Yoko Ono and Madonna have both been left devastated after learning of David Bowie’s death on Sunday, with John Lennon’s widow suggesting it’s like the passing of a family member.
Ono took to Twitter on Monday and revealed Bowie was among her closest friends when she and Lennon set up home in New York.
“As John & I had very few friends, we felt David was as close as family,” she wrote. “Sweet memories will stay with us forever.”
Ono later added a statement, in which she revealed Bowie became a “father figure” to her son Sean after Lennon’s death in the 1980s.
“John and David respected each other,” she wrote. “After John died, David was always there for Sean and me. When Sean was at boarding school in Switzerland, David would pick him up and take him on trips to museums and let Sean hang out at his recording studio in Geneva. For Sean, this is losing another father figure. It will be hard for him, I know. But we have some sweet memories which will stay with us forever.”
Sean Lennon added his own tribute on Instagram, writing: “Absolutely devastating news. I feel so lucky to have considered you a friend. R.I.P. Thank you for everything.”
Lennon collaborated with Bowie on his track “Fame,” which became Bowie’s first U.S. number one song in 1975.
Meanwhile, Madonna also took to Twitter to honor her fallen hero.
“Im Devastated!” she wrote. “This great Artist changed my life! First concert i ever saw in Detroit! R.IP… Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever! So lucky to have met you!!!! Hot Tramp I love you So! #rebelheart.”
She has since added a more detailed tribute on Facebook, stating in part, “I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of rock and Roll to create entertainment. I found him so inspiring and innovative. Unique and provocative. A real Genius. his music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end… He was so chic and beautiful and elegant. So ahead of his time. Thank you David Bowie. I owe you a lot. The world will miss you.”
Bowie passed away on Sunday following an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69.