The passing of an iconic singer and popular British actor, both to cancer aged 69, was marked by an outpouring of tributes from devastated fans.
But the sincerity of this public mourning was questioned by some. The journalist Camilla Long felt the wrath of Bowie fans for dismissing the outpouring as "nothing to do with Bowie" and instructing them to “man-up”.
“I think grief should be private,” she argued. “This is to do with the utter insincerity of social media grief, the odd mimicry and circle-jerkery of it.”
David Bowie: Life in pictures
David Bowie: Life in pictures
David Bowie in 1960s
Davy Jones; life before David Bowie
David Bowie in 1964
David Bowie 'In Mime' at the Middle Earth Club, London, 1968
David Bowie in 1969
David Bowie performing his final concert as Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1973
David Bowie in 1973
David Bowie, with his wife Angela (Angie) and his son Zowie, after receiving an award for his latest record "Ziggy stardust" in Amsterdam, 1974
David Bowie in the 1970s
David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, confirmed his death on Twitter
David Bowie in the 1980s
David Bowie gives a press conference presenting the Japanese movie 'Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' directed by Nagisa Oshima, during the 36th International Film Festival in Cannes, 1983
David Bowie performs on stage during a concert in La Courneuve, 1987
David Bowie during his concert in West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, 1987
David Bowie shakes hands with Princess Diana, 1993
David Bowie autographs copies of his newest album 'Outside' at the grand opening of a Herald Square music store 26 September 1995 in New York
David Bowie performs at the Panathinaikos stadium in Athens during a rock festival, 1996
David Bowie and his wife, supermodel Iman smile as they pose for photos after Bowie received a star on the world famous Walk of Fame 12 February in Hollywood, 1997
David Bowie getting ready to perform 'Earthling' at the Phoenix Music Festival in 1997
David Bowie on stage performing during the Tibet House Benefit Concert in New York City, 2001
David Bowie Meltdown concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, June 2002
David Bowie performing during his concert at the Stravinski hall stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, 2002
David Bowie in 'Last Call with Carson Daly' TV programme taping in New York, 2003
David Bowie walks with his with wife Iman and daughter Alexandria (2) in New York, 2003
David Bowie performs on stage on the third and final day of 'The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004' at Seaclose Park, in Newport, UK
David Bowie poses with a pig, 2004
David Bowie and Kate Moss at the 2005 CFDA Awards dinner party at the New York Public Library in New York City, 2005
David Bowie and model Iman arrive to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, 2008
David Bowie anf Tilda Swinton at the MoMA's 6th Annual Film Benefit in New York, 2013
Flowers are left below a mural of David Bowie on the wall of a Morley's store in Brixton on 11 January 2016
Rickman and Rowling were friends, with Rickman appearing in all eight Harry Potter films as the unsettling potions master Severus Snape.
On Saturday, Rowling joined the debate by backing the right to grieve without actually knowing a person. She shared an essay by Taylor Glenn, a London-based psychologist, who argues grieving a hero can promote a healthy attitude towards mortality.
“Do we have the ‘right’ to grieve for someone we don’t even know?" writes Glenn. "Absolutely. The day we feel we cannot grieve for a hero is the day we need to question how we are approaching grief in general. And maybe through this process, we can even learn how to approach mortality and personal grief in a more uncensored way."
In her own tribute, Rowling said there were no words to truly express her shock and devastation at Rickman’s passing. “He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.”Reuse content