"We all knew something was amiss," Midge Ure said
Credit: Georges DeKeerle/Getty

More than 30 years ago, David Bowie joined rock luminaries Sting, Bono, Phil Collins and many more for the now-classic holiday song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”

As news of Bowie’s death shocks the world Monday, Midge Ure, who wrote the 1984 hit with Bob Geldof, is speaking out about the legend’s impact on the world of music.

“I don’t think that you could go any further than David Bowie,” the Scottish musician and singer-songwriter said during an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I think if you spoke to any musician who has been around in the last 30, 40 years, we all have benchmarks that we try and emulate, we all have benchmarks that we put our feeble efforts next to and somewhere along the line you do think, ‘Well, what would David Bowie do here?’ Because he wasn’t just a brilliant songwriter and an amazing creator, he excelled at everything.

“He gave us the point to run towards, we are all still trying to run towards that, everyone. We are all swimming in his wake, so I don’t think you could top on creativity – and consistent creativity – I don’t think anyone could top David Bowie in the U.K. musical history.”

Bowie died Sunday at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” the forerunner to the Live Aid concert of 1985, was one of Bowie’s crowing achievements. Although he was unable to attend the original recording of the song, he sent a recorded message of support that appeared on the single’s B-side, and he performed at the Live Aid event, which raised funds for humanitarian efforts in Africa.

Speaking of Bowie’s illness, Midge, 62, continued, “I think people within the industry had heard rumors about cancer, we’d heard rumors about him not being well.

“We all knew something was amiss, but this is more than just turning on your phone in the morning or turning on the television and finding out that another celebrity has passed on. I’m standing here, my hands are shaking. I feel as though I’ve lost something – I’ve lost something incredibly important today.”