from there he ascended to true stardom, ceaselessly creating until his last breath. He also starred in numerous films, from 1976's "The Man Who Fell to Earth" to 1986's "Labyrinth," and was an early advocate for the Internet, launching his own server, BowieNet, in 1998, per Far Out.

Bowie is survived by his wife Iman, his son Duncan Jones, his daughter Alexandria Jones, and his step-daughter Zulekha Haywood, as well as by the legions of fans and artists who owe so much to him.