THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 221 -- Pictured: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In confirming his death on Sunday, David Bowie's family simply wrote that he "died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," adding, "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Now a longer message has been sent out through the artist's Facebook, along with one of those beautiful photos snapped on Bowie's 69th birthday, Friday, Jan. 8, the same day his 25th studio album, Blackstar, hit shelves. The statement reads:


The family of David Bowie is currently making arrangements for a private ceremony celebrating the memory of their beloved husband, father and friend.

They ask once again that their privacy be respected at this most sensitive of times.

We are overwhelmed by and grateful for the love and support shown throughout the world.

However, it is important to note that while the concerts and tributes planned for the coming weeks are all welcome, none are official memorials organized or endorsed by the family.

Just as each and every one of us found something unique in David's music, we welcome everyone’s celebration of his life as they see fit."

People quoted a source this week saying "the family is extremely private, just like Bowie. [He] had a tiny, tiny circle of friends and confidantes."

Tributes to Bowie have been manifold; more than 8 million tweets about him and his work were sent within 24 hours of the announcement of his death, many of them from some of the world's most famous artists; 100 million Bowie-related Facebook interactions were also clocked. Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Glen Hansard performed "Ashes to Ashes" at the makeshift memorial in front of the singer's New York City home, and a Carnegie Hall tribute concert sold out immediately.