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Elton Expo 2013 in less than a week
Saturday, September 28 2013

Fans from around the world will gather in Las Vegas from 4 to 6 October 2013 for this year's Elton Expo organized by East End Lights.

In the past these events have been a magical experience with hundreds of Elton fans gathered to celebrate the life and music of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. This year’s line-up will be the best ever, with a little added mystery included. At present guests include:

  • The Elton John Band
  • Keith Hayward – author of "Tin Pan Alley-The Rise of Elton John"
  • producer Matt Still
  • sound engineer Matt Herr
  • performances by Ben Babylon
  • Elton Rohn - tribute band
  • a "Behind the Music" panel – find out what it takes to keep the show going with the Elton John crew
  • several family & friends of Elton & the band

  • plus a very special mystery guest!
Hercules Co-ordinator and eltonfan.net website administrator Stephan Heimbecher will also be at the event.

Registration is limited. The Tuscany Suites Hotel has reserved a block of rooms at a discounted rate for all attendees. Call and mention that you are attending the Elton Expo: +1-877-887-2263 or +1-702-947-5925.

Registration fee is $160 for the 3-day event of $125 for a one day pass (for the Saturday). You can still register at www.eastendlightsmagazine.com.

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Elton can't watch John Lennon footage onstage
Friday, September 27 2013

Elton has to look straight out at the audience when he performs his John Lennon tribute tune "Empty Garden" live because he fears he would burst into tears if he caught a glimpse of images of the late Beatle that flash up onscreen behind him.

He plans to perform the tune nightly during his upcoming residency at Las Vegas' Colosseum at Caesars Palace and special shots of Lennon have been selected for the show. He tells Entertainment Weekly, "I don't look back when I'm playing that song - if I see the footage of John, I get choked up and it's too hard to get through the song. I miss him so much. He was a force of nature, and you don't get many of those. And you sure as hell miss them when they leave."

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Bernie on Elton's new LP: "It's Kudos All Around"
Friday, September 27 2013

Bernie Taupin spoke to Andy Greene from Rolling Stone magazine about "The Diving Board".

"I'm not very good with words," Elton John said when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. "I let all my expressions and my love and my pain and my anger come out with my melodies. I had someone to write my words for me. Without him, the journey would not have been possible. I kind of feel like cheating standing here accepting this. Without Bernie Taupin, there wouldn't have been any Elton John at all. And I would like him to come up and give this [award] to him."

Bernie Taupin came onto the stage and embraced his songwriting partner, whom he met in 1967 when they both responded to a "talent wanted" ad in the British music magazine NME placed by Liberty Records. Forty-six years later, they are still writing songs together. Their new album, "The Diving Board," just hit shelves. Rolling Stone spoke to Taupin about the new album, his songwriting methods, how he wound up co-writing Jefferson Starship's 1985 hit "We Built This City" and why he blames narcotics for some of Elton John's lesser albums in the Eighties.

It's got to be great to see the album finally out. It's been a such a long buildup.
Oh, yeah. Today has been extraordinary. I just got bombarded by stuff from the public relations office, and thank God it's all been positive. I'm very relieved and happy about the whole thing.

It's pretty tough for veteran artists to get attention for their new albums.
I think we've actually experienced that in the past decade, even when we felt we did something relevant and satisfactory. I think a lot has to do with the people you have around you, the way it's marketed. We've been unlucky with a couple of our last releases. We had problems with marketing. With this one, I'm very confident with the product itself. I'm very, very proud of it. At the same time, the stars all got aligned as far as the people working on it. We had an incredibly diligent crew. I think they've done a remarkable job, but if you don't have the product it's not going to work. It's kudos all around for everybody.

It seems you guys realized that Top 40 radio just isn't going to happen, so why even try?
Exactly. Both Elton and myself – probably more Elton who has been more vocal on that, but I've said to several people that the beauty of recording now is that you don't have to sell your soul to the forces that aren't going to be interested in you anyway. People's memories are very short. Everything is very "here today and gone tomorrow." It's ridiculous to try and put yourself into the shoes you fitted in so neatly a couple of decades ago. It's a great relief to just sit back and go, "I don't have to think about making this a radio product." It's been so, so gratifying to just be able to write whatever I wanted and basically throw it at the wall and see what sticks.

I've heard Elton say that he was so dismayed by the lack of marketing for [2006's] The Captain and the Kid, that he felt he was done making records. Did you think you were done at that point?
I don't think so. I think that was Elton shooting from the hip. That's what I was talking about earlier. It was an absolute disaster. The record company just buried that record, for reasons that I'll never know, whether it was political or whatever. But that record was a really, really good record, I think. It deserved much better than what it received. Not by the public ... I don't think much of the public even realized it was out. I think there was a section of our hardcore fans that were aware, but the record might as well not have even been released for how it was treated. That's a great shame.

When that happens, you get despondent. We were thoroughly despondent. I never stated that I never wanted to write songs or record again. I felt we would. Again, it's just Elton shooting from the hip. That's the nature of the beast with him. We both have different ways of dealing with things. This is a guy who wears his heart very large on his sleeve.

He said the label asked him make a Christmas album and a Motown covers album.
Yeah. That's all true. I'm aware of that. Basically, they wanted him to go the safe route. The thing is, that's absolutely ridiculous, and it's almost callous. If you actually think about where we come from, what we do is write songs. We started out in 1967 to write songs and achieve a certain sort of style in our music. To come full circle, 45 or so years later, and wind up being asked to do Christmas albums and cover songs of 1970s Motown hits, that's pretty despicable, when you think about it.

How do you operate? Are you always writing songs, or do you wait until an album project starts?
It's almost like songwriting is a sideline. I paint 80 percent of the time. Then 20 percent of it is writing songs. When Elton decided he wants to record, he will call me and give me some good leeway so I don't have to rush or anything like that. I get plenty of time to work on what I want to work on. No, I'm not continually writings songs, unless there's a project. I suppose I could, but there's not really an outlet for it.

The kind of things I'm writing with Elton now are not the kind of things that I could write for any artist here or there. It's just not the kind of material that is coverable by other people. It's very individual. It's very personal. It's very geared towards the style of which we write. There aren't many people out there ... It's not that I'm against writing with other people. I just don't think there's a lot of people that can write like Elton and I do. I certainly don't like to write to melodies. It gives me more of a freedom to do it this way around. It's a style that we've perfected. There's a lot of telapathic sort of communication going on in the way we work, since we've been doing it for so long.

I'm not adverse to writing with other people, and I do it occasionally, but it never achieves the level of pleasure I get from when we work together. It's something very special. I think doing it every once in a while makes it very unique. There are so many other things that take up my time. My art is preeminent over everything else.

How did "The Diving Board" begin? When he calls you up, does he give you any guidance, or does he just let you go?
Basically, the album came about because, obviously, we got a great sense of satisfaction from doing The Union with T Bone Burnett and Leon Russell. That had a very strong reaction and did very well. It just seemed a sensible thing to do to stay with T Bone. I'm not sure we expected to do it as soon as we did. I suppose in true terms it's been seven years since Elton and I made a full-on Elton John album.

It was just a natural progression to do something with T Bone again, and T Bone discussed with Elton the possibility of going back to basics, going back to the trio situation that we started out with when we started doing live gigs in the early Seventies. It's interesting, and I digress slightly here, that a lot of people are referring to this record by saying it's going back to the style of "Tumbleweed Connection" and the earlier albums. In essence, it's really not. We never really did studio recordings with the original trio. It was always much more a band situation. On things like "Madman Across the Water", Tumbleweed and especially Elton John, which had a full-on orchestra on it, those records were more band-oriented records. This was much, much simpler. I don't think we've ever made a record that sounded like this. As everyone has picked up, Elton's piano has never been so much in the forefront as it is on this record.

We hand-picked a group of musicians with T Bone that we felt would make an interesting mix, which was Jay Bellerose, who is probably my favorite drummer, and Raphael Saadiq, who was Elton's idea, and it just worked. The recording was so intimate. It was such a pleasure and joy to work on that kind of earthy sound. When we did decide to go in and record, I would say I had at least a few months upfront to work on material. I wrote as much as I possibly could, which I shared with Elton. Then we went into the studio and I think wound up recording maybe 12 or 13 songs.

Then we basically sat on it for almost eight months, and then Elton called me in again and said he wanted to go back in and record some more songs. The thing is, there was no scheduled release date from the day we started recording. As we talked about before, nobody was in a hurry for a new Elton John and Bernie Taupin album. We could really wait and see when it was the best time to put it out. We went back in and recorded another five or six songs, and put everything together and re-listened to the whole thing. It was a great idea to go back. It really revitalized us and gave us a greater appreciation of things we did before. We realized that everything blended together so well. We reconfigured it, and this is what we ended up with.

Is there a theme to the album?
There's not a particular theme, but it is story-driven. My material has always been story driven. I like to think that I'm a relatively cinematic writer. Obviously, I collect ideas as I travel down life's highway. For example, something like the "The Ballad of Blind Tom." I read the book The Ballad of Blind Tom, and being a voracious reader I get so many ideas from reading. When I read that book, I thought to myself, "If this isn't a song, nothing is." It appealed to my method of writing. I had to literally make the Readers Digest version of the book, condense it into a song. I think it worked.

