Elton pays emotional tribute to George Michael
Thursday, December 29 2016
Elton John paid an emotional tribute to George Michael on the first of a series of nights in Las Vegas on December 28, 2016.
He sang "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", a song he duetted on with George on a live version in 1991. Before he played the song - which Elton originally recorded in 1974 - he expressed his sadness at the news of the former Wham! star's death.
He said: "On Christmas Day, George Michael passed away. It was one of the saddest moments of my career because I'd known George more or less from the start of Wham! and got to know him very well; played with him, recorded with him, played at the last Wham! concert at Wembley Stadium. It was the most awful news because he was on the road back, supposedly, to good health."
Elton said his friend was "one of the kindest, sweetest, most generous people I've ever met. He gave so much money to so many great causes without telling anybody."
Elton to perform at George Michael funeral?
Wednesday, December 28 2016
The Daily star reports that Elton is planning a poignant version of their hit duet "Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me".
Showbiz insiders revealed that Elton has decided to pull out all the stops by mirroring his heartbreaking performance at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. He moved the country to tears when he sang "Candle In The Wind" in Westminster Abbey.
The insider said: “There will be so many mourners and friends. It will be the biggest funeral since George’s mate Di’s. Elton will sing as he did for Diana’s funeral as a final farewell.”
George, 53, was found dead in his bed on Christmas Day by his partner Fadi Fawaz. Mourners at his funeral are likely to include former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and pals like ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and former Spice Girl Geri Horner.
"Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me" reached number one in both the UK and the US when it was released in 1991. The lyrics will be especially poignant.
George, who attended Diana’s funeral with Elton, recalled the service had left him distraught. “I bawled my eyes out,” he said. “I had forgotten my hanky and I was really streaming. I remember thinking ‘God, this is going to be really embarrassing’.”
After learning of George’s death, Elton tweeted: “I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist.”
George’s publicist said: “We have been touched beyond words by the incredible outpouring of love for him in the hours and days since his death. Contrary to some reports, there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, and from the bottom of our hearts we thank those who, rightly, have chosen to celebrate his life and legacy at this most distressing of times.”
George Michael's death has left his close friend, Elton John, "deeply shocked".
The former Wham! singer died peacefully at his home aged just 53. Elton joined a host of stars to pay tribute to the Faith singer, describing him as a "generous soul and brilliant artist". He took to Instagram to mourn his friend in an emotional post.
Elton said: "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. "My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans."
Stars from the world of showbiz joined Elton to pay tribute to the "truly brilliant" George Michael. Pop stars from the former Wham! front man's heyday were joined by more contemporary names in declaring their sadness.
Martin Fry, lead singer and songwriter with "Look Of Love" band ABC, said on Twitter: "Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of @GeorgeMichael Truly brilliant talent £sad £sad £sad."
Contemporaries Duran Duran referenced the so-called "curse of 2016" - which has seen the deaths of rock and pop behemoths David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt, posted on their official Twitter account: "2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family."
This year's X Factor winner Matt Terry said: "Noooooooooooooooo! I cannot believe this !!!! RIP George Michael".
Matt Lucas, who worked with the singer during a sketch for BBC comedy Little Britain, said: "Well 2016, you had to just take one more, didn't you?"
Entrepreneur and television personality Duncan Bannatyne said: "George Michael has now been taken by the curse of 2016. Please make him the last. RIP."
While former Radio One disc jockey Tony Blackburn said: "Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP. This dreadful year goes on and on. So sad, a real talent."
Merry Christmas & a happy New Year 2017
Wednesday, December 21 2016
We would like to wish you, your families and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas season and all the best for a successful New Year ... and inform you about some changes coming in 2017.
Let's face it: Generally speaking 2016 has been a terrible year with the terror taking even more control of our lives than ever before. And that's just one of the many aspects which put it high on the list of "Craziest Years".
But it's times like these that make fans like us cling to their idol's music even more than normal to find comfort in quite familiar melodies, some of which we have lived with for decades. During the ending year there have been many chances for fans to find that comfort in Elton's music during one of his many live shows. And due to the release of his new album earlier this year, there was a chance to add some more melodies to the list of "comfort makers", which all can be enjoyed in wonderful crazy nights to come.
