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Sir Elton John departs UK stage with hits-filled Glastonbury set

Sir Elton John departs UK stage with hits-filled Glastonbury set

The star, 76, performed his first and last show at Worthy Farm, dressed in a gold suit for a two-hour set that included crowd pleasers such as Rocketman, Tiny Dancer, Your Song and I’m Still Standing.

The show was billed as his final UK gig before he retires from touring at the end of his Farwell Yellow Brick Road tour.

He also surprised the crowd with unexpected musical guests, putting paid to rumours of big names and famous collaborators.

He opened the show with Pinball Wizard, taking a seat at the piano as fireworks went off.

After performing The Bitch Is Back, Sir Elton told the crowd: “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.”

He then launched into renditions of Benny And The Jets, Daniel, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.

After travelling the globe on his marathon tour over the past few years, Sir Elton said Glastonbury would be a “fitting way” to say goodbye to his British fans.

Glastonbury Festival 2023
Sir Elton John performing on the Pyramid Stage (Yui Mok/PA)

Instead of collaborators such as Dua Lipa and Britney Spears, Sir Elton was joined by friends and musicians he admires, starting with Jacob Lusk of Gabriels, who joined him for Are You Ready For Love?

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He was joined by US singer Stephen Sanchez to perform Sanchez’s song Until I Found You, while The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers came out for Tiny Dancer.

His final guest was Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama, who performed Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

Sir Elton paid tribute to a collaborator who could not join him on stage as he launched into Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, saying: “This is a very special day today, I wondered how I was going to approach it.

“One of Britain’s most fantastic singers and songwriters was George Michael.

“He was my friend, he was an inspiration, and today would have been his 60th birthday, so I want to dedicate this song to his memory.

“All the music he left us with is so gorgeous. This is for you George.”

Glastonbury Festival 2023
Fireworks light up the sky as Sir Elton John performs (Yui Mok/PA)

Michael, who duetted with Sir Elton on the track, died in 2016.

Sir Elton closed the show with Rocketman, the song that lent its name to his biopic, with Taron Egerton playing the singer.

The singer bade farewell to the crowd, saying: “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.

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

  • June 25, 2023