Fans pay tribute to music legend David Bowie outside his NYC apartment

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SOHO, Manhattan — Flowers, candles and notes were piled high outside David Bowie's New York City apartment Monday.

As word spread of his death, fans lined up along the SoHo sidewalk to pay tribute.

"I was a huge fan of Bowie and I was listening to his album all weekend and I was so excited. And then woke up and I was like in tears. I haven't cried in years, really shocked," Ben Copperwheat said.

Bowie released his last album "Blackstar" on Friday — his 69th birthday. Bowie lost his secret battle with cancer on Sunday, according to his publicist. He died peacefully and was surrounded by family.

Fan Nikki Sinclaire said growing up in Bowie's hometown of Brixton, England was hard because she was transgender and gay. But Bowie showed being different was cool.

"Bowie made such a difference. Can you imagine how dark it would would have been without him?" Sinclaire said.

The music icon, born as David Jones, was an inspiration to fans for more than 40 years. He was known as the master of reinvention.

"Long before Madonna and really long before anyone else, he invented recreating himself in a different persona every couple of years or so," Larry Miller, a music producer and professor at NYU's Steinhardt school told PIX11 News.

Miller said David Bowie's music has stood the test of time and will continue to impact the music industry for years later.

Bowie's Off-Broadway musical, "Lazarus," is playing in the East Village. It closes this month. Fans also left flowers there. It is based on "The Man Who Fell to Earth." Bowie was the star of 1976 movie adaptation and he co-wrote the musical.

Bowie is survived by his supermodel wife Iman, their daughter and his son Duncan Jones. Jones tweeted, "Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all."

Bowie was nominated for 14 Grammy Awards. He won twice, including a Lifetime Achievement Award.