David Bowie ‘cremated in New York’

David Bowie’s body has been privately cremated in New York, according to reports.

The cremation took place soon after his death, avoiding a funeral service for the star who closely guarded his privacy in his final years.

In line with his wishes, no family or friends were present at the ceremony, the Daily Mirror reported.

A publicist for the singer told the BBC they were “neither confirming nor denying” the story.

Bowie died of cancer on Sunday, aged 69.

He had released a new album, Blackstar, just two days earlier – which has been retrospectively interpreted as his epitaph.

Although the record features lyrics such as “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” its producer Tony Visconti said the star had written and demo-ed five new songs in recent weeks.

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Visconti said Bowie had called him about a week before his death and “at that late stage, he was planning the follow-up to Blackstar”.

“I was thrilled,” said the producer, who worked on key Bowie albums including The Man Who Sold the World, Low and 2013’s surprise comeback The Next Day.

“I thought, and he thought, that he’d have a few months, at least. So the end must’ve been very rapid. I’m not privy to it. I don’t know exactly, but he must’ve taken ill very quickly after that phone call.”

Visconti will be one of the musicians performing at a memorial concert for Bowie at New York’s Carnegie Hall in March.

The Music of David Bowie had originally been billed as a tribute show, with artists including Cyndi Lauper and The Roots also performing, but the event will now give fans the opportunity to mourn.

Tributes will also be paid at next month’s Brit Awards, with a performance celebrating the “extraordinary life and work of one of our greatest icons”.

Meanwhile, Blackstar is set to become Bowie’s first number one album in the US, as sales surged after news of his death broke on Monday.

The critically acclaimed record is also headed to number one in the UK, while 13 of his previous albums are expected to enter the top 100.

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