I can be anywhere or anyplace and an idea will strike me. I could walk past a bookcase and there's a book about Oscar Wilde on it. I'll think, "Here's a good idea. Put yourself in Oscar Wilde's mind after he's spent time in Reading Gaol. How did that change his perception of his life?" Also, I like the title, "Oscar Wilde Gets Out." That's all par for the course for me. I pick up things in what I read, what I think, how I feel. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it slips off and doesn't really work. As I've said many times, I see myself far more as a storyteller than anything else.

How do you write? Do you use a computer? Do you write longhand?
It's changed over the years through technology. In the old days, it was just longhand on a notepad. Some of the early things I wrote for Elton were just written longhand on a sheet of paper. Some were typed. The way that I've developed over the years now, one of the things I need now as a security blanket is a guitar. I always write with a guitar and chord things. It gives me more of a melodic structure. It's sort of like Linus and his blanket. I sort of need it in order to write. It's very hard for me to sit on a plane with a notepad. I can write lines and title ideas, but to construct a song I need to be in my office at home with a guitar on my knee and a pad and a piece of paper and a computer. I'll write things down and then transfer them to my computer, so that I can actually see it better.

I look at it on the computer and then just chord stuff on the guitar to give myself an idea. It has nothing to do with the ultimate melody. It just gives me a better sense of the rhythm of the lyric. That's the way it's done.

Do you email them to Elton?
Now I do. Again, it's not as calculating as it might seem. Once he gets them, he looks over them, reads them, ingests them, but he won't work on them again. He never works on things outside of the studio these days. He likes to set up a writing booth in the studio. Maybe he'll go in a day or two before we start recording and he'll start writing in there. They he will just run a tape in the control room and everything he works on goes on tape so he can refer back to something if he loses track of it.

Then I come in the studio also, so we can discuss things. I can give him what I call "bullet points" on songs. If something has a Leon Russell feel to it I'll say, "When I wrote this I was thinking Leon Russell or Leonard Cohen ... Dylan." It could be a myriad of different things, but it gives him a kind of idea to at least start him off. It doesn't mean those songs will sound up like the artists I've given him, but it just kicks him off. They are always interesting.

My favorite song on the album is "My Quicksand." Can you tell me what inspired that?
I can never say what inspires things, though I'm contradicting myself with what I said earlier. But there are certain songs that you just get a first couple of lines and the songs form themselves. With a song like "My Quicksand," I had the title and I thought, "This is a good metaphor for sinking in a relationship." I started off with that, and whatever came into my mind that was relevant was the first couple of lines. The thing is, some of my songs could be three songs in one. You can get a triple metaphor in a song where it's relatable on different levels to different people.

I always like to have a little mystery in the songs, where you can't quite tell. There are the obvious ones, but there are certain songs with a little mystery to them. Even "Home Again," the single, although it seems like a straight-ahead song, it's really not. If you listen to the verse, it's a little all over the place. Is it one person talking about that? Is it several people's feelings of what home again means? To me, home again isn't obvious as it seems to certain people. To me, it can be a metaphor for a lot of things. It's a state of mind. It certainly doesn't mean that I want to go back to where I came from. In fact, that's the last place I want to go. [Laughs] So it's slightly contradictory on my part, but at the same time it means a lot more than what it means to the average person.

I've heard a song like "Levon" 10,000 times, but I still have no idea what it means.
The interesting thing about that is that people keep bringing that up. I notice when it's mentioned lately, I don't know if it's because of the passing of Levon Helm, who I was a huge fan of, but people always ... In fact, Robbie Robertson himself said to me that it confused Levon when he heard the song, because he didn't understand how it related to him. The thing is – and in the press I've seen "the song was inspired by Levon Helm." No, it wasn't. It never was. I just liked the name and, I don't know ... As it says in the song, "Because he likes the name." [Laughs] I just noticed that. I just quoted myself! Oh, dear.

It's the same as with so many of our songs. People think they're about something that they're absolutely not about. That's the beauty of writing songs. That's why I don't like to explain what a song means to me, and some of the early stuff I'm not sure I really know anyway. I'm quite happy to admit that. That's what makes them interesting. It's what I say about abstract painting. Andy Warhol never explained what his paintings were about. He'd just say, "What does it mean to you?" That's how I feel about songs.

Paul Simon always talks about how people interpret his songs, and they have nothing to do with what he had in his mind at the time, but sometimes they are far more interesting than his original concept. You have to maintain a little mystery. That's so important to me. There are songs, of course – I've written so many that are very straightforward. You don't have to ask me what they mean. There are some that are incredibly cryptic.

But going back to "Levon," quite honestly, it was written so long that I really don't know what was in my head at the time. It was a free-form writing. It's not David Bowie throwing words into a hat and picking them out. It's a totally different way. I think that Bob Dylan did that, too. It was just lines that came out that were interesting.

I think back in the Sixties, Dylan would write hundreds of lines, total stream-of-consciousness, and then use four or five of them.
Exactly. Mine isn't as complex as that, but it certainly is. It's almost like writing a weird kind of science fiction. There's nothing with confusing or mystifying the listener. I think it makes it more interesting. Going back to Dylan, that was the greatness of Dylan in the days of Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 Revisited. I think he started out with a theme. Take the song "Highway 61 Revisited," with a biblical reference opening it. Then it goes a totally different place. In essence, that's a lot of what I do with my songs. It starts in one place and goes off in another.

But then there are songs like "My Father's Gun." I can close my eyes and visualize the entire story. It's almost like a mini-movie.

Exactly. Again, without being contradictory, that's a song that's a guy coming back from the Civil War. It's very easy to understand. It's about inheriting your father's will and strength. You're right. It's a mini-movie, and so many of those Tumbleweed songs were. Then you get a song like "Son of My Father," which is slightly odd, because it's a bit like the old Dylan songs from The Basement Tapes, with those cryptic vignettes.

Yeah, like "Come Down in Time," with the "cluster of night jars."
That was me being very English for once, which is very unusual. [Laughs]

People are always shocked to learn that you wrote "We Built This City."
[Laughs] That's kind of interesting. That was voted the worst song of all time in Spin or something, which I don't necessarily disagree with, considering the way it turned out. [Laughs] Though I shouldn't say that, because it was an incredible successful song. It will probably help send my children to college, and I like that they play it at sporting events, being a sports fanatic.

Anyway, there's an interesting anecdote about that song. I wrote it with Martin Page. The original song was a very dark kind of mid-tempo song, and it didn't have all this "We built this city!" It had none of that. It was a very dark song about how club life in L.A. was being killed off and live acts had no place to go. It was a very specific thing. A guy called Peter Wolf – not J. Geils Peter Wolf, but a big-time pop guy and German record producer – got ahold of the demo and totally changed it. He jerry-rigged it into the pop hit it was. If you heard the original demo, you wouldn't even recognize the song.

Then a song like "I Am Your Robot ... "
Oh my God! [Laughs hysterically] How could you bring that up? That will go in ... That's a far worse song than "We Built This City."

It's a really bizarre song, but I kind of like it.
You know what? I don't even remember the song. I just remember the title. It was on one of those batch-of albums when we were really not real stellar and on the top of our game. I'd rather not think back on some of that stuff.

I've heard Elton say that he thinks [1986's] "Leather Jackets" is the low point. Do you agree?
No. I think there's actually a couple of good songs on there. I certainly don't think it's the low point. I think one of the worst albums we ever made, though it does have one of our best songs on there, is [1982's] "Jump Up!" It does have "Empty Garden," but the rest of it is just junk. I was never a fan of [1997's] "The Big Picture," either. I thought that was one of the most anemic records we made. In fact, it was miserable being in the studio, since it was all done on machines.

That's what made [2001's] "Songs From the West Coast" so refreshing to hear when it came out.
That was definitely the turnaround. The sad thing is, a lot of those records that we made pre-West Coast and post-Blue Moves, there were a couple of decent records. The unfortunate thing about them is that they'd have a couple of really good songs on them, but because the rest of them were sort of lackluster, those songs got lost. I always thought it would be a good idea to take individual songs off those albums that are really good and have somebody redo them and have a compilation album. So many of them are really jazzy, and I'd love to get people like Diana Krall and have them do versions. People have never really heard those songs, and there are some really good songs on there. Sometimes the production didn't help them out, either.

What happened where the quality control sunk to the point where you made "Jump Up!"?
I don't know. I suppose you could blame it on narcotics. Who knows? We've all had our demons and all ridden the dragon, as they say, but it's not real complimentary to our artistic skills. Maybe it works for some people, but I don't think it served us well. I think we just got tired. We got ... It just didn't work. There are so many things that you could throw into the mix that made it just go south for a while. I really have no idea. It's really foggy.

It's funny to think that you've had the same job since you where 19, 18 ...
Try 17! [Laughs] And I'm glad I still got it, because I don't know how to do anything else. [Laughs] No, yes I do, I suppose. That's ridiculous. I've done a lot of other things, but it's definitely what I do best.

