Lady Gaga makes psychedelic Grammy tribute to kindred spirit David Bowie

Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:26pm EST
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lady Gaga paid psychedelic tribute on the Grammys stage on Monday to the late British rock visionary David Bowie with a multimedia song-and-dance performance that sought to capture the boundary-pushing essence of a kindred pop music spirit.

Bowie, a forerunner of Gaga's brand of provocative, gender-bending performance imagery, died of cancer at age 69 on Jan. 10, just two days after the release of what became his critically acclaimed final studio album, "Blackstar."

Gaga, 29, a six-time Grammy laureate who, like Bowie, is known for frequent self-reinvention, arrived on the red carpet dressed in an outfit that channeled Bowie's signature androgynous look, sporting a bright, blue embellished jacket-dress and bright orange hair.

On stage she charted Bowie's half-century career with a medley touching on 10 of his hits - "Space Oddity," "Changes," "Ziggy Stardust," "Suffragette City," "Rebel Rebel," "Fashion," "Fame," "Under Pressure," "Let's Dance" and "Heroes."

The song-dance number was punctuated by a torrent of flashing multi-colored lights and images projected on a large screen behind her, including a closeup of her face adorned in Aladdin Sane makeup - a nod to one of Bowie's personas - with a spider crawling over her nose.

Bowie's work also garnered posthumous Grammy award recognition on Monday as a new version of his composition "Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)," re-recorded for his 26th and final studio album, "Blackstar," earned the prize for best arrangement for instrument and vocals.

That Grammy went to big-band orchestra leader and composer Maria Schneider, who said she had no idea at the time she was collaborating with Bowie on what would be his final project.

“It was the greatest privilege to work with David Bowie and to experience his creativity,” she told reporters backstage.   Continued...

Lady Gaga is tied with a rope as she performs a medley of songs as a tribute to the late David Bowie. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni