David Bowie
Thousands have called for music legend David Bowie to replace economist Adam Smith on £20 bank notes. Getty

Singer-songwriter David Bowie passed away on Sunday 10 January, following an 18-month-long battle with cancer. Tributes have poured in from across the world, with fans leaving flowers, candles and messages at a number of sites in London, Berlin and New York.

Since then nearly 7,000 people have signed a petition calling for the music legend to be featured on the new £20 note. Last year the Bank of England opened nominations to allow the British public to decide who should appear on the next £20 note. The new note is expected to "celebrate Britain's achievements in the visual arts" and the public were asked to choose "historic visual artist". The chosen artist is due to be announced in spring 2016.

Simon Mitchell, creator of the Change.org petition, wrote: "Bowie's innovation and art included painting, as well as his better known music and acting careers. As a non-living visual artist he now meets the Bank of England's criteria for the next person to feature on the £20 note".

Despite the fact that the nomination period closed on 19 July 2015, thousands of people have signed the petition to put Bowie on the £20 note. If the Bank of England agrees to include Bowie in the list of nominations, the musician will be in the running alongside legendary figures such as fashion designer Alexander McQueen, artist Barbara Hepworth and author Beatrix Potter. Nearly 30,000 nominations were made to replace economist Adam Smith.

The petition to put Bowie on the £20 could prove a success following the Change.org petition that saw Jane Austen announced as the face of the new £10. In 2013 more than 36,000 people signed a petition calling on the Bank of England to put a woman on the new note, which is due to come into circulation in 2017.

"We can think of no better way to honour David Bowie than by depicting him on the forthcoming £20 note," Mitchell's petition stated. "His music has sound-tracked important events in the lives of many of us. His visual art and sense of character brought a new combination of music, performance and imagery into mainstream culture."