Celebrated pop-culture and musical icon David Bowie has passed away at the age of 69 following an 18-month battle with cancer, it has been confirmed.

The news was originally broken on Bowie's official social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as his website, though several fans initially questioned whether the news was a hoax. However, following a report from The Hollywood Reporter that claimed a representative had confirmed Bowie's passing, his son, Duncan Jones - formerly known as Zowie Bowie - further drove home the reality on his own official Twitter account.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer," the original post read. "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief."

"Very sorry and sad to say it's true," Jones responded on Twitter in a post featuring a picture of the Warcraft director as a youth along with his famous father. "I'll be offline for a while. Love to all."

Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais also offered his sympathies on Twitter, retweeting Jones' tweet and penning his own: "I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie."

Part of the shock surrounding Bowie's passing stems from the timing - he had only just released his newest album, ★ (Blackstar), to coincide with his 69th birthday on 8 January. It was his 25th studio album in a career that began with 1967's self-titled effort and truly broke through in 1972, with acclaimed record The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars.

January 10 2016 - David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with...

Posted by David Bowie on Sunday, January 10, 2016