From celebrities to politicians, astronauts to actors, social media lit up with tributes and expressions of mourning after the death of David Bowie.

Born David Jones in the London suburb of Brixton, Bowie went on to shape popular music and the presentation of artists who make it.

Bowie was notable for his willingness to experiment with different forms of music, from his conceptual album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" to the more pop-focused "Let's Dance," the hard rock group "Tin Machine," his experiments with electronic music, and his jazz-infused final album, “Blackstar.”

Brian Eno, who worked with Bowie on his three Berlin albums “Low,” “Heroes” and “Lodger,” told the BBC he had recently received an email that he now realizes was a final goodbye.

"David's death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now,” he said in a statement.

"We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of Pete and Dud. Over the last few years -- with him living in New York and me in London -- our connection was by email. We signed off with invented names: some of his were mr showbiz, milton keynes, rhoda borrocks and the duke of ear.

"About a year ago we started talking about Outside -- the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.

"I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: 'Thank you for our good times, brian. they will never rot'. And it was signed 'Dawn'.

"I realise now he was saying goodbye."

Music producer Tony Visconti, who worked with Bowie on "Space Oddity" and through to "Blackstar," wrote about Bowie's desire to say goodbye to his fans on his own terms.



He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was...

Posted by Tony Visconti on Monday, January 11, 2016


Mick Jagger said that Bowie was “always an inspiration” and a “true original.”



Iggy Pop, who moved to Berlin in the 1970s to work with Bowie on two albums, called him “brilliant” in a tweet.



Billy Idol shared his tribute too, tweeting: "He inspired us to go beyond the norm & reach out & dispel the void of life in 70's England wth r own art forms...."

In a Facebook post, Madonna wrote: "I'm devastated. David Bowie changed the course of my life forever. "

Newer generations of artists also paid tribute. Kanye West was among the first to mention the impact Bowie's work had on his career and many others.

"David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime," Kanye tweeted.

While Pharrell Williams called Bowie, "a true innovator, a true creative," in his own tweet.

A tweet from the band Foo Fighters said, simply, "Rest in peace, David."

Actors and even astronauts were quick to praise Bowie's legacy.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who performed a memorable cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from the International Space Station, also paid tribute to the artist.

"Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all," the astronaut tweeted. "Goodbye Starman."

Britain's Prime Minister paid tribute to the musician, mentioning the impact Bowie had on him growing up.

In a statement, Germany credited Bowie with helping to bring down the Berlin Wall. Bowie performed the song "Heroes" on the West German side of the wall in 1978.