David Bowie fans began to lay floral tributes in London on 11 January, just hours after news broke confirming the singer's death. The British rock star died on 10 January, aged 69, after an 18-month battle with cancer. Fans and media started arriving at 23 Heddon Street in London's West End, where a plaque commemorates the spot where Bowie posed for the cover of his iconic album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The phone box from the back cover of the album, where Bowie stood dressed as a Droog inspired by the film A Clockwork Orange shot by Terry Pastor, sits just metres away on Heddon Street. Bowie fan Demetri had come to Heddon Street to pay his respects to the star.

He said: "He's obviously battled with illness for a while, and over the years. That he has worked on doing an album in that time, this album Blackstar which just come out, which I just think, what a wonderful way to spend what would have been a very personal and difficult time, being creative. Which I think, I just find that is just as inspiring as all the stuff we know him for over the decades."

Demetri said Bowie was an inspiration for generations of people and popular culture. "What Bowie did for me was through such amazing music, it was a launchpad for all kinds of ideas in fashion, culture, even philosophical ideas if you want to go there. The influence he had on people to be themselves, to be their true selves and to express themselves creatively. I mean it's... you don't often actually get an artist that really engenders that with so many people, across so many generations."

Swiss tourist Regina Christen visiting London from Zurich said his death had come as a shock. "I checked my handy [mobile phone] this morning and saw that he died at 69, it's tremendous, such a great artist. You know, on the continent we love him too. It's really sad," she said.

A chameleon visionary, he straddled the worlds of hedonistic rock, fashion and drama for five decades, pushing the boundaries of music and his own sanity to produce some of the most innovative songs of his generation.