I recently wrote a couple of songs with Burt Bacharach. How do you turn down that chance? Unfortunately, nothing has happened with them yet. They were in a bit of a country vein. I've written with Burt before. It was fun to write with him. There's always somebody that comes along. I've love to find a young kid that I could work with in the same way that I work with Elton. I mean, Elton works with other people when he does his musicals and other projects. I'd like to find somebody. There are projects I have on the back-burner that I'd like to get off the ground. As of yet, I haven't been aggressive enough about them. I suppose if I could, I'd move them along. But I've got time.

Do you think it's going to be another seven years before the next album?
I don't think so. I think there's a new fire in our belly. Quite honestly, I don't think it will be too long before we are in the studio again. This album has been too satisfying. We've yet to see how it will be received in sales and charts and that, but it's already doing very well in England. It was released earlier there and came in the charts at Number Three. That's satisfying. But we'll see here in America. Hopefully word of mouth and whatever kind of publicity we've had on it ... Elton has worked himself silly doing promotion work. We'll see. I think we're having too much of a good time writing and recording now. If we do something, I don't think it'll be too long.

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Katy: Elton is my hero
Friday, September 27 2013

Katy Perry loves that Elton speaks his mind. The pop star is friends with the British music legend, who has been a huge influence on her. She looks up to him as an icon and a teacher.

"Elton John is a man that speaks his mind. Still to this day, I love all his takes on life and opinions," Katy told Z100 morning radio host Elvis Duran at the iHeart Radio Music Festival. Katy feels Elton is her inspiration in life and music and hopes to one day be like him.

"He actually says what I feel a lot of people want to say, but we are just not that Elton John iconic level yet, she added. 'He says the truth. I love his sense of humour and he says it how he sees it and his music, of course, is amazing." Katy also opened up about her eccentricities, saying her behaviour could be compared to Howard Hughes when it comes to germs. He was a famed business magnate and aviator who was known for having obsessive compulsive disorder.

"I am so OCD. I always want to put things in alphabetical order," she said. When Duran jokingly offered to lick her face, Katy immediately refused. "Nope, I have make-up on and I have to go on stage," she told him.

Excited about her performance at the festival, Katy also opened up about her relationship with radio. The singer believes the medium is one of the reasons her career has been so successful as it helped her win many new fans. "I feel like my relationship with radio is super important. I feel that's more than half the reason I have the success I have," she said. "When I first started out, I was going over to every radio station, meeting all the people that direct all the different songs on the radio and having like bloomin' onions with them at Outback Steakhouse and introducing my music to them and making them feel like we have a connection."

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Heart announced as special musical guests at EJAF's An Enduring Vision
Friday, September 27 2013

The EJAF is very pleased to announce that this year Elton will be welcoming the legendary band Heart as his special musical guests for the 12th annual An Enduring Vision gala to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The event will take place on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. “I’m so thrilled that Ann and Nancy and their incredible band will be joining us for An Enduring Vision this year,” said Elton. “They are amazing musicians, and I just know they will bring the house down.”

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson first showed the world that women can rock when their band, Heart, stormed the charts in the ‘70’s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” and so many more. Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments too, making them the first women in rock to do so.

Music by Ann and Nancy Wilson and their band Heart has sold more than 35 million albums, sold out arenas worldwide, and found its way into the soundtrack of American life through radio, motion pictures, television, and associations with branded sponsors. Today, songs made famous by Heart are heard in every aspect of contemporary culture.

2012 brought well-deserved lifetime honors to the Wilson sisters. In June, they were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in December, they learned that Heart had been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held at Nokia Live in Los Angeles on April 18, 2013 and broadcast on HBO in May.

“Just when we thought our year couldn't get any better, we got the invitation that made our eyes open wide. To be asked to provide music for Elton's An Enduring Vision event is exciting and a double thrill because Elton will be joining us for a song!” said the Wilson sisters. “We are absolutely honored to accept the gig, as our love for Elton is long and legendary. Now the interesting part ... what song? We won't sleep for weeks!”

For ticket information, please contact Andreas Schwarz at the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Related News

  • 12th Annual An Enduring Vision
        Wednesday, September 4 2013 at 21:09:58

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    PBS Sets Elton John Concert Telecast
    Thursday, September 26 2013

    PBS announced the world television premiere of "Elton John in Concert", a new special featuring the legendary musician in an exclusive and intimate performance taped in the beautiful surroundings of the BBC's famous Radio Theatre in the heart of West London.

    The concert special showcases the multi-Grammy Award-winning superstar performing songs from his new album, "The Diving Board," mixed with classic songs from his extensive repertoire of hits. Originally broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, the UK's most listened to station, "Elton John in Concert" premieres Saturday, October 5, 2013, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET / 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT (check local listings) on PBS.

    "We are thrilled to bring PBS viewers this fantastic concert special from one of the world's great entertainers," said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. "Elton John's songs are iconic and timeless, and his enormous appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds is a tribute to his singular genius."

    Taped before an audience of 300 fans selected to win tickets from over 79,000 hopefuls, "Elton John in Concert"includes these and other performances:

    • Bennie and the Jets
    • Tiny Dancer
    • Home Again
    • Oscar Wilde Gets Out
    • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    • Levon
    • Rocket Man
    • I'm Still Standing
    • Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
    • Your Song

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    Elton opens up about fatherhood on Ellen
    Thursday, September 26 2013

    Elton accepted fancy gifts on behalf of his young sons from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and opened up about fatherhood on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 25, 2013.

    He clapped as he was presented with black coats with the names Zachary and Elijah written in red on the back with a giant silver microphone underneath. Elton shared snapshots of the boys and noted that Zachary will be turning two years and nine months this week, while Elijah is eight months old.

    "That is a big, big baby," Ellen said of giant infant Elijah. "He is huge," Sir Elton agreed. "He is wearing the same size shoes as Zachary. He's a tight end in the making. He's going to be a football player, I think," the musician added. Elton likened his eldest son Zachary to The Flintstones character Bamm-Bamm Rubble who didn't know his own strength. "Elijah is very big, but very gentle," the proud father said. He said that fatherhood has changed his life and the boys go with him and partner David everywhere.

    "Every moment of the day you think about them. Your whole priorities in your life change. It's all about them," he said. "It's just amazing," he said of fatherhood. Elton also said that he and civil union partner David plan on getting married after it was legalized in July 2014 in Britain.

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    Elton on Miley Cyrus: 'I'll take her ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth'
    Wednesday, September 25 2013

    Elton John has revealed his affection for Miley Cyrus's ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth.

    The music icon, who appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, spoke about the couple who officially ended their engagement on September 16, 2013.

    Of Cyrus - who has recently caused controversy with her provocative performances - Elton told Ellen: "I've been in the business a long time, let me tell you what worked at the VMAs. Miley Cyrus went on a performed like she did. And the whole purpose of VMAs when you got all these big artists competing against each other for attention is to flatten the opposition. She flattened the opposition."

    He added: "Nobody talked about anybody else except Miley. She has two records in the top 10, the No.1 single. Even though I think it was a weird performance."

    Elton then joked of Hemsworth: "I'll take her old boyfriend, though. As the French say, 'A bit on the side'. He's gorgeous... those Australians." Hunger Games actor Hemsworth is rumored to be dating actress and singer Eiza González following his split from Cyrus.

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    Anti-Gay groups call on authorities to ban Elton John concert
    Wednesday, September 25 2013

    Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods coordinator Yuri Ageshchev has called on authorities to ban the upcoming Elton John concert in support of Russian gays.

    "The statement by this gay guy — Elton John — about his support for gays and other perverts during the upcoming concert in Moscow is an insult to all Russian citizens," Ageshchev said. "It also makes a mockery of our recently enacted law against the public propaganda of gay ideas," he told Novy Region news agency.

    Ageshchev also appealed to church authorities and ordinary citizens to oppose Elton's December 6, 2013 show at Crocus City Music Hall, which he called an "amoral sabbath." The Ural Parents Committee, a group of conservative activists, has similarly asked President Vladimir Putin to ban the British performer's upcoming Russian shows, which include a concert in Kazan, Argumenty i Fakty reported.

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    Elton will eeceive Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Leadership Award
    Wednesday, September 25 2013

    The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is pleased to announce that Founder Sir Elton John will receive the Harvard AIDS Initiative Leadership Award at the Foundation's annual An Enduring Vision benefit on October 15, 2013.

    This award is presented to individuals who have displayed outstanding vision, leadership, and courage in the worldwide struggle against AIDS. Previous recipients have included Diana, Princess of Wales, tennis legend Arthur Ashe, AIDS activists Elizabeth Glaser, Mary Fisher, and Richard Gere, AIDS Memorial Quilt Founder Cleve Jones, philanthropists Bill Blass, Judith Peabody, Marguerite Littman, Maurice Templesman, and Deeda Blair, former United Nations Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, President Festus Mogae of Botswana, and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

    "When I think of the extraordinary people who have received this honor before me, including my dear, dear friend Princess Diana, I admit to being quite humbled at the thought of being numbered among such august company," said Elton. "But I am also tremendously inspired by their courage, vision, generosity, dedication, and grace under fire. And I pledge to continue my work for as long as it takes to achieve an AIDS-free generation and ultimately a world without AIDS."

    The Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative (HAI) is dedicated to research and education to end the AIDS epidemic in Africa and developing countries. For over two decades, HAI has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS laboratory research, clinical trials, education and leadership.

