David Bowie: Madonna, David Beckham and Kanye West lead tributes

There was shock and sorrow as the world awoke to the news that David Bowie had passed away after a 'courageous' 18-month battle with cancer. Tributes to the musical icon quickly began to flood social media, with hundreds of stars publicly paying their respects to the Ziggy Stardust singer, and thanking him for his incredible influence on the music industry.

Madonna, David Beckham and Kanye West were just some of those who took to Twitter to honour the star, who passed away on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday. Sharing vintage photos of David, as well as a photograph of them together, Madonna wrote: "I'm Devastated. This great artist changed my life! First concert I ever saw in Detroit! RIP #rebelheart.

So lucky to have met you!!!! Hot Tramp I love you So! ❤️#rebelheart

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

"Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forvever!...

"So lucky to have met you!!! Hot tramp I love you So! #rebelheart – Madonna."

Kanye, meanwhile, hailed the musician for his inspiring career. "David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime," the rapper wrote. "I pray for his family and friends."

Former footballer David also paid his respects to the fellow British star. "A creative genius and influence over is all… Rest in Peace STARMAN."

A creative genius and influence over us all.. Rest In Peace STARMAN ⭐️

A photo posted by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais told his followers: "I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie", with Australian actor Russell Crowe also paying tribute. "RIP David. I loved your music. I loved you," he wrote. "One of the greatest performance artists to have ever lived # sorrow."

Cher wrote "Devastated" alongside broken heart emoji. "A legend is gone," she added. Iggy Pop also shared his sadness. "David's friendship was the light of my life," he said. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is."

Singer Pharell Williams described David as "a true innovator, a true creative", while comedian Eddie Izzard urged: "Please could every radio station around the globe just play David Bowie music today – I think the world owes him that."

American actors Mark Ruffalo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also honoured the British icon, with the latter posting one of David’s lyrics – "But the key to the city is in the sun that pins the branches to the sky".

James Corden also shared a moving quote from the singer, uploading a picture of a public service announcement message displayed by the London Underground that read: "I don't know where I am going from here. But I promise it won't be boring."

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