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The singer, accompanied by Nile Rodgers on guitar and Raphael Saadiq on bass, worked her way through “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “Suffragette City,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fashion,” “Fame,” Under Pressure” and “Let’s Dance” before closing with “Heroes.”
Gaga already honored Bowie, whom she’s said had a strong influence on her, with her red-carpet style, sporting flame-orange hair and glittery blue eye shadow reminiscent of Bowie’s look in his “Life on Mars” video.
Over the weekend, Gaga also got a Ziggy Stardust tattoo.
Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich told The New York Times that Gaga had been booked to perform at the Grammys prior to Bowie’s death but as the show’s plan for a tribute to the late musician came together, it made sense for Gaga to be the one to deliver the musical homage.
Ehrlich said the tribute would honor “who David was, particularly musically, but not ignoring his influence on fashion and pop culture in a broader way.”
After being introduced by Ed Sheeran, the tribute began with a close-up of Gaga, still sporting flame-orange hair and blue eyeshadow, as Bowie’s red face paint from his Aladdin Sane album cover and a crawling spider were projected onto her face.
For “Changes,” the camera panned out as Gaga walked to the center of the stage wearing a cape that she removed to reveal a white sequined jumpsuit, reminiscent of the gender-bending musician’s androgynous style.
She played keyboard on “Ziggy Stardust” and “Suffragette City,” as the keyboard moved around and was joined by dancers on “Fashion” and “Fame.”
Prior to Bowie’s death, Gaga talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his influence on her.
“When I fell in love with David Bowie, when I was living on the Lower East Side, I always felt that his glamour was something he was using to express a message to people that was very healing for their souls,” Gaga told THR‘s Scott Feinberg. “He is a true, true artist, and I don’t know if I ever went, ‘Oh, I’m going to be that way like this,’ or if I arrived upon it slowly, realizing it was my calling, and that’s what drew me to him.”
Gaga’s Bowie homage is just one of the Grammys‘ tributes, with members of The Eagles performing “Take it Easy” in honor of the late Glenn Frey, and Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr. performing B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix also did a quick tribute to Maurice White, performing “That’s the Way of the World” before presenting the song of the year award.
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