TORONTO — Elton John paid tribute to the late queen during her final show in Toronto on Thursday, calling her an “inspirational” presence in his life.
“She has led the country through some of our greatest and darkest times with kindness, grace and genuine warmth,” said John.
“I am happy that she is at peace and I am happy that she is at ease. She served and worked hard.”
Buckingham Palace announced earlier today that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at the age of 96.
“We celebrate his life tonight with music,” said John. He then performed his 1974 hit Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.
The 75-year-old British singer has many connections with the royal family.
In 1988, the Queen awarded him a knighthood for his contributions to music and charities.
He has also performed at many events for the royal family, including the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, where he sang an edited version of his 1973 song Candle in the Wind.
It was John’s second gig of two nights at the Rogers Center in Toronto and part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, billed as his last.
He appeared on stage wearing a shimmering black bodysuit and a pair of rose bejeweled glasses. Wasting some time, slide behind the grand piano to get started.
“It’s my last gig in Toronto, so I have to make it special,” he said at the start of the show. “We will have the best time.”
He performed a string of his classics, including “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” and “Levon.” After all, he got up from his seat to receive thunderous applause from the audience with open arms and a toothy smile.
He will play two Canadian dates on October 21st and 22nd in Vancouver before finally heading to Europe for shows in mid-2023.
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on September 8, 2022.