David Bowie always had his finger on the pulse and could smell where the future was headed for everyone. Before his death, he made a prediction about who would be the next music star, and again Bowie showed his mystical touch.
Frankly, some eyebrows were raised when the organizers announced that Lorde would lead the tribute to Bowie at the Brit Awards in 2016. However, the singer would prove her doubters wrong with a prodigious rendition of ‘Life On Mars’. That evening, the group was made up of close associates who had stood by “The Starman” throughout his career, including keyboardist Mike Garson, whom Bowie had confided in when he revealed his love for Lorde.
At the time, Lorde was only 19, with only one full-length album to her name. The week before her performance, Lady Gaga had delivered a jaw-dropping David Bowie mega mix at the Grammys, and people expected the New Zealander to follow suit. Luckily she blew the roof off the O2 Arena and Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, raved about the justice she did to his father’s work. He tweeted, “Just… beautiful. thank you” right after.
It later emerged that the Brit Awards had consulted Bowie’s relatives in planning the tribute, and they suggested that Lorde would be an ideal match. Unlike the Grammys, which decided to bag the biggest name achievable, they went with someone the late singer said was “the music of the future.”
After the event, Garson went to Periscope and told fans, “David really loved Lorde, and he felt like she was the future of music, and they had some great moments together.”
He continued: “She was the perfect choice. Some of David’s relatives and David’s management had some suggestions that she would be the right one. They wanted to bring in the next generation.”
The evening also left a deep impression on Lorde. When she accepted the invitation to appear at the ceremony, she was halfway through the recording of her second album, Melodrama, and Bowie then unwittingly became a shining influence on the record.
“I feel like all the time I’ve spent writing this record I’ve had it [David Bowie] in my mind I had him in my heart,” Lorde told Radio 1 in 2017. “It’s hard not to make something and not think, ‘What would David think of this? If I could play it for him, what would he say?’” she added.
In the years since Bowie’s death, Lorde has continued to fulfill his career prophecy, while establishing herself as one of the world’s foremost pop stars. Like ‘The Starman’, she has achieved this feat on her own terms, expressing unshakable originality at every step.
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