David Bowie was posthumously honored at this year’s Brit Awards. His longtime friend Gary Oldman accepted on Bowie’s behalf, and he shared several intimate recollections from the musician’s final months of life, including Bowie’s own words on his relationship with music.
“In recent years David sparingly spoke about music and his process; but in one of these rare instances, he graciously and elegantly expounded,” Oldman said before recounting Bowie’s own words. ”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 sublime means of communications when I have wanted to touch people. It has been 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 life, he emphasized originality, experimentation, exploration, and in his very unique way, he also reminded us to never take ourselves too seriously,” Oldman added.
“David faced his illness with dignity, grace and his customary humor, even in dire circumstances. When he wrote to tell me he had cancer, he added, ‘the good news is I have my cheekbones back.'”
Watch Oldman’s full speech, along with a tribute from Annie Lennox, below. At the conclusion of his speech, Oldman introduced a surprise tribute performance sung by Lorde, which you can watch here.