While Adele may have won countless awards, Rihanna twerked on Drake, and James Bay wore that stupid hat, the Brits 2016 won’t be remembered for any of that.
No, it was actor Gary Oldman who stole the show, giving an emotional and passionate speech about his late friend David Bowie, who was honoured with the icon award.
Annie Lennox introduced the segment, describing how difficult it still is to talk about Bowie in the past tense. She then passed the stage to Oldman. Watch below, and read the actor’s full speech below.
“We are coming to terms with the magnitude of David’s passing. The Jones family lost a husband and a father. Those closest to David lost a dear friend and the world lost a man, an artist of transcendent talent.
As Annie so gracefully said, David’s contribution, his influence on popular music, on culture itself has no equal, he was the very definition, he was the living embodiment of that singular word icon. I am so deeply touched and honoured to be hear tonight to accept this award for David and his family.
“In recent years David sparingly spoke about music and his process; but in one of these rare instances, he graciously and elegantly 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 communications when I have wanted to touch people. It has been both my doorway of perception and the house that I live in.'
“Over his career, David challenged and changed our understanding of the medium, whether in music or in life, he emphasised originality, experimentation, exploration, and in his very unique way, he also reminded us to never take ourselves too seriously.
“David was funny. He was funny, hilariously so, and the laughs were many and massive, and I shall miss them. A related story, a few years ago we were standing on a street corner and he was approached by this big fella, rocker type, long hair, leather clad, and he offered up this piece of paper for David’s autograph.
“David signed the piece of paper, and as the fella walked away he turned to me and said ‘Well, he’s going to be disappointed.’ I said ‘Why?’ and he said ‘Because I signed it Gary Oldman’. His outlook was always positive, and I never once heard him complain.
“David faced his illness with enormous courage, dignity, grace and customary humour. Even in dire circumstances. When he wrote to tell me the bad new that he had cancer, he added, ‘the good news is I have my cheekbones back.’”
“He was the sweetest soul ever, with the best cheekbones, until it was done. David, you were mortal, but your potential was superhuman, and your remarkable music is living on. We love you, and we thank you.”
David Bowie: Life in pictures
David Bowie: Life in pictures
David Bowie in 1960s
Davy Jones; life before David Bowie
David Bowie in 1964
David Bowie 'In Mime' at the Middle Earth Club, London, 1968
David Bowie in 1969
David Bowie performing his final concert as Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1973
David Bowie in 1973
David Bowie, with his wife Angela (Angie) and his son Zowie, after receiving an award for his latest record "Ziggy stardust" in Amsterdam, 1974
David Bowie in the 1970s
David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, confirmed his death on Twitter
David Bowie in the 1980s
David Bowie gives a press conference presenting the Japanese movie 'Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' directed by Nagisa Oshima, during the 36th International Film Festival in Cannes, 1983
David Bowie performs on stage during a concert in La Courneuve, 1987
David Bowie during his concert in West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, 1987
David Bowie shakes hands with Princess Diana, 1993
David Bowie autographs copies of his newest album 'Outside' at the grand opening of a Herald Square music store 26 September 1995 in New York
David Bowie performs at the Panathinaikos stadium in Athens during a rock festival, 1996
David Bowie and his wife, supermodel Iman smile as they pose for photos after Bowie received a star on the world famous Walk of Fame 12 February in Hollywood, 1997
David Bowie getting ready to perform 'Earthling' at the Phoenix Music Festival in 1997
David Bowie on stage performing during the Tibet House Benefit Concert in New York City, 2001
David Bowie Meltdown concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, June 2002
David Bowie performing during his concert at the Stravinski hall stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, 2002
David Bowie in 'Last Call with Carson Daly' TV programme taping in New York, 2003
David Bowie walks with his with wife Iman and daughter Alexandria (2) in New York, 2003
David Bowie performs on stage on the third and final day of 'The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004' at Seaclose Park, in Newport, UK
David Bowie poses with a pig, 2004
David Bowie and Kate Moss at the 2005 CFDA Awards dinner party at the New York Public Library in New York City, 2005
David Bowie and model Iman arrive to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, 2008
David Bowie anf Tilda Swinton at the MoMA's 6th Annual Film Benefit in New York, 2013
Flowers are left below a mural of David Bowie on the wall of a Morley's store in Brixton on 11 January 2016
Oldman then introduced Lorde on stage, adding that Bowie himself said she was ‘the future of music’. Watch the full performance here.Reuse content