"He was my friend, an inspiration, and today would have been his 60th birthday."
All eyes were on Elton John as he performed his final-ever UK show on Sunday (25 June). Closing the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, the iconic singer and piano player was joined by several special guests, including The Killers singer Brandon Flowers, Rina Sawayama, Stephen Sanchez and Gabriels' vocalist Jacob Lusk.
But one of the most poignant moments from John's set was his tribute to another music legend, George Michael, on what would have been his 60th birthday.
Calling Michael "one of Britain's most fantastic singers, songwriters, and artists," John added, per NME, "He was my friend, an inspiration, and today would have been his 60th birthday.
"I want to dedicate this song to his memory and all the music he left us with, which is so gorgeous," before launching into a stunning version of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me. Check out the footage below.
With Sawayama, the pair recreated John's duet with Kiki Dee, Don't Go Breaking My Heart, while Flowers accompanied John for Tiny Dancer.
Last month, John called his final UK show at Glastonbury "the most wonderful way to sign off".
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Speaking on Scott Mills' BBC Radio 2 show on 30 May, John revealed that he often avoids music festivals ("too many people"), and this was the first time he'd ever been asked to perform at Glastonbury.
"I don't like crowds. I have played at festivals, and I've really enjoyed them. But of course, Glastonbury is the crème de la crème,” John disclosed. He added, "It's the first time I've been asked to play it; I haven't turned it down before.
"But it's just come at the right time. I'm a great believer in serendipity and fate, and this is the most wonderful way to sign off in England and Great Britain."
A few months ago, Eavis said about nabbing the music superstar for this year's Glastonbury, "We will be closing the festival and marking this huge moment in both of our histories with the mother of all send-offs. We are so very happy to finally bring the Rocket Man to Worthy Farm."
Elton John initially announced his retirement from touring in January 2018, announcing a three-year farewell across the globe that stretched to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It's time to come off the road so I fully embrace the next chapter of my life," John said.
"I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour. After the tour finishes, I'm very much looking forward to coming off the road so I can dedicate more time to raising my children."
Brandon Flowers joining Elton John onstage for Tiny Dancer at Glastonbury tonight ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vivrymR3HN— thekillersmusic⚡ (@tkillersmusic) June 25, 2023