David Bowie, a ground-breaking master of presentation as well as a consummate songwriter and musician, seemingly orchestrated his own epitaph with his latest album Blackstar and the haunting music video Lazarus.

The album was released last Thursday — on his 69th birthday and ultimately two days before his death, after having battled cancer for 18 months — along with a new video for the poignant single Lazarus. 

"Look up here, I'm in heaven. I've got scars that can't be seen. I've got drama, can't be stolen. Everybody knows me now," the song begins.

"This way or no way. You know, I'll be free. Just like that bluebird. Now ain't that just like me," it concludes.

In the haunting video, Bowie reprises the blind prophet persona he introduced in the eerie video for the title track Blackstar in November. In Lazarus, however, he lays writhing in a hospital bed as an ominous, dark figure under the bed reaches up towards him. Other scenes show the iconic musician sitting bent over a desk adorned with a skull, frantically scribbling a message before finally retreating into a wardrobe.

"His death was no different from his life — a work of art," longtime producer Tony Visconti, a frequent collaborator of  Bowie's over the decades, wrote in a tribute he posted via Facebook.

"He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it."


Lazarus by David Bowie

Look up here, I'm in heaven

I've got scars that can't be seen

I've got drama, can't be stolen

Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I'm in danger

I've got nothing left to lose

I'm so high it makes my brain whirl

Dropped my cellphone down below

Ain't that just like me

By the time I got to New York

I was living like a king

Then I used up all my money

I was looking for your ass

This way or no way

You know, I'll be free

Just like that bluebird

Now ain't that just like me