Wikipedia Reference Information
Homage is generally used in modern English to mean any public show of respect to someone to whom one feels indebted. In this sense, a reference within a creative work to someone who greatly influenced the artist would be an homage. It is typically used to denote a reference in a work of art or literature to another, at least somewhat widely known, work. See In-joke for a somewhat similar meaning.
The complete, up-to-date and editable article about Homage can be found at Wikipedia: Homage