You can now add Lorde to the laundry list of eminent musicians that have memorialized David Bowie. At the 2016 BRIT Awards, Britain’s annual pop music award ceremony, the New Zealander contributed an impressive cover of Bowie’s “Life on Mars.”
After emotional tribute speeches from Annie Lennox and Gary Oldman, Bowie’s most recent touring band took the stage—which had a conspicuously unoccupied microphone stand—and played a medley of Bowie tracks that included “Space Oddity,” “Ziggy Stardust,” and several others.
As the band transitioned from “Heroes” to “Life on Mars,” Lorde walked onto the stage and helmed the open mic. With her smoky, brooding voice, the singer did justice to the Bowie classic, capping a sentimental tribute.
The performance was less flashy than Lady Gaga’s Grammy tribute. Rather than highlight Bowie’s noted flamboyance, Lorde opted to feature the late musician’s emotional depth. The singer may have been channeling the intimate connection she felt when she met Bowie in 2013.
In January, Lorde recalled the meeting in a Facebook post. “I’ve never met a hero of mine and liked it. It just sucks, the pressure is too huge, you can’t enjoy it,” she wrote. “David was different. I’ll never forget the caressing of our hands as we spoke, or the light in his eyes.”
So many have testified to Bowie’s ineffable effect on people, and perhaps that’s the reason that, even now almost two months after his death, our news feeds are still filled with tributes to Bowie. Everyone wants to commemorate the man that they felt so strongly, even if they felt it just for a moment.
Let us know how you think the Lorde performance compares to other Bowie tributes.
IMAGE: Republic Records