David Bowie’s family to honor him at private ceremony

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Michelle Cathrerine took this photo of flowers and other tributes left at a David Bowie mural near his birthplace in Brixton, United Kingdom, following news of his death

NEW YORK – The family of iconic singer David Bowie expressed appreciation for the outpouring of love after his death, and plans to honor him at a private ceremony.

In a statement posted on social media Thursday, Bowie’s family said it’s “overwhelmed” by the love and support.

While the statement did not provide a date or location for the private ceremony, the family said it valued the array of public memorials in his honor.

“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,” the Facebook statement said.

“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.”

The iconic singer died of cancer Sunday at age 69, two days after his birthday. Fans and fellow musicians have paid tribute from far and wide.

“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off its axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost its orbit,” Michael Stipe, the lead singer of R.E.M., posted on social media. “I am certain that wherever Bowie is now — I want to be there someday.”

Bowie’s incomparable sound and ability to reinvent himself made him a pop music fixture for more than four decades.

Mass sing-along

As his family mourns the loss of a beloved father and husband, fans honored the beloved singer.

In his childhood neighborhood of Brixton in south London, crowds gathered for a mass sing-along this week.

The lyrics of Bowie’s biggest hits reverberated through the streets as they crooned in unison.

“There’s a starman waiting in the sky / He’d like to come and meet us / But he thinks he’d blow our minds,” they sang.

Thousands of miles away, in New York, a tribute concert is planned at Carnegie Hall on March 31. The tribute was announced before his death, but will now be considered a memorial concert instead.

Inspiring musicians

Bowie’s albums, especially after his 1972 breakthrough “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” inspired generations of musicians and were radio staples.

Space was a common theme for the singer, whose 1969 album was named “Space Oddity.” A petition is underway to rename Mars after him.

“He gave us so much. A piece of the galaxy in return is just a drop in the universe,” the petition says.

Bowie released his latest album, “Blackstar,” on January 8, two days before he died.