Throughout the year we asked you, the fans, which Elton songs you favor most in our "Wonderful Crazy Year" surveys. Many thanks again to Antti Honkasalo who has worked hard behind the scenes to make it happen.
We are very satisfied with the high number of survey answers that you have made - thank you for your great interest! Today, we'd like to tell you more about the future:
The results of the fourth quarter of surveys will be published on January 6, 2017. In the meantime, i.e. during the holiday season, all polls will stay open and you can still answer to the surveys that you haven't taken yet!
There is still a lot of material that we haven't touched yet though. And as the polls have been pretty popular, we will create three additional surveys. You'll be asked to give points for the rest of the recordings that we haven't yet included in our polls.
Week 1: Miscellaneous Songs (including Chartbusters Go Pop!; b-sides, outtakes and collaborations)
Week 2: Demos (including all Dick James Demos, Drake Sessions, Aida Demos, Billy Elliot Demos and Lestat Demos)
Week 3: Other Rarities (including the rest of the rare, unreleased songs - you can find all lyrics from eltonography.com!).
The first additional survey will open on January 8, 2017. So by the time of Elton's 70th birthday on March 25, 2017 we will have a pretty comprehensive overview of his fans' opinion regarding his many recordings.
That period, however, will also mark another change: After almost 30 years of running the fan club I have decided to call it a day. I want (need) to cut back for several reasons and that's why I will "fade out" my activities including eltonfan.net starting April 2017. The website will remain online - at least for a while - but there won't be any updates after Elton's 70th birthday celebrations are over.
But right now it is time again to thank you for your loyalty and support throughout the ending year. And I would like to wish you, your families and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas season and all the best for a successful New Year.
Elton performing on Tony Bennett 90th Birthday Special
Sunday, December 18 2016
Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, the star-studded TV special commemorating the legendary crooner's milestone birthday this year, airs December 20, 2016, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
The show features an impressive lineup of performers, including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Lady Gaga and, of course, Tony Bennett himself.
In addition, a variety of other celebrities make appearances on the program, among them Paul McCartney , Keith Richards , Robert De Niro , Dustin Hoffman , Oprah Winfrey , Bruce Willis , Garth Brooks , Don Rickles , John McEnroe and even Miss Piggy and Homer Simpson. The special, which is hosted by Alec Baldwin , also will include segments during which Bennett reflects on his life and career achievements, accompanied by photos and archival footage.
The performance segment of the show was taped in September 2016 at New York City's famous Radio City Music Hall. Bennett's actual 90th birthday was on August 3 of this year.
Meanwhile, a companion album to the special that features performances from the event was released on December 16, 2016. The 18-track Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 collection includes Elton singing his memorable hit "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," Wonder performing his tunes "Happy Birthday" and "Visions," and Joel teaming up with Bennett for a duet on Billy's classic "New York State of Mind." A deluxe expanded edition of the album featuring two extra discs with rare and unreleased live and studio performances by Tony is available exclusively at Amazon.
Introducing "Elton John: The Cut", Supported by YouTube
Monday, December 12 2016
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Elton and Bernie Taupin's songwriting partnership next year, Elton John: The Cut, supported by YouTube, is giving undiscovered creative talent from all over the world the chance to create official music videos for three iconic songs: "Rocket Man", "Tiny Dancer", and "Bennie And The Jets".
As these songs were released before the rise of the music video, this competition gives aspiring creators the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase these best-loved hits like never before.
Elton comments, "We're excited to partner with YouTube to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling. YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can't wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs."
To find out more about "Elton John: The Cut," supported by YouTube, and how to enter, please visit eltonjohn.com/thecut.
Elton John and band performed in Lisbon on December 11, 2016
Monday, December 12 2016
Fan report by Julio from Spain.
What a wonderful crazy night!
With a climate more typical of spring than of winter, Elton appeared in the MEO arena of Lisbon.
At 8:40pm Elton jumped on stage with "Funeral For A Friend". "Have Mercy On The Criminal" and "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", furthermore "Looking Up" and "A Good Heart" were some of the highlights, but I missed "Blue Wonderful" and "In The Name Of You".
Elton made a 10-minute song from "Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells" as a piano solo introduction to "Rocket Man", indicating that it was the last concert of the Wonderful Crazy Night Tour 2016. Elton and the band were in very good condition, he signed autographs and shoock hands, no trace of the flu.