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    Elton’s four star dinner with Lady Gaga and Johnny Depp
    Tuesday, September 24 2013

    On September 23, 2013 at Craig’s, by far the hottest restaurant in West Hollywood and where the stars go to dine on comfort food ...

    ... Elton and David celebrated the release of Elton’s new album "The Diving Board" with two superstar guests: Lady Gaga and Johnny Depp.

    This may have been the biggest star wattage per square inch in some time. They sat in a secluded banquette with Gaga between David and Elton, and Depp to Elton’s left. Gaga wore a large flowing pink gown with a gigantic blond wig right out of Marie Antoinette. “Actually it’s two wigs,” she told Showbiz411 afterwards.

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    Tom Odell discusses meeting his idol Elton John
    Tuesday, September 24 2013

    The 22-year old singer-songwriter and pianist talked to Pop Crush.

    You recently shared the stage with Elton John at the iTunes Music Festival and also covered his song ‘Tiny Dancer.’ Can you talk a bit about that since he’s such a big idol of yours?

    Crazy, just crazy 2-3 weeks I’ve had. He rang me out of the blue like a month ago or so, actually when the record ['Long Way Back'] came out in the U.K., and [we] just had the most real conversation on the phone. He told me he liked the record and he thanked me for mentioning him in interviews. It was just crazy and I couldn’t believe it happened. And then he asked me to support him [at] iTunes and I was like, ‘Yeah, definitely,’ and I dunno, the feeling was just very surreal…

    I think particularly when I was 11 or 12, I discovered his music at a time I was discovering songwriting. He had a lot of influence on me, those early songs, and inspired me to write more. And then we did a festival with him, where he was playing just after us, at the Bestival in the U.K.; he invited us into his dressing room, me and the band, and he was just a total dude — he was so cool.

    We supported him at iTunes, and then he emailed the day before and said, ‘We’re putting together this TV show, like last minute, I would love it if you would record a song’ and he says, ‘I’d love it if you would do ‘Tiny Dancer.’ [Pause]

    I quite honestly wanted to do another song, but you don’t say no to Elton. [Laughs] No it was such an honor. Words can’t really describe, there’s not that many situations I don’t think in someone’s career where… I’m still trying to get my head wrapped around it, where someone who is literally [your] hero and then they acknowledge you as an artist. He wrote a note to me saying, ‘It’s so wonderful me being at the end of my career and seeing someone at the start of his.’

    Can you pick out a record or a lyric that really inspired you and your songwriting?

    It was songs like ‘This Song Has No Title’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ [off Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road']. I think the reason I could relate to him so much is the piano thing, because there’s not many artists that can play the piano and sing — it’s quite an art to do. I don’t think it’s any better than playing guitar and singing, but because so few people [play the piano and sing], it’s hard to rework it.

    There is a real art to accompanying yourself. I think with him I realized there was songs, and there’s was songwriting. I was playing around with melodies and writing words, but I discovered what could be achieved with it, and the power of it as well. And it was that album that opened that up for me.

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    Elton performs at Emmys
    Tuesday, September 24 2013

    Hollywood’s best and brightest gathered in Los Angeles on September 21, 2013 to celebrate the year’s finest achievements in television at the 2013 Emmy Awards — and there was even a little room for some classic rock during the top-rated ceremony too.

    Elton John took the stage to pay tribute to Liberace, the iconic pianist whose life and times were commemorated in the critically lauded HBO movie, ‘Behind the Candelabra,’ starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Liberace, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1987, sold millions of records during his lifetime, in addition to hosting a top-rated television show and even breaking into feature films. But Elton didn’t dip into his honoree’s repertoire for his performance; instead, he opted to perform ‘Home Again,’ one of the songs from his new album, ‘The Diving Board.’

    While it might seem like a strange choice, Elton told the crowd that ‘Home Again’ reminded him of Liberace because Liberace always liked to be at home — and even if that isn’t true, the elder pianist was an inveterate showman with a knack for making himself the center of attention, so he probably would have appreciated Elton’s ability to keep the spotlight on himself even while paying tribute to someone else’s work.

    Elsewhere during the ceremony, country star Carrie Underwood showed up to give the Beatles a little love with a performance of their classic ‘Yesterday,’ as part of a look back at the way television has helped frame viewers’ experiences of major cultural milestones over the years. You can see her performance below. She even met up with Elton while she was there — as she told her Twitter followers, “The amazing @eltonjohndotcom just came to my dressing room to say hi … we talked for a bit. I think I can safely say we’re best friends now!”

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    Gary Barlow’s first solo album in 14 years will feature Elton John duet
    Tuesday, September 24 2013

    The X Factor judge wrote the track before recording it with Elton in New York in August 2013.

    As if there wasn’t already enough excitement about Gary Barlow’s first solo album in 14 years, we can reveal that it will include a serious VIP guest appearance. In the form of Elton John. The buddies have duetted on a track Gary penned earlier in 2013, which will appear on his new album coming out on November 25, 2013.

    The X Factor judge flew out to a New York studio to record the tune with Elton in August 2013. It will now appear on the follow-up to the Take That star’s 1999 album "Twelve Months, Eleven Days."

    A well-placed industry insider said: “Gary and Elton had a really good time recording the track together. Their voices really complement each other. Now Gary and his label team are busy fine-tuning details on the album between now and the beginning of October, before his X Factor judging duties really kick in with the live shows. The track’s production isn’t quite finished yet, but everyone’s really excited about the vocals.”

    Elton and Gary have been friends for years and the union has long been on the cards. The pop legends have been very vocal about their mutual appreciation. In 2012 while presenting Gary with the prestigious Music Industry Trust Award, Elton described him as a “national treasure”. He also said on stage, “If you were gay, I’d marry you.”

    Meanwhile Gary reckons that he owes his entire musical career to the Tiny Dancer hitmaker. Paying homage to Elton he gushed: “I started to play the piano because of one person, Elton John. When your music is that good and you’re that talented, the world is going to love you.”

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    Elton extends record for most Adult Contemporary hits
    Monday, September 23 2013

    "Home Again" pushes Elton further into the lead for the most AC entries in the chart's 52-year history.

    The start of "Home" marks Elton's highest on Adult Contemporary since "You Can Make History (Young Again)" launched at No. 11 in 1996. Until this week, Elton had last graced the list with "Electricity," which reached No. 17 in August 2009. The new entry ends his longest absence from the chart since he first appeared with the eventual No. 9-peaking "Your Song" the week of December 26, 1970.

    "Home Again" previews Elton's 30th studio album, "The Diving Board," due in the US on September 24, 2013. It's his first set to be released on Capitol Records. "[Bernie Taupin and I] wrote 11 songs … and recorded them in four days," Elton says of the collection. Mixing gospel, blues, jazz, brass band, pop and even a waltz, it's "everything I love about American music," adds Elton.

    In addition to holding the record for the most Adult Contemporary chart visits, Elton also boasts the most No. 1s (15, a mark he shares with the Carpenters) and top 10s (39). When Billboard celebrated the survey's 50th anniversary in 2011, Elton was honored as the chart's all-time top performer.

    Here's an updated look at the artists with the most entries in the Adult Contemporary chart's archives:

    69, Elton John
    64, Barbra Streisand
    58, Neil Diamond
    53, Elvis Presley
    50, Barry Manilow
    49, Johnny Mathis
    48, Frank Sinatra
    47, Kenny Rogers
    46, Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass
    45, Dionne Warwick

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    Poll: Your favorite track from "The Diving Board"
    Sunday, September 22 2013

    Over the past ten days, 564 fans took part in the latest Hercules Poll. The final results are in now.

    The question we asked was "What is your favorite track from 'The Diving Board'?.

    1. Voyeur 16.1%
    2. Home Again 14.5%
    3. Oscar Wilde Gets Out 12.4%
    4. Oceans Away 10.6%
    5. Can't Stay Alone Tonight 9.5%
    6. 5th Avenue 6.5%
    7. The Diving Board 6.2%
    8. The New Fever Waltz 4.9%
    9. The Ballad Of Blind Tom 4.4%
    10. My Quicksand 4.2%
    11. Mexican Vacation (Kids In The Candlelight) 3.7%
    12. Take This Dirty Water 3.7%
    13. Candlelit Bedroom 1.4%
    14. A Town Called Jubilee 0.8%
    15. Dream # 3 0.3%
    16. Dream # 2 0.1%
    17. Dream # 1 0%

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    Elton John and band performed in Las Vegas on September 20, 2013
    Sunday, September 22 2013

    Elton John may not have a current hit on the radio, but he earned the most cheers at the iHeartRadio music festival.

    Elton was one of top performers on September 20, 2013 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Katy Perry, Chris Brown, Robin Thicke, Keith Urban and others also hit the stage. But Elton was the crowd's favorite. He was fiery on the piano, belting tunes like "Tiny Dancer" and "Bennie and the Jets." He earned a standing ovation after his third song.

    Adam Lambert was equally as enduring. He performed with Queen and hit appealing notes on the classics "We Are the Champions" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." Pop-rock trio fun. also sang with Queen.

    Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars and others performed on September 21, 2013 for the festival's second show.

