Five ways the Brit Awards 2016 trumped the Grammys in their David Bowie tribute

Brits do it better

Five ways the Brit Awards 2016 trumped the Grammys in their David Bowie tribute
The Brit Awards 2016 called on the likes of Annie Lennox, Gary Oldman and Lorde for their understated tribute to David Bowie — even attaining a nod of approval from Bowie's own son

1. Annie Lennox's start to the emotional tribute

Accepting David Bowie's posthumus Brit Icon award on his behalf, Annie Lennox delivered a poignant speech, which marked the start of heartfelt tributes to come. "For me, it's almost impossible to mention Bowie's name in the past tense," she said. "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."

Annie Lennox at Brit Awards

2. Gary Oldman shared some heartwarming anecdotes of his friendship with Bowie.

Also accepting the award on behalf of Bowie is actor Gary Oldman, his dear friend who starred in the late singer's The Next Day music video in 2013. Recalling Bowie's witty and positive spirit throughout his ordeal, Oldman shared that when he was told of the sickness, Bowie added, "The good news is, I got my cheekbones back."

"The world lost a man, an artist of transcendent talent," continued the actor. "He was the very definition of that singular word: Icon. Over his career, David challenged and changed our understanding of the medium — whether in music or in life, he emphasized originality, experimentation, exploration, and in his very unique way, he also reminded us to never take ourselves too seriously," shared Oldman. "I can share with you that David faced his illness with enormous courage, dignity, grace and customary humour."

Gary Oldman

3. Bowie's very own band was there to perform.

I mean, who else would you rather have? Starting the music component of the tribute was Bowie's backing band from his last tour in 2003, comprising of bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, pianist Mike Garson, drummer Sterling Campbell, keyboardist Catherine Russell and guitarists Earl Slick and Gerry Leonard. Starting with the opening lines of Space Oddity, the band progressed to a medley of Bowie's work as footage from music videos was projected: Space Oddity, Rebel Rebel, Let's Dance, Ashes to Ashes, Ziggy Stardust, Fame, Under Pressure, Heroes and finally, a segue to Lorde's performance of Life on Mars.

Gary Oldman band

4. Lorde gave a respectful, understated tribute with just one song: Life on Mars.

One week after Lady Gaga paid tribute to Bowie at the Grammys, the Brits called on Lorde to take over the reins on giving the performance a fitting voice. Oldman had already set the stage for the Kiwi to take over, introducing her as "the future of music". Unlike Lady Gaga's mess of a medley, Lorde chose to only cover one song: Life on Mars, a classic from his 1971 record Hunky Dory. Bathed in the glow of red light and coupled with the lack of theatrics, it was an understated way to celebrate the icon. While it wasn't perfect, it was respectful.

Lorde in David Bowie

5. More importantly, it got the approval of Duncan Jones.

Hours after the Brit Awards ended, Duncan Jones, David Bowie's only son took to Twitter to express his gratitude to the performances. While he was, once again, cryptic about what exactly he was thankful for, it undoubtedly pointed to the Bowie tribute.

It was definitely a step above what he insinuated with his tweet after Lady Gaga's performance:

Watch the full video below.

Text: Adibah Isa

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