Before Lorde took the stage to perform David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?,” Annie Lennox and Gary Oldman each paid tribute to the late rock legend during the Brit Awards’ presentation of their Icon Award. “For me, it’s almost impossible to mention Bowie’s name in the past tense. Everything he represented as an artist was, and always will be, vital and incredibly present,” Lennox said during the nine-minute tribute to Bowie. “The legacy of his extraordinary sound and vision will be loved and revered for as long as the earth still spins.”
Lennox then welcomed Bowie’s good friend Oldman to the stage to accept the award on the singer’s behalf. Oldman, who recently sang at a Los Angeles concert tribute to Bowie, reminisced about his time with the rocker, including one instance when he was with Bowie and an autograph seeker asked for Bowie’s autograph. He obliged, but signed his name “Gary Oldman.” “David was funny, hilariously so,” the actor said.
“Those closest to David lost a dear friend, and the world lost a man, an artist of transcendent talent,” Oldman said during his remembrance. “I can share with you that David faced his illness with enormous courage, dignity, grace and customary humor. Even in dire circumstances, when he wrote to tell me the bad news that he had cancer, he added ‘But the good news is, I’ve got my cheekbones back.’ He was the sweetest soul ever.” Oldman then introduced the Lorde performance.
Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who didn’t exactly applaud the Grammys’ Lady Gaga-led tribute to his father, approved of the Brits’ memorial. “Finally found the links to tonight’s Brits. Just … beautiful. Thank you,” Jones tweeted.