Elton John opened the holiday season run of his ongoing "Million Dollar Piano" residency on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The 6-time Grammy winner's hit-filled 18-song setlist included a moving tribute to the late British pop star George Michael, who died of heart failure at his London home on Christmas Day.
Billboard reports on Dec. 29 the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer brought audience members to tears with an emotional rendition of his 1974 hit “Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me” in honor of the ex-Wham! star. The pair had performed the ballad at Live Aid in 1985 and re-recorded the song together as a chart-topping 1992 duet.
The multi-platinum seller performed the song in front of a massive poster of his late friend projected above the stage on an LED screen. Fan-shot footage of a section of the performance has been posted at Instagram and can be viewed here.
“I am in deep shock,” wrote the “Rocket Man” hitmaker at his official Twitter account after learning of Michael's tragic passing. “I have lost a beloved friend -- the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans."
Rumors have been circulating that John plans to perform at the “Careless Whisper” hitmaker's funeral. No official date or location has yet been announced for the ceremony.
The legendary piano rocker's latest four-night holiday season run in Sin City will include special shows on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The next show will take place Dec. 29 in Las Vegas at at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
John has spent the year touring in support in support of his latest studio album Wonderful Crazy Life, which dropped on Feb. 5 via Virgin/EMI. The iconic British pop-rocker recently announced that he is writing an as-yet-untitled memoir with Guardian music critic Alexis Petridis, which will be published in 2019 via Henry Holt/Macmillan.
The tireless performer shows no signs of slowing down in 2017. Following an appearance Autism Rocks on June 20 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, John will return for his next Vegas run, beginning Feb. 7 at the Colosseum At Caesars Palace.