David Bowie has paid tribute to SYD BARRETT following his death on Friday (07JUL06), citing the former Pink Floyd frontman as a "major inspiration" for his career. Barrett passed away following complications relating to diabetes at the age of 60, and the HEROES hitmaker is devastated by the loss of the psychedelic pioneer. He says, "I can't tell you how sad I feel. The few times I saw him perform in London at UFO and the Marquee clubs during the 1960s will forever be etched in my mind. "He was so charismatic and such a startlingly original songwriter. Also, along with Anthony Newley, he was the first guy I'd heard sing pop or rock with a British accent. "His impact on my thinking was enormous. A major regret is that I never got to know him. A diamond indeed." Barrett had lived a reclusive life since suffering a LSD-induced breakdown at the start of the band's fame in the 1960s. He left the band in 1968, just three years after bassist Roger Waters invited him to join, and was replaced as frontman by DAVID GILMOUR.