The 'American Idol' Finale's David Bowie Tribute Honored the Late, Great Legend


American Idol, the reality singing competition behemoth that essentially ushered in a new era of television, ended on Thursday night — but the series didn't go quietly. The series finale included a performance by Jennifer Lopez, a message from President Barack Obama, a special visit from former co-host Brian Dunkleman and the epic return of William Hung singing "She Bangs." 

But one of the most affecting performances from the finale episode was a medley of songs from the late, great David Bowie, who died in January, sung by American Idol alums and past winners Phillip Phillips, Lee DeWyze, David Cook, Kris Allen, and Nick Fradiani.

The five former Idol champions, armed with their guitars, sang a medley of classic Bowie songs, including "Starman," "Rebel Rebel," and "The Jean Genie" in their final appearances on the show, which ran for 15 seasons. The Bowie tribute was by no means the only emotional one of the night — at another point during the two-hour finale, former Idol contestants flooded the stage, clad in white and holding hands, to perform "One Voice." Tears all around, guys, it's been a great run.