The 69-year-old – known for hits such as Changes, Ashes To Ashes and Starman – left a legacy created by pioneering musicianship and ground-breaking lyrics dating back almost half a century.
He died on Sunday after suffering from cancer for 18 months.
Australian actor Russell Crowe, referencing one of Bowie’s better known singles which featured on covers album Pin Ups 1973, wrote: “RIP David. I loved your music. I loved you. One of the greatest performance artists to have ever lived. £sorrow”
Rock guitarist Joel Madden, quoting Changes, simply added: “Turn and face the strange.”
Actor Mark Ruffalo wrote: “Rip Father of all us freaks. Sad sad day. Love always Legendary singer David Bowie dies at 69.”
While comedian and writer Eddie Izzard said: “Very sad to hear about the death of David Bowie but through his music he will live forever.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme he became a Bowie fan during the singer’s early rise to prominence.
He said: “I’m very, very saddened to hear of his death.
“I remember sitting listening to his songs endlessly in the ’70s particularly and always really relishing what he was, what he did, the impact he had.
And Prime Minister David Cameron, whose musical tastes are well documented, also offered his condolences.
He said: “I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of re-invention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss.”
Paying tribute to the singer on Twitter, comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, who convinced his long-time idol to star as himself – and ridicule Gervais – in anepisode of 2006 sitcom Extras, wrote simply: “I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.”
He also uploaded an image of himself from the late 1990s dressed as Bowie’s famous alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, taken from the comedian’s 30-minute Comedy Lab episode in which Gervais played the part of a Bowie impersonator.
Radio DJ Fearne Cotton wrote on Instagram: “Devastated. There will only ever be one David Bowie.
“A pioneer, a maverick and a visionary. I’ve been so inspired by him and his intent on doing what he wants without thought of judgment and views of others. RIP to one of the last icons.”
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