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Lady Gaga honors Alexander McQueen at Brits; hanging confirmed as cause of designer's death

February 17, 2010 |  9:35 am

Gaga brit Lady Gaga changed up her performance Tuesday night at the Brit Awards in the wake of her friend Alexander McQueen's death, which on Wednesday was confirmed by British officials to have been by asphyxiation and hanging.

The designer, known to friends as Lee, died Thursday, the day before his mother's funeral. A note was left behind, but no formal ruling on suicide will be made until the inquest is final; the next meeting is April 28. 

Gaga had originally planned a big-time production number -- according to the Daily Mail, she "was to arrive onstage in a wreck of a car, packed with musical instruments, to perform a medley of her biggest hits, including 'Poker Face.'"

But the McQueen's death changed all that -- she was by some accounts an unofficial muse to the designer, and to honor his memory she toned it down and performed an acoustic version of "Telephone" instead, rolling halfway into a more uptempo "Dance in the Dark," an album track with lyrics that include references to famous deaths:

Mcqueen Marilyn, Judy, Sylvia, tell em’ how you feel girls!
Work your blond Benet Ramsey
We’ll haunt like Liberace
Find your freedom in the music
Find your Jesus
Find your Kubrick
You will never fall apart
Diana, you’re still in our hearts
Never let you fall apart
Together we’ll dance in the dark

On Friday, after the designer was found dead, Gaga posted a picture on Twitter of him and her in a tight embrace.

Her red-carpet arrival at the awards had been calm but crowd-pleasing, and then she took home a trio of awards, including international breakthrough act, international female and international album. She said she was most proud of the latter, because of the amount of work that had gone into it. The Brit Awards are the UK equivalent of the Grammys.

Lady Gaga also thanked McQueen when she accepted the first award.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Lady Gaga, top left, arrives at the 2010 Brit Awards in London on Tuesday. Alexander McQueen, right, after winning the International Award at the 2003 Council of Fashion Design Awards held in New York. Credits: Alastair Grant / Associated Press, top; Stuart Ramson / Associated Press. 

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Celebs, designers react to Alexander McQueen's death

Lady Gaga 'Telephone' watch: New stills from video featuring Beyonce

Nonstop Lady Gaga: 'X Factor,' the Grammys, a girdle gaffe -- and the head of Kermit the Frog

Racy Miley Cyrus royally outdoes Lady Gaga in front of the queen (Hide your eyes, your majesty!) [POLL]

Can you handle it? Beyonce and Lady Gaga's 'Video Phone'

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