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Mercury Prize awards celebrate David Bowie - but Bromley legend fails to win first posthumous award

PUBLISHED: 09:46 16 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:51 16 September 2016

David Bowie, died following an 18-month battle with cancer. Yui Mok/PA Wire

David Bowie, died following an 18-month battle with cancer. Yui Mok/PA Wire

The music icon - who lived in Bromley and Maidstone - lost out to Skepta

The musical influence of David Bowie was celebrated last night (Thursday) at the first Mercury Prize awards since his death eight months ago.

Bowie, who died of cancer two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album Blackstar, was the bookies’ favourite to win the Mercury Prize.

The former Beckenham, Bromley and Maidstone resident became the first posthumous nominee of the awards, which were hosted at the Eventim Apollo.

But ultimately the starman was beaten to the prize by grime artist Skepta.

During the ceremony, Dexter star Michael C Hall performed a moving rendition of Bowie’s Lazarus, off his final album.

Hall is set to appear in the Lazarus theatre production which opens in London next month.

He said: “I have just so much gratitude to be asked to do this.

“It’s an amazing room, an amazing city to be in, considering it’s where he came from, the space where he did his final Ziggy Stardust performance.”

In his early career, Bowie penned the lyrics to Life on Mars while sitting on the steps of a bandstand in Croydon Road recreation ground in Beckenham.

It was here he would play Space Oddity at a free festival in 1969 - a performance he immortalised through the song Memory of a Free Festival.

Fellow prize nominees paid tribute to to the superstar, whose career spanned six decades.

Winner Skepta shouted “rest in peace David Bowie” after he collected his award.

Grime artist and actor Kano said: “Someone like him has achieved so much and done so much for music.

“Everyone else in this category can only aspire to do half as much as he did you know.”

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