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Annie Lennox hit the stage of London’s O2 Arena to share a few words: “The world was stunned and shaken by the news that David Bowie had suddenly passed away. I suspect that everyone is still trying to process this sadly unexpected event. Even if they didn’t know him personally, people must feel as if things will never be quite the same again. He had that special kind of significance.
“For me, it’s impossible for me to mention Bowie’s name in the past tense. Everything he represented as an artist was and always will be vital and incredibly present. As a cutting-edge artistic genius, he continues to live on through his music,” she continued. “There was no one and nothing else like him. He was truly unique. The legacy of his extraordinary sound and vision will be loved and revered for as long as the earth still spins.”
Gary Oldman accepted the Icon Award on behalf of the late musician and his family. “He was the very definition, the living embodiment of that single word: icon,” he said. “In recent years, David rarely spoke about music and his process. But in one of these rare instances, he graciously and eloquently expounded: ‘Music has given me over 40 years of extraordinary experiences. I can’t say that life’s pains or more tragic episodes have been diminished because of it, but it has allowed me so many moments of companionship when I have been lonely, and a sublime means of communication when I have wanted to touch people. It has been both my doorway of perception and the house that I live in.'”
“He was the very definition, the living embodiment of that singular word; icon.” — Gary Oldman https://t.co/R8sYJ25ffy
— BRIT Awards (@brits) February 24, 2016
Bowie’s good friend continued to share a few anecdotes about the musician’s “massive” laughter and “positive” outlook, as well as a time when he signed an autograph as Oldman.
“I can share with you that he faced his illness with tremendous courage, dignity, grace and customary humor, even in dire circumstances,” the actor revealed, adding that Bowie joked of getting cancer, “‘I got my cheekbones back.’ He was the sweetest soul ever, with the best cheekbones, until it was done.”
Oldman passionately concluded: “David, you were mortal, but your potential was superhuman and your remarkable music is living on. We love you and we thank you.”
Afterward, Bowie’s longtime band performed a medley of his hits as a slideshow of the musician aired on the big screen. Lorde then took the stage to sing the classic “Life on Mars?”
The awards show — the U.K.’s equivalent of the Grammys — also featured performances by Adele, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, The Weeknd, Rihanna and more.
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