David Bowie’s Ashes to Be Buried in Bali

David Bowie, the iconic rock legend and artist who died earlier this month at age 69, specified in his will that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in Bali “in accordance with the Buddhist rituals,” according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

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A view of David Bowie’s Indonesian-influenced Caribbean home. (Photo by Architectural Digest)

The British musician, who was born David Robert Jones, said in an August 1998 magazine article that he’d most like to live in “Northeast Bali or south Java,” so it came as no surprise to me that he would choose such a beautiful, magical and unique place on Earth as a final resting place.

Bowie’s will, which divvied up his $100 million fortune among his wife Iman, children, personal assistant and nanny, was filed along with a death certificate that said his body had been cremated Jan. 12 in New Jersey. Presumably, they were headed to Indonesia sometime after that.

Bowie’s love of Indonesia was apparent to his fans through the lyrics of such songs as “Tumble and Twirl” and “You Belong In Rock and Roll,” which he recorded with Tin Machine.

Written with Iggy Pop, “Tumble and Twirl” describes their travels across Indonesia:

I’ve seen the city and I took the next flight for Borneo

They say it’s pretty, I like the t-shirts in Borneo

Some wear Bob Marley others in Playbos or Duvalier

Make the last plane come, let me rise through the cloudy above

With a book on Borneo

And, as the Jakarta Post points out, Bowie’s Caribbean home was designed with heavy influence from Balinese and Javanese artistry and craftsmanship, a fact featured by Architectural Digest.

With life teeming throughout its lush landscapes and its deep spiritual connection to its people, Bali makes its mark on visitors — and it’s no wonder Bowie would choose to circle back toward the “Island of the Gods.”

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A woman cleans fish near a cow statue in Tirta Gangga on the island of Bali, Indonesia. At top, a “No Massage” sign hangs in one of its gardens. (Photos by Bruno J. Navarro)
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