(Reuters)

The first reaction to news of David Bowie's death was disbelief.

The reclusive rock god had been reported dead before. In the first minutes after his official Facebook page reported that Bowie had "died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," there was hope among his fans that this time, too, the news would prove erroneous. Some suggested that the Facebook page had been hacked.

But then came the confirmation from Bowie's son, Duncan Jones:

And from there, the tributes began to pour in -- an eclectic range that reflected the enormous scope of the artist himself. Politicians, singers, actors, fellow mega-stars and regular fans all weighed in with words of grief and appreciation.

Many people on social media shared this gif created by British illustrator Helen Green, who tweeted: "I'm shaking so much, this news isn't processing at all."

Fittingly, there was a tribute from British astronaut Tim Peake, currently on board the International Space Station:

And the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who famously sang Bowie’s 1969 hit “Space Oddity” while in space, tweeted this moving tribute: “Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman.”

David Bowie was born January 8, 1947 in Brixton, a close-knit, vibrant area of south London that was fiercely proud of the innovative musician. Some locals use an alternative currency in local shops known as the "Brixton pound." One of the notes features an image of the pop singer.  

On Monday, a throng of journalists and fans gathered outside of a mural of Bowie in Brixton, including Amy Dickford, a 21-year-old chef from Australia. 

Her dad was obsessed with Bowie, she said, and it rubbed off on his kids.

"Back then, it was a straightforward era and he then came out, guns blazing. He made it free to be yourself," she said, struggling to hold back the tears.

Nearby, more fans gathered outside the house where Bowie lived as a young boy. 

"It feels like part of your youth dying," said David Hale, a 55-year-old Londoner who said that Bowie was the "principle reason" he became a musician. “It’s one of those days, like when John Lennon or JFK died," he said.

On Bowie's Facebook page, there were 28,076 comments within the first two hours. Many were like this one from a man named Robert Montalbano:

"He will live on in the vibrations he created between the treble and bass in frequencies that will be played for millennia."