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    "The Diving Board" - cover shot
    Friday, September 20 2013

    The photographer and curator Tim Barber has shot work for publications ranging from Vice to Vogue, and for brands like Nike, Levi’s and Opening Ceremony. But his most famous client is undoubtedly Elton John, who used a decade-old photo of Barber’s as the cover of “The Diving Board”.

    Here, Barber relates the story of the image:

    I took this photo about 10 years ago somewhere between Vancouver and Squamish, on the coast of British Columbia. I don’t actually know exactly where. It’s a kind of legendary secret swimming spot where some kids had installed a diving board on the side of a cliff. You had to park really far away and walk through the woods to get there. I was with some friends from Vancouver who knew about it. I think it was October.

    When I took the picture — literally, while I was pushing the button — I was thinking, “This looks amazing.” It was just a special moment and the light was crazy that day. The air was super clear. Something I strive for in my photos is to imply a greater narrative, to make the viewer wonder what happened before and what happened after. I think this picture is a good example of that. It’s also the photo of mine that people always think is fake — like that it’s been Photoshopped, or shot on a green screen. I like that. Something that was so simple and real ended up so surreal and hard to believe.

    My good friend Ryan McGinley is friends with Elton John, who is a big collector of contemporary photography and has collected a lot of Ryan’s work. Elton already had the title for the album, so he contacted Ryan and asked him if he had any images that might work for it. Ryan knew about my photo, and suggested it to Elton for the record. Elton called out of the blue, to ask about using the photo and to talk about the record. That experience was almost as surreal as the picture.

    This photo has been around quite a bit and seen by a lot of people, but being on this album cover is such a different scale. It’s one of those times when you think about how big the world is, how many eyes are going to see this picture now. People are sending me photos of it on billboards, it’s just a different level of visibility. I love thinking about the dissemination of this image — and that moment — just going out into the world and lasting forever.

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    Facebook Q&A session with Elton
    Friday, September 20 2013

    Join Elton for a live Q&A session as he discusses his new album "The Diving Board".

    On September 20, 2013, at 5pm PST, only on Facebook. Submit your questions to facebook.com/eltonjohn.

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    R.I.P. Roger Pope
    Wednesday, September 18 2013

    Roger Pope, a drummer with the Elton John band in the Seventies, has died from cancer on September 17, 2013.

    Roger, together with Caleb Quaye, played in the band Hookfoot in the late Sixties. He and his band mates were also session players at Dick James Music and first recorded with Elton in late 1967. The group also acted as Elton's backing band at various appearances until early 1970.

    In 1975 Roger was asked by Elton to join his new band, with which Roger stayed until 1976. He performed a total of 84 shows with Elton.

    Roger also played on several Elton John albums including "Empty Sky", "Tumbleweed connection", "Madman Across the Water" and "Rock of the Westies". He leaves behind his partner for many years, Sue Tresidder, who married him just hours before he died peacefully.

    We would like to convey our deepest and sincere sympathy to Sue and Roger's family: We are thinking of you at this very difficult time.

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    "I just see her as a meltdown waiting to happen"
    Wednesday, September 18 2013

    She's been hitting headlines in recent months with her twerking, tongue-poking and generally scandalous behaviour. And now Elton John has opened up about his fears for Miley Cyrus, saying that he thinks "she is a meltdown waiting to happen".

    In an interview with The Australian, he added that he has always had the ability to "spot a car crash before it happens". He said: "I look at Miley Cyrus and I see a meltdown waiting to happen. And she's so young. But she's got two records in the top 20, so who is going to stop her."

    Elton also spoke about his fears for Lady Gaga, who is godmother to his eldest son Zachary. He added: "I’d like to be able to talk to her right now, but I can’t get through to her. And there are times when you have to listen. When your persona begins to take over your music and becomes more important, you enter a dangerous place. Once you have people around you who don’t question you, you’re in a dangerous place."

    "Look at Lindsay Lohan. There was someone with a successful career and her parents completely f***ed her up. The dad was in jail and the mum was doing coke with her. Great!'

    In the interview, Elton revealed that he had predicted the tragic death of Michael Jackson long before it happened. He explained: "I was in my dressing room in Las Vegas when they announced that Michael Jackson was playing 50 dates at the O2. I turned to my agent and said: ‘He won’t do a single one of those.’ I could tell you he was going to die. He’d been doing drugs for so long, he’d been a mess for so long – and I’ve known Michael since he was 12 or 13 – that it was never going to happen. Everyone was saying it was going to be great and I was saying: ‘Hello? Are you looking at the real thing here?'

    Elton's comments come as he prepares to release new track "The Diving Board", from his album of the same name, which follows the journey of a young star after finding fame. Lyrics on the track, which will mark Sir Elton's first new single in seven years, include: 'You free fall into the ether' and 'You fell in love with those dizzy heights'. The singer hopes younger stars will take heed of what he is saying and not indulge in the plight of fame and fortune.

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    Bernie Taupin and T Bone Burnett interview
    Wednesday, September 18 2013

    Fans of Elton John's longtime collaborator, Bernie Taupin, are well aware that the legendary lyricist rarely gives interviews. However, in honor of Elton's new studio album, Taupin has decided to go on camera and talk about the set's highlights and his thoughts on various tracks.

    If that weren't enough, Taupin is joined by producer, the equally legendary T Bone Burnett, who shares his own reflections on the new songs. Yahoo Music is excited to present the first look at this interview; which, needless to say, is a must-see for any serious music fan. Enjoy!

    Go to Yahoo Music for a first video clip.

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    "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" Tribute Album in the works
    Wednesday, September 18 2013

    Miguel, Hunter Hayes and John Grant are among the nine artists who have finished tracks for a "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" tribute album that is expected to be released in 2014, marking the 40th anniversary of the Elton John classic.

    "Hunter Hayes has done 'Yellow Brick Road,' played all the instruments and he blew my mind," Elton told a crowd of USC students and invited guests during a performance-and-interview event on September 16, 2013 to promote his September 24, 2013 Capitol release "The Diving Board."

    Elton's mentioning the project, which producer Peter Asher has been working on for months, was one of several comments about how many young artists impress him today. Elton professed admiration for Disclosure, Hanni El Khatib -- even spelling his name for the audience -- Queens of the Stone Age, and Lorde.

    In referring to Lorde and the track "Tennis Court," he said, "it gives me more pleasure than an old Muddy Waters track. And I love Muddy Waters. For Bernie, it's the opposite."

    Youth and aging were recurring subjects for Elton in his interview with the Grammy Foundation's Scott Goldman, "The energy of youth is a wonderful thing to observe. I have great faith in the young. ... If you are 66 and want to make a difference I have to push barriers. I'm not coasting; coasting is dangerous."

    Related News

  • Elton performs his new songs for USC students
        Tuesday, September 17 2013 at 20:03:44

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    Elton talks about his AIDS charity
    Wednesday, September 18 2013

    The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews corresponded about Elton's philanthropic work by e-mail; a transcript follows.

    Elton John is Elton John. In 1992, inspired by his friend Ryan White (who had died of the disease two years earlier), he founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation, a major nonprofit working on HIV prevention, as well as care and treatment for those with the disease. The initial organization, based in New York, was followed the next year by a London branch. The U.S. and U.K. branches have, together, raised over $300 million to support programs in 55 different countries, making it one of the 20 largest private philanthropic HIV/AIDS grant-makers. A list of the foundation's areas of specialty, as well as specific projects and grantees, is available here. Elton's book on the subject, Love is the Cure, was released in 2012. The paperback will be out in November 2013, with a new foreword from Dr. Paul Farmer.

    There's a divide between AIDS activists who think vaccine research is an immensely promising avenue and those who think it's a diversion of money that should be going to antiretroviral treatments. What are your thoughts on that?

    Activists in the fight against HIV/AIDS, myself included, are good at voicing opinions, and we have lots of healthy debates about strategies to end AIDS. But you raise a false choice that's not really a leading debate at all. Most activists, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, believe in attacking this disease from all fronts, including investing in vaccine research and investing in access to antiretroviral treatments. Both of these approaches are vital, and slighting either diminishes our opportunity to eliminate the insidious effects of HIV/AIDS.

    To use an analogy, when flu season rolls around each winter, the scientific community researches and manufactures both vaccines for prevention and medications for treatment. It's common sense. The HIV/AIDS effort is doing the same and should keep doing it: apply what works now and invest in researching improved options for the future.

    If you want a divide to discuss, how about the gap between our leaders' rhetoric - to end AIDS - and the total investment being made to bring that about? How about the gap between what we manage to do and what we could actually achieve? In my book I write about how eradication of HIV/AIDS is within our grasp, if we commit to it. That's what the Elton John AIDS Foundation is focused on: aiming for everything that science, funding, and compassion can deliver.

    There's been a big move in philanthropy toward randomized evaluations of interventions. What role do you think that can play in AIDS policy?

