David Bowie has led the tributes to former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed, who died on Sunday aged 71.
David Bowie’s Facebook page said of his “old friend”, considered one of the most influential singers and songwriters in rock: “He was a master.”
Lou Reed’s second solo album Transformer, featuring Perfect Day and Walk on the Wild Side, was co-produced by David Bowie.
The singer’s literary agent said Lou Reed died of a “liver-related ailment”.
The last tweet posted on Lou Reed’s official Twitter account, hours before the news of his death, simply stated: “The Door”.
The tweet links through to a photograph of a door, with a poster of Lou Reed on it and the words “Papa Loves Baby” scrawled underneath.
Lou Reed’s former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale 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.”
Iggy Pop said it was “devastating news”.
An admitted hard drinker and drug user for many years, Lou Reed had a liver transplant this May after suffering liver failure.
“I am a triumph of modern medicine,” Lou Reed posted on his website on June 1st.
But his literary agent Andrew Wylie said the musician, who died at his home in Long Island, New York, on Sunday morning, had not been well “for a few months”.
Many musicians paid homage to the influence Lou Reed had on their own careers.
Nikki Sixx of heavy metal band Motley Crue tweeted: “RIP Lou Reed. Thank you for your beautiful/dark lyrics/music and stance on life. You inspired me from my teenage years right up till today.”
Cyndi Lauper added that she was grateful for “his music and the influence he had on my music”.
Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, said: “My intro to Lou Reed/Velvet Underground was Jane’s Addiction cover of ‘Rock n Roll’. He was a singular, unique talent. RIP Lou and thanks.”
Lou Reed’s individuality was also hailed by Paul Stanley of Kiss, who called him “a musician, artist and trailblazer who played by his own rules”.
The Velvet Underground became renowned for their fusion of art and music and for collaborating with Andy Warhol.
However, the Velvet Underground never achieved commercial success during their 1960s existence, but their influence on music in later decades was widely recognised.
The glam, punk and alternative rock movements of the 1970s, 80s and 90s were all indebted to Lou Reed, whose songs were covered by the likes of REM, Bowie, Nirvana, Patti Smith and countless others.
Music producer Brian Eno once summed up their influence by saying: “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”
The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Mia Farrow, whose career also began in the 1960s, simply said: “Deepest Gratitude Lou Reed. Peace. “
Whoopi Goldberg also paid tribute, saying: “The great & amazing Lou Reed has died my condolences 2 his wife Laurie Anderson. Lou was 1 of a kind & this colored girl still says dededede…”.
After quitting The Velvet Underground in 1970, Lou Reed released his self-titled debut in 1972, but it wasn’t until the Bowie-produced LP Transformer later that year that he achieved chart success.
Perfect Day enjoyed a revival in 1996 when it was featured in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting.
As a solo artist, Lou Reed released 20 studio albums. His last, Hudson River Wind Meditations, was released in 2007.
Lou Reed is survived by his second wife, the musician and performing artist Laurie Anderson.
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