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Tuesday's papers: Finland mourns David Bowie

Finland's newspapers on Tuesday were filled with tributes to the 69 year-old British musician David Bowie who died in New York on Sunday.

David Bowiesta tehty senämaalaus Lontoossa.
David Bowie. Image: Andy Rain / EPA

On Tuesday, newspapers in Finland reported reactions to the news of the death of the iconic and chameleon-like musician David Bowie. Bowie entertained and engaged millions of people around the world, released 25 albums and pursued many other forms of art during a career that spanned five decades.

The first time Bowie came to Finland in 1976, he arrived to Helsinki by train from Moscow, due to his fear of flying at the time, according to Iltalehti. That year, in his Thin White Duke period, Bowie performed at Messukeskus, the Expo and Convention Centre in Helsinki.

During his career Bowie performed in Finland four more times, but it would take two decades before he returned.

In 1996 he played at Helsinki Ice Hall, in 1997 at the Ruisrock festival in Turku and later in 2003 at Helsinki Hartwall Arena and 2004 at the Provinssirock music festival in Seinäjoki, according to the paper.

After the news of his death was announced, an outpouring of memories and commemorations from fans, celebrities and world leaders alike filled social media outlets and news headlines.

'The news was crushing'

The reaction of Finns was similar. Turun Sanomat featured quotes from local musicians, including music producer and DJ Jori Hulkkonen.

"To me Bowie was the only artist to have 'always' been there. He had the ability to renew himself to stay relevant, musically and also more broadly in pop culture," TS quotes Hulkkonen.

"[Bowie's final album released two days before his death] Blackstar is the best album that he's done in 30 years. This morning's news was crushing," Hulkkonen said on Monday.

Juhani Merimaa, the owner of Finland's most famous rock club Tavastia, and arranger of Finland's oldest rock festival Ruisrock, said that modern rock has a big debt to pay Bowie.

"[Bowie] was multifaceted and gifted," Merimaa said. "He renewed music constantly and brought many new elements to it. The effect he had on music overall is exceptionally great."

Heikki Veikko Harma, better known as the Finnish singer-songwriter Hector, will also turn 69 this year, the same age Bowie was when he died. Hector told Iltalehti that the news of his death shocked him.

Despite the fact that the news wouldn't break until the next day, Hector had coincidentally been thinking of Bowie on the night of Bowie's death.

"I couldn't sleep and I began to read Bowie's ex-wife's memoir paperback. Bowie and I are the same age and I began to wonder what Bowie would do next," Hector told the paper.

Hector said Bowie is the undisputed greatest of legends, adding "it feels as if I lost a close friend."

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