    One important thing to remember is that we know a lot about HIV/AIDS. We may not yet have a cure, but this is a disease that we understand very well. At this moment, 30 years into the crisis, we know what solutions will truly make a measurable impact in the fight to end HIV and AIDS: the use of condoms, clean injection equipment, antiretroviral medicines, and yes—fighting stigma and discrimination. And the evidence for the effectiveness of these interventions is thoroughly documented and published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and, in the United States, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Since the beginning of the epidemic, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has based its grant-making on scientific evidence of what works. While HIV research is not our focus, we work alongside other philanthropic grant-makers that do fund research, dating back to early work and advocacy for HIV treatments, opportunistic infection treatments, use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, and distribution of clean injection supplies to prevent injection-related HIV transmission. So we view this research and this type of philanthropy as crucial.

    The challenge for philanthropists, doctors and policymakers is how we make those solutions available to all. One major focus of philanthropy should be supporting research, which underpins good policy. But it needs to go hand in hand with grant making that ensures access to these solutions as well. That's what EJAF prioritizes in its’ grant-making: making sure people access effective HIV prevention and treatment options.

    How much progress do you think we've made in combating the idea that AIDS is caused by antiretrovirals, since former South African president Thabo Mbeki et al were propagating that?

    I think we’ve made tremendous strides in fighting that stupid, dangerous myth. The HIV virus is the cause of AIDS and antiretrovirals are essential in the treatment and prevention of infection—everyone knows this. Unfortunately this myth has led to real stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. So while the myth is nearly gone, the stigma remains, and that is a huge challenge we face today—as big as any other challenge, from where I sit.

    Most of the studies I've seen suggest that the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a huge success. Is this an area where effort should be shifting from the private sector to public?

    Yes, PEPFAR is a huge, historic success. George W. Bush has my eternal thanks for that. PEPFAR and other US programs have saved millions of lives and they’re continuing to change the course of the global HIV epidemic.

    But if we truly want to eradicate AIDS, we need both governments and the private sector involved. Governments in most of the world are the main investors in hospitals and health clinics and are the main driver of national health programs. On the private side, pharmaceutical companies develop and supply medicines, and faith-based organizations and community-based charities deliver essential services. It’s key that both work together, and we’ve seen that kind of cooperation have a real impact. That’s something I address in my book and that the Clinton Foundation in particular has pioneered with great success.

    Obama has been reducing budget requests from PEPFAR. My understanding is you are generally supportive of his administration. What do you make of that?

    The U.S. government is the world’s largest contributor to the fight against AIDS, both internationally — such as through PEPFAR and to the Global Fund — and domestically through Medicaid, Ryan White, and other programs. This has made a significant impact.

    The reality, though, is we need more. Not even that much more. We only need on the order of $5-7 billion in new funds each year for the next decade or so to make the end of AIDS an eventual reality. But we need those extra funds NOW. This is a disease that can be eradicated with adequate funding, and as I explore in my book, the experts have put together a very realistic and detailed plan to do so. We can create an AIDS-free generation and save millions of lives (and billions of dollars) but only if we turn the tide of the epidemic by making investing NOW.

    President Obama’s budget request for next year asks for a 9 percent increase in domestic US spending on HIV and a 2 percent increase in global spending, and notably a 27 percent increase in funding for the Global Fund. The total investment for the Global Fund would be around $1.65 billion.

    As I said, I do think the U.S. government could step up and do even more. I say this everywhere and I think everyone needs to say it, because even the White House request I describe above isn’t going to happen without a lot of advocacy with the U.S. Congress. But I see the current U.S. administration as allies in the fight against AIDS and willing to hear the advocacy.

    How would you say David Cameron has done on this issue to date?

    The U.K. has always been a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, at home and around the world. I admire David Cameron and his government for sticking to the U.K.’s commitment to invest in international aid at a level of 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – a goal achieved by only five other countries in the world. I also admire the honesty and frankness of the U.K. government in speaking out about HIV and human rights in times when other countries have remained silent.

    As with the U.S., I want the U.K. government to do more, including committing £1 billion (US$ 1.55 billion) to the Global Fund for 2014-2016. The world is making progress against the HIV epidemic and it’s essential we not stop now. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to end AIDS. Let’s not miss it.

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    Elton performs his new songs for USC students
    Tuesday, September 17 2013

    Elton John captivated students on September 16, 2013 at Bovard Auditorium with a performance of songs from his latest studio album in an international effort to promote music education.

    Elton’s performance came from a partnership with his label Capitol Records, USC Thornton School of Music and the Visions and Voices Arts and Humanities Initiative. Elton’s visit to USC is one of his only two performances at a university, and the only one in the United States. Elton previously performed at his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music.

    Chris Sampson, the vice dean of the division of contemporary music at Thornton, said Capitol Records reached out to the university because it was a school of similar stature to the Royal Academy of Music. Sampson said the experience of students seeing Elton perform and interact with him them directly was incredible.

    “The value of his trip is hard to calculate,” Sampson said. “It’s immeasurable. Just to be able to see that level of professionalism is priceless. The opportunity to get insights and talk with such an iconic music figure is so rare.”

    The show had three segments: performances of Elton’s songs from past albums, a question and answer portion and a debut of five songs from his newest album, "The Diving Board", which is set to be released on September 24, 2013.

    When he addressed the audience, Elton used humor and personal anecdotes to promote his belief that music is a fluid and ever-evolving art form. “My newest record is by a 66-year-old man and not a 26-year-old man singing ‘Rocket Man,’” Elton said. “It’s more mature.”

    Though Elton’s latest album will be his 30th solo album, he stressed the said the work of young artists has had a huge impact on his career. “There is a certain energy in this audience now: youth,” Elton said. “I pay tribute to the young. I have faith in the young and I love listening to new music."

    Some students said that they gained a deeper insight into Elton's artistic process by listening to him talk so frankly during the question and answer portion. “It gave me an idea of what’s going on in his head and how you release an album at this point in his career,” said Mannat Kaur, a first year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in global medicine. “I think it’s great that he’s receiving inspiration from newer artists and reinventing himself in his more mature album.”

    In addition, Elton encouraged students to listen to every genre, ranging from gospel to hard rock. Elton said when he was younger growing up in the United Kingdom, American music was one of the greatest influences that led him to learn how to play the piano. “Music has been a constant champion of life,” Elton said. “It’s been everywhere I have. From my lowest point to my highest point.”

    Elton’s belief of supporting the younger artists despite cultural and musical differences translated into the organization of the show, which incorporated students from the Thornton School of Music. Sampson said during orientation over the summer, Thornton students from the Thornton Symphony and the Thornton Chamber Choir were asked if they would like to perform with Elton. The students were then selected based on which instruments were needed for the performance.

    “Elton brought his complete band,” Sampson said, “but what they needed were choirs and members of our symphony to take that sound to the next level.” In addition, students who filled the packed audience in Bovard felt the night was a meaningful experience.

    “Being able to see anyone so influential to the music industry is necessary to a music student like myself to remind me to always pursue my studies and dreams in this field, and to always draw from all the music around me,” said Drew Mikuska, a sophomore majoring in music composition.

    Some students, such as Alex Hoffman, a freshman majoring in film and television production, said that despite Elton’s long track record of successful idols, at the event they were able to see a rejuvenated artist. “He’s inspired by younger artists and extremely open to development in music and conversation,” Hoffman said. “He doesn’t sound like someone bitter about getting older.”

    Sampson said the next big name performer to come to USC will be the Beach Boys on October 25, 2013 for Parent’s Weekend.

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    Gary Barlow thanks Elton for career
    Friday, September 13 2013

    X Factor judge Gary Barlow says he owes it all to Elton John after revealing it was the Rocket Man who first had him tinkering on the piano.

    The 42-year-old Take That frontman is among a swag of megastars including Mumford & Sons and Bill Clinton paying homage to Sir Elton on an ITV special on September 13, 2013 in celebration of Elton’s Brits Icon Award.

    "I started to play the piano because of one person, Elton John," says Gary. "When your music is that good and you’re that talented, the world is going to love you."
    Barlow’s glowing sentiments are echoed by Clinton, who dubs the British export "a world class human being".

    Meanwhile, Elton has been out to prove he’s still got it with back to back performances on Radio 2 and the iTunes Festival. He gave his biggest hint he’s finally a festival convert after decades of keeping away from the mud before playing Bestival last weekend on the Isle of Wight.

    "I was very reluctant to play a festival, I haven’t played one since 1969 in Crumlin near Halifax and I was talked into it and thank god I was because it shows you don’t know what’s good for you sometimes," he said. "I had the best time there, I had the best crowd, we played really well, the crowd were unbelievable I’ve never had response like that in Britain in the whole of my career, so it was definitely one of the most memorable things we’ve ever done." He added: "I might do another Bestival but I’m so loyal to that one now. I was just blown away."

    Related News

  • Elton John and band performed at the iTunes Festival on September 12, 2013
        Friday, September 13 2013 at 06:16:28

  • Elton John and band performed at the BBC Radio 2 on September 11, 2013
        Friday, September 13 2013 at 06:14:04

  • Elton John and band performed at the Bestival Festival on September 8, 2013
        Monday, September 9 2013 at 05:10:54

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    Elton John and band performed at the iTunes Festival on September 12, 2013
    Friday, September 13 2013

    Following is the complete set list of the iTunes Festival (The Roundhouse, London) sho on September 12, 2013.

