The BRIT Awards 2016 Icon Award - David Bowie

Introduction Speech by Annie Lennox

"On the 10th of January this year, the world was stunned and shaken by the news that David Bowie had suddenly passed away.

I suspect everyone is still trying to process this sadly unexpected event...

Even if they didn't know him personally - many people must feel as if things will never be quite the same again.

He had that special kind of significance.

For me, it's almost impossible 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.

David Bowie is deeply imbedded in the heart of British culture, as a fixture within our collective inner psyche, influencing every decade from the moment he first appeared on the airwaves with 'Space Oddity' in 1969, right up to the present day.

Like the miraculous moon landing that inspired the song, he drew us away from our suburban lives, expanding our horizons - turning everything on its head into gloriously subversive technicolor.

As an innovative writer, performer and rock star... there was no one and nothing else like him. He was truly unique.

A quintessential visionary, pushing the limits of his shape shifting persona.

The ultimate iconoclast - gracious, dangerous and legendary...

The legacy of his extraordinary sound and vision will be loved and revered for as long as the earth still spins.

The BRITs Icon Award is only presented to unparalleled artists - whose writing, recording and performance set them apart as having made a lasting impact on the nation's culture, recognising the very highest level of British music achievement."

"To accept the award, I'd now like to invite David's dear friend Gary Oldman to the stage..."

© Annie Lennox.
24th February 2016.