Two days before his death, the singer put out ★ (pronounced "Blackstar"), this time on his birthday on January 8th. The record reflected the ever-evolving artist's interest in jazz and hip-hop. "We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar," producer Tony Visconti told Rolling Stone of the recording sessions. "We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll."
As Iggy Pop explained in a tribute: "He appreciated oddballs — people who looked different and spoke in a certain way. He had a very strong curiosity and had very absolute aesthetic values."