In case you missed it, British pop star pals Ed Sheeran and James Blunt delivered a stunning rendition of Elton John’s 1990 chart-topping ballad “Sacrifice” for an appearance last month on Taratata. In the attached video of the performance, Blunt leads off with the first verse from behind the piano as Sheeran plays guitar then sings the second verse. They blend beautifully together on the chorus as the live audience for the French TV show looks on in adoration.
James Blunt and Ed Sheeran are close friends and collaborators. Sheeran is co-producer on Blunt’s fifth studio album, The Afterlove, which dropped on March 24. The “Shape of You” singer also co-wrote two of the tracks, “Make Me Better,” and “Time of Our Lives.”
Blunt and Sheeran share the same label, Atlantic Records, and they are currently touring together to support Sheeran’s massively successful third studio album, Divide.Their signature vocals meld together perfectly on this tender hit from Sir Elton John’s extensive music catalog. Their impeccable harmonies soar over the instrumentals toward the end and almost take on an A Capella quality.
Sheeran notably pays homage to Elton John in his Top 10 love letter to his home town of Suffolk, England, “Castle on the Hill.” In the chorus he sings, “I’m on my way/Driving at 90/Down these country lanes/Singing to ‘Tiny Dancer.” John admits he’s flattered by the reference in a candid Rolling Stone interview that focuses on his professional and personal relationship with Sheeran and the career advice he’s given his young protege’ along the way.
He says, “It’s just so funny to hear him singing ‘Tiny Dancer’ [in ‘Castle on the Hill’]. I was very touched.”
As beloved and commercially-successful as his own hit songs are, Ed Sheeran is arguably a master of covers. He may even best some of the original versions of songs, like Little Mix’s “Touch” and Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” He’s also performed some killer duets with huge artists like Eric Clapton, Chris Martin, and his BFF Taylor Swift.
This duet with James Blunt is particularly sweet for both artists. It’s tough to pull off performing any Elton John tune well, as John is a legendary artist who will always remain in a league of his own. However, James Blunt and Ed Sheeran slay “Sacrifice” with chill-inducing sincerity and deliver a warm, fuzzy feeling that lingers after the last note is played.
Watch the entire duet in the attached video.
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