The legendary physicist was 76.

By Hayden Wright

Last night, a Stephen Hawking family spokesman confirmed that the legendary physicist had died. He was 76.

Related: Stephen Hawking Has a Scientific Solution For Those Still Coping With Zayn Malik Leaving One Direction

His bestselling books (including A Brief History Of Time) set him apart as one of the world’s most recognizable scientists and the foremost icon in his field.

Hawking’s work also inspired art and music throughout his lifetime. His distinctive electronic voice appeared on a Pink Floyd record and he guest-starred on episodes of The Simpsons. As the news broke overnight, musicians and artists reacted with tributes to Hawking’s wit, wisdom and determination in the face of adversity.

Nile Rodgers (who had met Hawking) called the professor a “genius” and wrote, “Condolences to your family who are super cool. Hanging with you was one of the greatest honors in my life. Your sense of humor was amazing even though I had to wait for the punch lines.”

Katy Perry, Lauren Jauregui, and the cast of The Big Bang Theory (on which he also appeared) sent condolences as well.

See the tributes to Hawking below.

Remembering Stephen. RIP. Bri

A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal) on


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