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January 18, 2019

Elton in 2018…a Year in Review

2018 was another banner year for Elton John.

The announcement of Farewell Yellow Brick Road back in January set the tone for a year that would have Elton breaking new ground in so many areas: on stage and on record, on the big screen and small.

Read on for the highlights from this momentous year:

Performances

Gotham Hall for the launch of the 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour' (Photo: Matt Baron)

★  The year began for Elton on January 24, in New York City, where Elton announced Farewell Yellow Brick Road, his final world tour before retiring from touring. The announcement embodied everything that has defined Elton and his creative output over his career, breaking new ground with an incredible VR180 live stream on YouTube of historic moments from Elton's career, recreated in virtual reality, and live performances of Tiny Dancer and I'm Still Standing for the 100 invited guests, and more than a million people watching around the world on YouTube.

Elton with (l-r): Neil Patrick Harris, members of Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert and Kesha.

Elton with (l-r): Neil Patrick Harris, members of Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert and Kesha.

★   On January 28, Elton hosted Miley Cyrus for a performance of Tiny Dancer at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City.

Then, on the 30th, he was honoured by the Recording Academy at the Theater at Madison Square Garden with I’m Still Standing – A Grammy Salute. After enjoying an evening of other artists (Kesha, Little Big Town, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and, again, Miley Cyrus among them) performing his and Bernie’s songs, Elton and the band brought the house down with Bennie And The Jets, Philadelphia Freedom, Looking Up and I’m Still Standing. Read more.

★  On May 17, Elton performed his final Million Dollar Piano show in Las Vegas, the 207th performance in its six-and-a-half-year run at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Less than 48 hours later he was 5,200 miles away playing at a Windsor Castle wedding reception for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!

Fans in Allentown, PA witnessed the first show on Elton's 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour (Photo: Ben Gibson)
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Fans in Allentown, PA witnessed the first show on Elton's 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour (Photo: Ben Gibson)

★  The three-year, epic Farewell Yellow Brick Road  tour kicked off on September 8 at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Elton and his crew then took his incredible custom stage and massive video screen around the United States and Canada for 42 sell-out concerts, finishing the year at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on December 14 and 15. 115 further dates have been announced for 2019 and 2020 in North America, Europe and the UK, with many more to come!

Farewell Yellow Brick Road (Photos: Ben Gibson)

All in, Elton performed solo, with his band, or as a guest artist at 78 concerts, private events, and media appearances in 2018, taking in Canada, France, Georgia, the UK and 18 of the United States of America.

Releases

★  Revamp and Restoration (both subtitled Reimagining The Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin) were released on CD, digital, and vinyl in 2018. Revamp, featuring 13 pop artists interpreting a variety of Elton and Bernie’s creations, reached #13 on the Billboard Top 200. Restoration, its Country & Western counterpart, included cover artwork by Bernie himself and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Sherlock Gnomes (Music From the Motion Picture) was released as a streaming title on May 4, following the animated film’s worldwide release. It included two new John/Taupin songs, Stronger Than I Ever Was (sung by Mary J. Blige) and Better Together (sung by Jessie Ware), as well as fresh takes on four other songs from his catalogue.

Elton appeared on Yuck by Logic (by way of a message he left on the rapper’s voicemail), Queen by Nile Rogers & Chic, Young Thug’s High, which sampled Elton's 1972 hit Rocket Man, and his own Spotify Single cover of Khalid’s Young Dumb & Broke.

 ★  2018’s Record Store Day saw the clear-vinyl release of Good Morning To The Night, Pnau’s reworking of Elton tracks which reached #1 in the UK in 2012.

Elton also issued 180gm vinyl versions of two live albums: Here & There (the 1976 original reached #4 in the US and #6 in the UK) and Live In Australia With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which peaked at #s 24 and 43, respectively, in 1987. Read about them here.

Elton John - Step Into Christmas (Gilbert O’Sullivan Show, 1973)

★  Elton’s 1973 holiday single, Step Into Christmas, was given a new digital release in December, pushing the 45-year-old track to #10 on the UK Singles Chart – its highest position ever. Also included in the release was a recently unearthed version of the song from Elton’s television appearance on the Gilbert O’Sullivan Show in 1973.

Other Notable Events

★   Elton continued his weekly Rocket Hour programme on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio, recording another 50 shows and interviewing some of his favourite musical artists of the day, including Kacey Musgraves, John Grant, Brandi Carlile (Elton named her album, By the Way, I Forgive You, as his favourite of the year), and Queens of the Stone Age’s Joshua Homme.

Recording Rocket Hour with Kacey Musgraves

Recording Rocket Hour with Kacey Musgraves

★  The first official teaser trailer for Rocketman was released October. The biopic, “based on a true fantasy”, will star Taron Egerton (fresh off Robin Hood and the Kingsman series) as Elton and will be released by Paramount Pictures in May of this year.

“It’s about Elton navigating personal and family relationships", said director Dexter Fletcher. “He looks for love in all the wrong places, he abuses himself with drugs and booze – yet he’s a genius who has survived for over half a century in show business.”

★   To close the year, Elton was featured in 2018’s John Lewis Christmas advertisement. Called The Boy & The Piano, the two-and-a-half-minute video takes viewers through his remarkable career and back to his youthful love of his first piano, with Your Song as accompaniment. It was named the year's most talked about Christmas commercial and landed at the top of the YouTube Christmas adverts list with over 12 million views.

'The Boy & The Piano'

2019 promises to be another sensational year, as the 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour continues on and we see the release of 'Rocketman' on the big screen and Elton's no-holds-barred memoirs.

We hope you have a happy and healthy 2019 and will continue to bring you all the latest on eltonjohn.com.

If you want to be the first to hear about all of the exciting news coming in 2019, make sure to join the Rocket Club.

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