Katy Perry and Kumail Nanjiani lead Stephen Hawking tributes

Alicia Vrajlal

Singer Katy Perry and actor Kumail Nanjiani lead a string of celebrity tributes that have flowed in following the tragic death of British physicist Stephen Hawking.

"There’s a big black hole in my heart hours before Pi day. Rest In Peace @Steven_Hawking... See you in the next (sic)," Katy wrote on her Twitter account on Wednesday, just after it had been confirmed that Hawking died after complications due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease.

The Big Sick star Kumail said he was 'genuinely very sad' upon hearing about the icon's death.

Celebrities have paid tribute to Stephen Hawking following his tragic death. Source: Getty

"RIP Stephen Hawking. Genuinely very sad to hear that. If you haven’t, read A Brief History of Time. It’ll make the world feel more amazing and beautiful and strange. It’ll also make you feel smart and stupid all at once," he tweeted.

Hawking appeared on CBS show The Big Bang Theory back in 20112.

The program's official Twitter account shared a photo of him with the cast from his time on set, along with a beautiful message, "In loving memory of Stephen Hawking. It was an honor to have him on The #BigBangTheory. Thank you for inspiring us and the world".

Katy Perry was one of the first musicians to pay tribute to Hawking on social media. Source: Twitter/katyperry

On Wednesday it was announced that Hawking had passed away.

Professor Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

Movie stars Kumail Nanjiani and Emmy Rossum also shared messages. Source: Getty

"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.

"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.

"He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever."

Eddie Redmayne who played the physicist in The Theory of Everything in 2014 also expressed his condolences at the passing of Hawking in a statement to Be.

Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Hawking are here together at the 2015 BAFTAs. Source: Getty

“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet," he said. "My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

The actor won an Oscar for playing the role of Stephen Hawking in the acclaimed movie.

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