Elton John paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at a concert in Toronto last night, dedicating “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the late monarch, who died Sept. 8 at the age of 96.
“She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace and decency and genuine caring, and warmth,” he said, as photos of the Queen were shown on the screen behind him. “I’m 75 and she’s been with me all my life, and I feel very sad that she won’t be with me anymore, but I’m glad she’s at peace. I’m glad she’s at rest, and she deserves it, she worked bloody hard. I send my love to her family, and her loved ones, and she will be missed. But her spirit lives on. And we’ll celebrate her life tonight with music.”
The moment was filmed and posted to Twitter by fan Patrick Searle:
Elton John sings “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” after paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Toronto pic.twitter.com/FT1oX6lP5E
— Patrick Searle (@patsearle) September 9, 2022
John was knighted by the Queen in 1998, while then-Prince Charles anointed him as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2021.
Before the concert, he joined dozens of others by taking to social media to pay his respects.
“Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing,” he wrote on Twitter. “She was an inspiring presence to be around and led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth. Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) September 8, 2022
This is the second time that the 75-year-old singer has dedicated one of his songs to a member of the British royal family. Previously, he changed the lyrics of “Candle in the Wind” as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.
Originally written in honor of Marilyn Monroe in 1973, John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” was released following Diana’s death, and he played it at her funeral.