David Bowie took to Twitter on Sunday to share the sad news of the death of the US singer and former Velvet Underground frontman with his fans. "R.I.P. LOU REED," he wrote, "It is with great sadness that we report the death of Lou Reed who died today aged 71. (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013)."
The caption linked to his official Facebook page, where a photograph of the two musicians had been posted, showing the two facing each other, Lou's arm tenderly placed around David's neck.
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The touching message ended with David calling Lou "a master".
Good friend Morrissey took to his website True To You to voice his heartfelt sorrow.
"Oh Lou / why did you leave us this way?," he wrote.
"No words to express the sadness at the death of Lou Reed. He had been there all of my life. He will always be pressed to my heart."
He shared his thanks "for those, like Lou, who move within their own laws, otherwise imagine how dull the world would be” and said that the 71-year-old "was always full of good heart" and "His music will outlive time itself."
John Cale, Lou's longtime friend and a founding member of Velvet Underground, wrote on his website: "The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet … I've lost my school-yard buddy."
Other stars paying tribute included The Who, who tweeted: "RIP Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side," and former lead guitarist of the Guns N' Roses, Slash, who wrote: "Haven't really accepted the reality of the loss of Lou Reed. Still trying to process it. Denial I guess."
Iggy Pop said it was "devastating news" while music mogul Simon Cowell wrote: "So sad to hear Lou reed has passed away. A legend."
Known for tracks including Perfect Day and Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed is considered one of the most influential singers and songwriters in rock.
His band The Velvet Underground – founded in the Sixties in New York – became renowned for their fusion of art and music, as well as for collaborating with Andy Warhol.
Lou had been suffering from liver failure and received a transplant earlier this year.
His literary agent, Andrew Wylie, said the musician – who helped shape nearly 50 years of rock music – died on Sunday morning at his home in Long Island, New York, of an illness related to the transplant.