Sir Elton John paid tribute to the ‘inspirational’ musicians he has collaborated with throughout his long career and welcomed the surprise appearance of Dua Lipa on her latest US tour.
Pyrotechnics, spectacular visual effects, fireworks and a confetti cannon were all featured in the musical megastar’s performance at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, which concluded his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour of North America.
Wearing a bejeweled jacket with wide glittering lapels, the 75-year-old singer told the crowd they were “making history with the first global live stream” and warned it was going to be “a very exciting night”.
It also marked his first return to the venue in nearly fifty years, having last performed there in 1975.
He opened the show with the songs Bennie And The Jets and Philadelphia Freedom, before bombarding fans with a flurry of hits including Tiny Dancer, Rocketman and I’m Still Standing.
In tribute to the “enduring genius and legacy” of Aretha Franklin, Sir Elton performed Border Song, telling the stadium that the Queen of Soul’s cover of the song had helped launch her career in the United States.
He described meeting and performing with Franklin shortly before he died in 2018, saying it was a “surreal experience” and added that all the musicians he had played with “inspired” him to “play better.”
In addition to British superstar Dua Lipa, he also brought US singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and British singer Kiki Dee on stage to duet with him.
“I wish you love and prosperity”
He and Carlile duet on Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, which Sir Elton dedicated to the last members of his band.
Dee performed her 1974 chart-topping song Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, on which the pair duetted in 1976.
The main set ended with Sir Elton John singing the hit Saturday Night’s Alright, but moments after leaving the stage he returned for an encore.
Wearing a sparkly Dodgers-themed robe, reminiscent of the gown she wore to her 1975 stadium show, she invited Lipa onstage to sing a version of their song Cold Heart.
Sir Elton said she was ending her touring life to spend more time with her family, before taking her husband, David Furnish, and her two sons, 11-year-old Zachary and nine-year-old Elijah for more applause.
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“I wish you love and prosperity,” she said as she began her latest song, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
Following his Los Angeles shows, Sir Elton will visit Australia and New Zealand before embarking on European tour dates.
The ride will conclude with two special concerts at Vicarage Road, home of Watford Football Club, of which Sir Elton became chairman in 1976, in July.