    1. The Bitch is Back
    2. Bennie and the Jets
    3. Levon
    4. Tiny Dancer
    5. Can't Stay Alone Tonight
    6. Philadelphia Freedom
    7. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
    8. Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)
    9. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    10. Rocket Man
    11. Hey Ahab
    12. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
    13. Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me
    14. I'm Still Standing
    15. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

    16. Home Again (with the Royal Academy of Music Choir and Brass Section)
    17. Your Song

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    Elton John and band performed at the BBC Radio 2 on September 11, 2013
    Friday, September 13 2013

    Following is the complete set list of the BBC Radio 2 on September 11, 2013.

    1. The Bitch Is Back
    2. Bennie and the Jets
    3. Tiny Dancer
    4. Home Again
    5. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
    6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    7. Rocket Man
    8. Levon
    9. I'm Still Standing
    10. Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)
    11. Your Song

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  • Elton at the BBC
        Wednesday, September 11 2013 at 06:06:35

  • Radio 2 In Concert: Elton John
        Wednesday, August 14 2013 at 20:44:42

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    Elton’s official Top 40 Most Downloaded Tracks
    Thursday, September 12 2013

    Official Charts Company is exclusively counting down Elton’s Official Top 40 Most Downloaded Tracks!

    Elton has sold more than 250 million records worldwide and is also famously responsible for the UK’s biggest selling single of all time - "Something About The Way You Look Tonight" / "Candle In The Wind 1997". But how have the British musical icon’s singles faired in the digital age?

    With sales totalling nearly 5 million copies, you’d expect "Something About The Way You Look Tonight" / "Candle In The Wind 1997" to be Elton’s most downloaded single too, wouldn’t you? Well, since 2004, when legal digital music services launched in the UK and the Official Charts Company started collecting digital sales data, this double A-side is actually only Elton’s ninth most downloaded single!

    You can see the full Top 40 below:


    Find more details on Officialcharts.com.

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    Billy Elliot prepares to celebrate ten years in West End as booking extends
    Thursday, September 12 2013

    Billy Elliot the Musical has extended its booking period to May 16, 2015, which will take the show into its tenth year in the West End.

    Over 570,000 tickets were released last week for Elton John's award-winning musical, which received its world premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on March 31, 2005.

    Based on Lee Hall's 2000 film and set against the North-eastern mining strikes of the 1980s, the musical recounts the tale of a motherless boy whose father wants him to learn to box but who instead discovers a love for ballet that leads him from secret lessons to a place at the Royal Ballet School.

    The current cast features Anna-Jane Casey as Mrs Wilkinson and Ann Emery as Grandma, a role which she also played in the original cast. The London production has seen 34 different boys playing Billy.

    The show has been seen in productions across the world, including on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul.

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    Elton at the BBC
    Wednesday, September 11 2013

    On September 11, 2013, Radio 2 welcomes Elton John to the BBC.

    From 11:05 am Ken Bruce welcomes Elton John to perform two exclusive tracks in the BBC Radio Theatre. Listen live on 88-91FM, on digital radio and online.

    From 5:00 pm Elton joins Simon Mayo to preview the evening’s performance. After Elton's chat with Simon on Drivetime, he'll join Jo Whiley for an exclusive Ask Elton video Q&A from the stage of the BBC Radio Theatre. Elton will answer your questions live on YouTube and at bbc.co.uk/Radio2. You can watch on your mobile phone, your PC or tablet device.

    From 8:00 pm it’s the main event! Enjoy the spectacular In Concert programme live from the BBC Radio Theatre. Watch live online at bbc.co.uk/radio2 and on BBC Red Button television. Just press red from any BBC channel, and follow the on-screen instructions to the live show.

    After the gig you can watch video highlights Online and on the BBC Red Button.

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    Listen ot "The Diving Board" on amazon.com
    Tuesday, September 10 2013

    Listen to full songs of Elton's upcoming new album "The Diving Board" on amazon.com.

    "The Diving Board" won't be released before September 24, 2013, but you can already stream all tracks online at amazon.com today.

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    Elton to perform at the Emmys, paying tribute to Liberace
    Tuesday, September 10 2013

    E!Online exclusively revealed that Elton will perform during the television industry's biggest night of the year, the Emmys, on September 22, 2013.

    He will pay tribute to Liberace, whose HBO biopic "Behind the Candelabra" is up for 15 Emmys. The performance, which marks Elton's first time at the TV awards show, will accompany "Behind the Candelabra" nominees Michael Douglas and Matt Damon when they present during the show.

    The list of presenters also includes powerhouse duos Kerry Washington and the legendary Diahann Carroll, funnyladies Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, sisters Zooey and Emily Deschanel, and Allison Janney and Anna Faris.

    American Horror Story leads the way in nominations with 17 nods, followed by Game of Thrones with 16. Like Candelabra, NBC's Saturday Night Live scored 15. Justin Timberlake is nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy for his stint on SNL.

    Hosted for the second time by Neil Patrick Harris, the show will air live on CBS from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles starting at 8 p.m. ET. Elton's appearance coincides with the September 24, 2013 release of The Diving Board, his first studio album in seven years.

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    Elton has axed his annual Winter Ball
    Tuesday, September 10 2013

    Elton holds the event every year to raise money for his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, but he has now confirmed the 2013 Grey Goose Winter Ball will not be taking place.

    A statement posted on his charity's website reads, "Grey Goose (vodka brand) and the Elton John AIDS Foundation announce that the annual Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation will not take place in 2013."

    A spokesman for the star has insisted the ball has not been axed because of the Elton's recent battle with appendicitis, and instead put the cancellation down to the star's hectic schedule, according to The Sun.

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    Elton to throw birthday bash for Robbie Williams' daughter
    Tuesday, September 10 2013

    Elton has offered to throw a big bash for Robbie Williams' daughter, Theodora 'Teddy' Rose, in celebration of her first birthday and is hoping to make it a joint party for his two children Zachary and Elijah.

    A source told The Sun newspaper: "Rob and Elton have been good mates for years. Elton and David Furnish want it to be a joint bash for their two lads Zachary and Elijah. They are sparing no expense. The party's going to be at Elton's pad in Beverly Hills and there will be no shortage of other celebrity families. Adel and her boy Angelo are invited as well as Gary Barlow and his family. It will be typically extravagant, with plenty of surprises for the kids including clowns, bouncy castles and face painting."

    Elton - who was struck down with crippling appendicitis two months ago - is used to performing up to 100 concerts a year, but is planning to significantly reduce his workload next year when Zachary goes to school because he wants to be around to care for him. He said previously: "The great thing about small children is they're portable, so we take them everywhere, but when it comes to 2015, Zachary's going to school, and I want to be there to drop him off and pick him up. I don't want to just be the father who reads them a bedtime story. I want to be one of the dads in the playground, there for parents' evenings, sports day. I am so looking forward to it."

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    Elton plays gigs for Camilla on Queen Mum's piano
    Monday, September 9 2013

    Pop royalty Elton John has been tickling Camilla's ivories at top secret concerts, reports the Daily Star.

    Elton performs his hits for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at posh gigs at their Clarence House home in London. He bashes out "Crocodile Rock", "I'm Still Standing" and "The Bitch Is Back" on a Steinway grand piano that once belonged to the Queen Mum. Charles, 64, and Camilla, 66, hum along and tap their feet at the "By Royal Command" gigs.

    But royal insiders doubt he plays them his biggest hit "Candle In The Wind", which he performed at Princess Diana's funeral. A source said: "When the Queen Mother lived at Clarence House she had Noel Coward on the piano. Nowadays it's Elton John. Charles and Camilla are big fans."

    The exclusive gigs are held in the luxurious, antique-filled Garden Room. Elton was linked with the mass outpouring of grief over Diana's death because of his emotional rendition of Goodbye England's Rose at her Westminster Abbey funeral in 1997. It was a reworked version of "Candle In The Wind". He also played at the Wembley Concert for Diana, hosted by Princes William and Harry, to mark the 10th anniversary of her death in 2007. Elton said: "Diana was a personal friend and someone I greatly admired for her tireless and enthusiastic charity work."

    During the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 he performed at the Party at the Palace. And he and partner David were guests at William and Kate's wedding in 2011, where Ellie Goulding sang his classic Your Song at the Buckingham Palace reception. Elton has described Kate as "Diana in personality".

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    Elton John and band performed at the Bestival Festival on September 8, 2013
    Monday, September 9 2013

    Following is the complete set list of the Bestival Festival (Isle of Wight, UK) on September 8, 2013.

    1. The Bitch is Back
    2. Bennie and the Jets
    3. Grey Seal
    4. Levon
    5. Tiny Dancer
    6. Philadelphia Freedom
    7. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    8. Rocket Man
    9. Hey Ahab
    10. I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
    11. Funeral for a Friend
    12. Love Lies Bleeding
    13. Candle in the Wind
    14. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
    15. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me
    16. I’m Still Standing
    17. Crocodile Rock
    18. Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting)

    19. Home Again
    20. Your Song

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    Elton John and band performed in Magdeburg on September 7, 2013
    Sunday, September 8 2013

    Following is the complete set list of the Magdeburg show on September 7, 2013.

