Musicians and fans were quick to react to news of Lou Reed’s death on Sunday, reflecting the widespread influence of the Velvet Underground founder.

PHOTOS: Lou Reed 1942-2013

Reed rarely achieved mainstream success during his long career but his influence on rock bands and other artists — from David Bowie to R.E.M. to Nirvana and beyond — that came after the Velvet Underground is hard to overstate.

The outpouring of sentiment on Twitter from actors, writers, directors, comedians and others outside of the music realm underscores the impact of Reed’s oeuvre, first with the Andy Warhol-associated Velvet Underground and during his long solo career.

During their mid-1960s-early 1970s run, the Velvet Underground’s record sales could be measured in the thousands. But a rock pundit once wisely observed that everyone who ever heard one of their albums went out and started a band.