In short, a wonderful night, in the heart of Portugal, at the MEO arena with incredible acoustics! Sir Elton, Portugal is waiting for you again!
Following is the complete set list of the Lisbon show on December 11, 2016:
Funeral For A Friend
Love Lies Bleeding
The Bitch Is Back
Bennie And The Jets
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
A Good Heart
Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells (Solo Piano)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Have Mercy On The Criminal
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Burn Down The Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
I’m Still Standing
Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock n’ Roll)
Elton’s Dubai concert postponed
Thursday, December 8 2016
Elton will now come to the UAE in 2017 as he’s been struck down with the flu.
Elton was meant to be performing in Dubai on December 15, 2016, but it’s just been announced that it has been postponed. The Rocket Man has been advised by his doctor to cancel the remainder of his tour dates due to a flu (and general fatigue).
The singer is said to want to give Middle East fans his best possible performance, so will now play at the Autism Rocks Arena on Friday January 20, 2017. Fans who already have tickets should retain their current tickets as they will be valid also for the new date, and people holding these will also receive a signed merchandise item from Elton John when attending the show.
For those who have tickets and can’t make it, a full refund will be available from the point of purchase (but will be subject to the terms & conditions of the ticket distributor). Promoter 117Live says people should give ticketing companies a few days to respond to enquiries on exact refund details.
“I am so looking forward to performing in Dubai with my band and want to assure my fans that giving me time to recover to my full strength and stamina will ensure the best and most memorable show on January 20th,” said Sir Elton. “Please accept my apologies and come enjoy the show next month!”
Elton hosts Radical Eye Dinner on World AIDS Day
Tuesday, December 6 2016
On World AIDS Day this year, Elton and David welcomed a host of fellow philanthropists and special guests, including Lady Gaga, David Walliams, Juergen Teller, James Blunt, will.i.am, Lottie Moss, Craig David, Sophie Ellis Bextor and many more to the Tanks of Tate Modern, London as they hosted a special ‘Radical Eye’ black tie dinner, private view and exclusive after hours’ party to mark World AIDS Day 2016.
The event was kindly sponsored by Bulgari. The evening began with an intimate private view of the highly lauded exhibition of Modernist photography from the Elton John Collection, ‘The Radical Eye’, before welcoming guests at a drinks reception and 3 course dinner.
The event was hosted by Tania Bryer and guests viewed a short film charting the progress achieved by the global anti-AIDS community over the last year and Elton’s leadership to continue the flow of funds towards the fight.
Elton said: “I was so thrilled and honoured to see two of my great passions come together in one night: the magic of photography and the humanity of the fight against AIDS. It was a special occasion.”
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and Elton John AIDS Foundation trustee also took to the stage, speaking of the critical role the Foundation plays in the global fight against AIDS, both for global advocacy and in the work they fund. Speaking at the event, Mark said: “The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s contribution to the fight against AIDS is extraordinary, and Elton and David’s advocacy is truly unique.”
The event raised nearly £1 million to support our vital programmes and £80,000 was committed to ‘We the Brave’, a transformational public awareness and de-stigmatisation campaign in South Africa helping LGBT and men who have sex with men. This group is up to 20 times more likely to be infected with HIV.
Following the dinner and private view, the event continued late into the night, with special guest Craig David taking to the decks at the after party to rapturous response. He performed hits including Rewind and Walking Away, alongside TS5 set including Justin Bieber and Whitney Houston tracks.
The world’s first ever global health day, initiated in 1988 – World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year to enable worldwide communities to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who lost their lives to the worldwide pandemic.
New Elton FAQ book in the works
Sunday, December 4 2016
Author Donald Gibson is looking for support from the fans:
My name is Donald Gibson, and I am the author of a forthcoming book, ‘Elton John FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Rocket Man,’ which is scheduled for publication in July 2017. Please check out the link here, which will give you an idea about what the book entails:
My publisher (Backbeat Books) and I are seeking original and/or rare photographs, shot by you, the fans—each pic must be at least 300dpi—for possible inclusion in the book. ‘Elton John FAQ’ is a low-budget labor of love and, as such, photographers cannot be monetarily compensated, but they will nevertheless receive proper accreditation (and retain copyright) for each respective photograph that ultimately appears in the book.
