Musicians' reactions to David Bowie's death

David Bowie was art and music personified. Bowie was constantly and completely conscious of everything going on in music, and by remaining in touch with every aspect of the music world, he remained perpetually relevant and visible, influencing countless generations of musicians, as well as his contemporaries. By simply existing honestly, he let people know that it was okay to be weird. With his final album, Black Star, he said goodbye to his fans. The album was released on Friday, January 8, 2016, his 69th birthday. By the following Sunday, David Bowie passed away after a long fight with liver cancer, shocking everyone but his closest friends. Here's how musicians have reacted to the passing of the legend.

Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull

One wouldn't suspect much of an intersection between David Bowie's experimental art pop and Jethro Tull's flute-based prog rock in the 1970s, but Bowie's presence was everywhere. Singer Ian Anderson shared this anecdote via Facebook about British folk group Steeleye Span asking Anderson to contact David Bowie to play sax on one of their albums.

"Somehow, although we didn't know each other, I managed to get his phone number and he agreed to come to the session. In prompt and professional fashion he executed the desired solo lines and went on his way with the recorded words, 'I'll see you later.'

"Many years later in 1997, I managed to push my way past minder heavies into his dressing room at a big German TV show we were both appearing on. I thanked him for playing on the Steeleye song and, more importantly, for serving as a role model to me in regard to offering the gift of music with no fee or royalty for performing on other artists' records, something I have always done since."

Jane Wiedlin - The Go-Go's

The Go-Go's formed in 1978, the year after Bowie released Low and "Heroes", but singer Jane Wiedlin credits Bowie for indirectly saving her life. At 15, Wiedlin attempted suicide and left a note saying, "Tell David Bowie I love him." On Facebook, Wiedlin went into greater detail:

"His music and lyrics shaped my whole life. His beauty dictated the men I would love. His songwriting set a standard for me, that I could never possibly hope to even approach.

Nobody on this planet made such an impact on me as he. NOBODY… I never thought I'd live to see David Bowie die. My heart is broken. One of the most important people of the 20th century is gone and I can't f****** handle it."

Rick Wakeman - Yes

Rick Wakeman is a prog rock legend, playing keyboard for the amazing band Yes, as well as on Bowie's own "Life on Mars" and "Space Oddity." His relationship with Bowie was so solid that he almost joined Bowie's backing band, The Spiders From Mars, before joining Yes for good. Bowie and Wakeman's collaborations turned out to be some of Bowie's most memorable songs, and their pairing seemed amazingly appropriate, both musically, and because Wakeman is a Freemason and seems to really like wearing a cape.

Brian Eno

Eno is a musician and producer who has a pretty wide influence, including pioneering evolutions in the New Wave movement, performing with the Talking Heads, and producing albums for U2, James, Jane Siberry, Ultravox, and many other musicians. Eno was responsible for Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" of Low, "Heroes", and Lodger, during which Bowie also made his famous Christmas TV appearance with Bing Crosby. Eno and Bowie weren't done working together when Bowie passed, as he explained via public statement published by BBC News:

"I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: 'Thank you for our good times, brian. they will never rot'. And it was signed 'Dawn'. I realise now he was saying goodbye."

Iggy Pop

While Bowie was living in West Berlin and working with Eno, he roomed with James Newell Osterberg, Jr., aka Iggy Pop, and subsequently, collaborated with Iggy on his first and second albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life. In short, their influence on one another cannot be understated. Despite Iggy's notably crass stage performances, and Bowie's unending class, the two had a very meaningful relationship.

The Rolling Stones

In one of the most regrettable music videos ever filmed, Bowie and Mick Jagger are seen cavorting and singing along to "Dancing in the Street," fueling existing rumors that Jagger and Bowie had a romantic relationship with one another. The song ultimately raised money for charity, but mostly made everyone very sad. The collective Stones, or whoever manages their Twitter account, had this to say.

https://twitter.com/RollingStones/status/686516418993586177

https://twitter.com/RollingStones/status/686516493757059072

Ronnie Wood contributed, "Thinking of you David, God bless."

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley - Kiss

Kiss' first album was released in 1974, and by that time, Paul Stanley had taken on the identity of the Starchild, two years after Bowie's release of Ziggy Stardust, which including the notable song "Starman." While the star connection has been relegated to coincidence, Kiss can't deny the influence of Bowie's facepaint in their own on-stage personas.

https://twitter.com/PaulStanleyLive/status/686583972550184960

Gene Simmons confirmed Bowie's influence on his own Twitter.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - The Beatles

Once again proving that Bowie was everywhere at once, the man was even friends with the Beatles. Paul McCartney's Twitter, which is probably run by an intern, responded with a meme.

https://twitter.com/PaulMcCartney/status/686547772611399683

Meanwhile, Ringo Starr has just discovered emojis, but still hasn't grasped how to use them appropriately. No, "smiley sunglasses" probably isn't the best one to use right now.

Lady Gaga

At a loss for words, the perpetually-costumed woman known as Lady Gaga simply retweeted a fan, who said what we were all thinking all along.