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26th Jun 2023

Elton John pays tribute to George Michael at Glastonbury on late singer’s birthday

Steve Hopkins

‘This is for you, George’

Sir Elton John paid a moving tribute to his late friend George Michael on what would have been his 60th birthday, during his headline set at Glastonbury on Sunday.

Elton described his performance as “special and emotional” and kicked off his Pyramid Stage set at 9pm with, Pinball Wizard, in what is said to be the last time he will ever play in the UK.

The musician, dressed in a gold suit and red-tinted sunglasses, told the crowd, after singing The B***h Is Back: “I never thought I would ever play Glastonbury and here I am. 

“It’s a very special and emotional night for me because it might be my last show ever in England, so I had better play well and I had better entertain you, you’ve been standing there so long and I really appreciate all the outfits and everything.”

George, who died in December 2016, famously sang a live duet with Elton on Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, which rocketed to number one in the UK and the US in the early 90s.

Taking to the Pyramid Stage, where Guns N’ Roses and Arctic Monkeys played the following two evenings, Sir Elton took a moment to pay tribute to his late friend.

“Today would have been his 60th birthday, I want to dedicate this song to the memory, and all the music which he left us with which is so gorgeous,” he told the crowd, which some people have suggested is the biggest ever at the event.

“This is for you George,” Elton told the crowd before performing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

A version of the song recorded live as a duet between Elton and George reached number one in the UK in 1991. The pair also performed it together at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

Farewelling the crowd, Elton said: “I want to thank you all for dressing up in your costumes, your glasses and your outfits, it makes me feel so happy and so loved. “I also want to thank you for 52 years of amazing love and loyalty that you’ve shown me. It’s been an incredible journey. 

“I’ve had the best time, I will never forget you, you’re in my head and my heart and my soul, you’ve been amazing. 

“You’ve been an incredible crowd tonight. I wish you love and health and happiness.” 

He closed his set with a lengthy rendition of Rocketman which was met with rapturous applause.

Related links:

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