Should you wish to contribute any such photographs, I’d love to hear from you either here on Facebook or via email (my address is email@example.com).
Elton is not planning his retirement from the music business
Sunday, December 4 2016
Elton has denied he is planning to retire from music for more family time with partner David Furnish and sons Zachary and Elijah.
After a five-decade career spanning 300 million record sales, 3,000 concerts, five Grammys and an Oscar, it was alleged by a source close to the star that he was ready to call it day.
However, a spokesperson for Elton has since told Metro.co.uk plans for Elton’s retirement are simply ‘untrue’, which was accompanied by an Instagram message from the singer himself.
"Don’t believe what you read in the papers today. There is no truth to the rumours that I am planning to retire," he wrote. "In fact, I am looking forward to celebrating 50 years of collaborating with my partner-in-song, Bernie Taupin, next year."
"Elton has seen and done it all, and has nothing to prove,’ a source reportedly told The Daily Mail. According to the paper, Elton was originally planning to retire in 2018 but less than impressive album sales for "Wonderful Crazy Night" had influenced his decision to bring the date forward.
Elton John jokes he will ask to kiss Russian President Putin when they finally meet.
Elton has been trying to have a sit-down with Vladimir Putin for a very long time now. The singer and LGBT activist first pleaded for a diplomatic conversation with the Russian president in 2015 over the country’s poor gay rights record.
However, while diary clashes and prank calls prevented that from happening, Elton says he is still vying for the meeting and has joked what he might say when it actually happens. “I’m very hopeful it will happen but he is a busier man than I am,” Elton told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.
“What are you going to say to him?” Derbyshire asked.
“Give us a kiss,” r Elton replied before bursting out laughing.
Elton John: AIDS Stigma "our biggest obstacle'
Saturday, December 3 2016
"You don't know how much the progress that's been made is going to be reversed, so that is a scary thing," Elton warns. "We live in scary times."
Elton John and husband David Furnish spoke on December 1, 2016 – World AIDS Day – about their efforts to encourage HIV testing and the role HIV stigma and homophobia plays in fighting the disease. “It's our biggest obstacle, to be honest with you," Elton told the BBC.
Elton's comments regarding stigma came after Northern Ireland politician Sammy Wilson stated that the U.K. government spends too much money on AIDS research, while politician Trevor Clarke questioned whether heterosexuals could even get AIDS. "What planet are you on?" Elton wondered.
"We just got to get people tested," Elton said. "We've implemented a program at King's College Hospital in London where people can go into the hospital and just have a blood test, and they can have an HIV test at the same time. And most people who are doing it are willing to have that. Otherwise, they wouldn't have an HIV test."
Elton encouraged the U.K. government to support this new program from the Elton John Foundation as it would save them "millions and millions and millions of pounds every year." "If people have these tests, they'll be diagnosed, they'll be put on treatment, they won't spread the disease, and we'll know where we stand with the population," Elton said.
Elton and David also spoke about the role homophobia plays in fostering the spread of the disease. "Driving people underground is the worst thing you can do with this disease. Leaving people behind whether they're homosexual, intravenous drug users, prisoners or transgender is the wrong thing to do because the disease will never get cured," Elton said. "We have to embrace everybody."
Elton later expressed concern about what role President-elect Donald Trump would have on AIDS research and treatment, but declined to pass judgment before Trump took office. "You don't know how much the progress that's been made is going to be reversed, so that is a scary thing," Elton said. "We live in scary times."
"We've come so far, the end is in sight. If the governments of the world take their foot off the accelerator and stop funding, then we will never beat this disease," Elton warned. "It will just balloon again and become another catastrophe. It is a catastrophe; it will get worse like it was 20 years ago. So we need governments to keep their mandates about AIDS."
In response to the Irish politicians' aforementioned comments, British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement where she called HIV stigma "an unacceptable stain on our society. But for all the progress in treatment and prevention, public attitudes have not progressed as far or as fast," May said. "The latest UK HIV Stigma Index found that almost 1 in 5 respondents living with HIV in the UK have had suicidal thoughts in the past 12 months. While around half reported feelings such as shame, guilt and low self-esteem in relation to their HIV status. This stigma is an unacceptable stain on our society and we have to wipe it out. Stigma is not just profoundly wrong. It also prevents many of those affected from accessing the testing, treatment and support that they need."