The beautiful story of David Bowie, his wife Iman and their 23 years of marriage.

The world mourns the death of David Bowie; shrines have appeared in his birthplace Brixton and outside his New York home, and social media is awash with emotional tributes from fans.

There were also commemorations from his famous friends and collaborators, such as Yoko Ono, who described Bowie as “close as family”, or Iggy Pop, who called him “the light of my life”.

It was Bowie’s actual family, though, who gathered by his bedside during his illness and were there when he died.

Bowie and his wife Iman, born Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, 60, were married for 23 years and shared daughter Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones, 15.

He once said, “You would think that a rockstar being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.”

Iman and David Bowie early in their relationship. Image via Instagram.

Bowie knew he wanted to marry Iman the moment he set eyes on her, in a fashion magazine.

“I want to meet that girl! I want to meet that girl right there!” he told Andrew Belew, a musician in his band.

“I guess if you’re David Bowie, it’s not so hard to do that,” Belew told People.

When her husband died on Sunday, Iman posted on her Twitter and Facebook accounts, “The struggle is real, but so is God.”

In the lead-up to Bowie’s death, Iman posted other inspirational quotes, which, in light of Bowie’s secret 18-month cancer battle and subsequent death, take on a deeper poignancy.

Iman tweeted on the day of Bowie’s death. Image via Twitter.

Iman and Bowie’s daughter Lexi is 15. Lexi has half-sister Zulekha Haywood, daughter of Iman and Spencer Haywood, and half-brother Duncan Jones, 44, director, producer and screenwriter, who was the product of Bowie’s marriage to Angela Barnett. Duncan’s birth prompted Bowie to write the song Kooks for his 1971 album Hunky Dory.

Duncan Jones tweeted the news of his father’s death to his followers.

Iman’s pregnancy with Lexi came after the couple’s IVF attempts failed. They were considering adoption when Lexi was conceived. Iman was 45; David Bowie was 54. “We’ve always been very close, but if it’s possible we’ve been drawn even closer. There’s a joy or a contentment that’s almost palpable to both of us. Overnight, our lives have been enriched beyond belief,” Iman told Hello magazine after her birth.

Iman’s friend Bethann Hardison told People she is coping with the loss.

“She’s fine. We’re fine. We’re holding up. It comes in waves, you know. He’s a great loss – not just a loss as an artist, but as a human.”

00:00 / ???