David Bowie was an artist in control of his image from start to finish.
After spending his career as a shimmering chameleon, changing the rules before anyone had ever learnt the old ones, at 69 he said goodbye.
Again it was on his own terms. The video clip for his latest single, released last week, is a farewell – dropping clues of his imminent death for those who knew to look.
The song, Lazarus, was released late last year – but the album Blackstar, and the clip were released to coincide with Bowie’s 69th birthday on January 8.
Watch David Bowie’s final video clip here:
The clip, which begins with Bowie in a hospital bed where one iteration of him remains for the duration of the clip.
Another can been seen, struck by inspiration, writing furiously at a desk in the same room while a withering skull sits beside him.
It ends with Bowie backing into a wardrobe that closes upon him.
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.
These are the opening lines of Lazarus. A song named for a biblical figure resurrected from the dead.
Diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago, it is now clear that Bowie was preparing to say goodbye for some time.
His producer Tony Visconti posted a farewell on his Facebook page that made the singer’s motives clear.