    1. The Bitch Is Back
    2. Bennie and the Jets
    3. Grey Seal
    4. Levon
    5. Tiny Dancer
    6. Holiday Inn
    7. Believe
    8. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
    9. Philadelphia Freedom
    10. Candle in the Wind
    11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    12. Rocket Man
    13. Hey Ahab
    14. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
    15. Funeral for a Friend
    16. Love Lies Bleeding
    17. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
    18. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
    19. Daniel
    20. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
    21. The One
    22. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
    23. I'm Still Standing
    24. Crocodile Rock
    25. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

    26. Home Again
    27. Your Song

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    Rod Stewart: "I'd like to tour with Elton"
    Friday, September 6 2013

    Old pals Rod Stewart and Elton John are quietly plotting a joint tour after hitting the road separately with Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel in recent years.

    The two friends performed together after Stewart presented Elton with his Brit Icon Award at a ceremony in London on September 2, 2013 and that appears to have sparked fresh talk about hitting the road together.

    Stewart says, "We did do a duet on one of my Great American Songbook albums, but really I'd love to - before we're both in wheelchairs - go out and do a tour together."

    In the meantime, Stewart is preparing for a U.S. tour later in 2013 with Traffic and Humble Pie star Steve Winwood, and he recently hinted at plans to hit the road on a joint reunion tour with his old bands the Faces and Jeff Beck Group.

    Related News

  • Elton wins first Brits Icon award
        Tuesday, September 3 2013 at 06:20:41

    Back to Headlines

    Download "5th Avenue" free of charge
    Friday, September 6 2013

    Amazon in the UK is giving away free downloads of "5th Avenue", a track from Elton's upcoming album "The Diving Board".

    See Amazon.co.uk for details.

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    Elton John and band performed in Berlin on September 5, 2013
    Friday, September 6 2013

    Fotos by Peter Bucek. Following is the complete set list of the Berlin show on September 5, 2013:

    1. The Bitch Is Back
    2. Bennie and the Jets
    3. Grey Seal
    4. Levon
    5. Tiny Dancer
    6. Holiday Inn
    7. Believe
    8. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
    9. Philadelphia Freedom
    10. Candle in the Wind
    11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    12. Rocket Man
    13. Hey Ahab
    14. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
    15. Funeral for a Friend
    16. Love Lies Bleeding
    17. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
    18. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
    19. Daniel
    20. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
    21. The One
    22. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
    23. I'm Still Standing
    24. Crocodile Rock
    25. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

    26. Home Again
    27. Your Song

    Back to Headlines

    Elton John and band performed in Leeds on September 4, 2013
    Thursday, September 5 2013

    Fan report by Simon Owens.

    Elton John returned to live action after appendix surgery with a triumphant performance in Leeds on September 4, 2013. As well as marking Elton's return to the stage, the event was also the first to be held at the new venue - The First Direct Arena. Although technical teething problems can sometimes be expected at a new venue, the sound quality at the venue was absolutely superb throughout the entire performance. The evening was also helped by a fantastic audience who danced, sang and applauded with great passion for their host.

    Elton and the band played a similar set list to the most recent shows before Elton's enforced hiatus, with "All The Young Girls Love Alice" and "Take Me To The Pilot" removed to accommodate new tracks "Oscar Wilde Gets Out" and the emotional recent single, "Home Again". Both new songs were highlights of the show and were well received by the audience. Elton must have felt greatly encouraged by the audible number of audience members already familiar with "Home Again", who were able to belt out that wonderful chorous with gusto.

    Less familiar to fans at this point will be "Oscar Wilde Gets Out". This is a very cool song with a fantastic piano riff and moody chord progression. It's a bluesy tune with a slow, irresistible groove, and both this song and "Home Again" are hugely encouraging pointers ahead of the parent record's UK release on September 16, 2013.

    There were many highlights of the night, including "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", a moving solo rendition of "The One" and the rapturously received "Candle In The Wind". However, what must be of great inspiration to Elton is that it is one of his most recent numbers that has been regularly raising the roof with audiences over the last two years or so; "Hey Ahab" is the song, and once again it rocked and rollocked and threatened to bring down the house.

    A great, classic piece of funk rock, both on record and on stage. Also popular tonight were classic numbers and sing-a-long favourites "Philadelphia Freedom", "Rocket Man" and "Goodbye Yellow Road". A non-musical highlight was the highly amusing moment when Elton decided to try to distract keyboardist Kim Bullard by throwing blocks of ice from his ice bucket at him during the tricky intro section to "Funeral For A Friend". In "Crocodile Rock", meanwhile, PG Woodhouse had "so much fun" tonight.

    The band and backing vocalists continue to impress in this current line up, and the Two Cellos always do well with audiences, such are their musical abilities and shared sense of showmanship, traits that will no doubt have them held in high regard by Elton himself.

    Elton, meanwhile, made several references tonight to how much he enjoys his work and playing to his audiences, and with performances such as this one, who are we to argue?
    The bitch is back, Elton is still standing, and we are all the richer for it.

    Following is the complete set list of the Leeds show on September 4, 2013:

    1. The Bitch Is Back
    2. Bennie and the Jets
    3. Grey Seal
    4. Levon
    5. Tiny Dancer
    6. Holiday Inn
    7. Believe
    8. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
    9. Philadelphia Freedom
    10. Candle in the Wind
    11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    12. Rocket Man
    13. Hey Ahab
    14. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
    15. Funeral for a Friend
    16. Love Lies Bleeding
    17. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
    18. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
    19. Daniel
    20. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
    21. The One
    22. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
    23. I'm Still Standing
    24. Crocodile Rock
    25. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

    26. Home Again
    27. Your Song

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    UPDATE: "The Diving Board" - special editions
    Wednesday, September 4 2013

    Elton fan Dave Meloni from New Jersey has been researching the forthcoming release of Elton's new album and found that there are several exclusive editions.

    So far he has found the following four USA exclusives and one Japan exclusive aside from the standard album only and deluxe edition:

    1. Amazon.com USA exclusive reproduction of 1970 Troubadour Concert Poster with deluxe edition.

    2. Walmart.com USA exclusive bonus DVD of the concert footage from Capital Studio Session same as what is in the "Super Deluxe" edition.

    3. BestBuy.com USA exclusive deluxe edition, no word yet on what the exclusive content is.

    4. Target.com USA exclusive 2 CD edition with 3 bonus album session tracks (2 of them not available anywhere else).

    5. Japan only limited SHM 2 CD set with 3 bonus album session tracks (2 of them not available anywhere else).

    Track listing for 4. and 5. is as follows:

    05 DREAM # 1
    08 VOYEUR
    11 DREAM # 2
    14 DREAM # 3
    18 5TH AVENUE


    You can pre-order the Japanese release from yesasia.com.

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    12th Annual An Enduring Vision
    Wednesday, September 4 2013

    On October 15, 2013, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) will present its 12th annual An Enduring Vision benefit at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

    The EJAF is thrilled to welcome back award-winning CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who will host the event for a seventh consecutive year. Elton and David will present EJAF’s Enduring Vision Awards to Sandra Lee, Ronald O. Perelman, and Howard Rose, and the Foundation’s very first Founder’s Award to Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Sandra Lee is a long-time supporter of EJAF and other HIV/AIDS and LGBT civil rights organizations, the No Kid Hungry campaign, and UNICEF's Los Angeles chapter. Ronald O. Perelman is a major philanthropist who has made numerous multi-million dollar gifts to health, education, civic, and arts organizations across the country. Howard Rose is a founding member of EJAF’s Board and an integral part of our success from the very beginning.

    Secretary Clinton’s ground-breaking speech in Geneva declaring that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights” and the bold plan for an AIDS-free generation she presented at the International AIDS Conference epitomize EJAF’s concept of “an enduring vision of a world without AIDS.”

    Elton and David serve as the honorary chairs for An Enduring Vision, joined by fellow Co-Chairs Bill and Tani Austin, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Johnny and Edwina Barbis, Jennifer Bayer Michaels, Joseph W. Blount, John Demsey, Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini, Frank Giustra, Tim Hanlon and Anthony Klatt, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Diana Jenkins, Donna Karan, Robert K. Kraft, Leonard A. Lauder, Peter Luukko, Jay Marciano, Tamara Mellon, OBE, Leslie Moonves, James L. Nederlander, Martha Nelson, Melissa Ormond, Michael Rapino, Lily Safra, Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant, Alexandra Stanton and Sam Natapoff, Edward Walson, and Roger Woolsey.

    Presenting Sponsors for the event are American Airlines, Frank Giustra, Robert K. Kraft, and Wells Fargo. Co-Sponsors are Joseph W. Blount, The John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation, The Lauder Foundation, Live Nation, Ronald O. Perelman, and the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

    Gold Sponsors are The Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation, Caesars Palace, Edmond J. Safra Foundation, M•A•C Viva Glam, Million Air, and Service Electric Company/Sunrider Productions.

    For ticket information, please contact Andreas Schwarz at the Elton John AIDS Foundation, +

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  • Hillary Clinton gets Elton John foundation honor
        Wednesday, September 4 2013 at 20:55:57

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    Wilko Johnson: Sir Elton John's Award Tribute
    Wednesday, September 4 2013

    The legendary British guitarist, who has chosen not to undergo treatment for terminal cancer, said the gesture was unexpected.

    Elton has paid tribute to terminally ill British guitar legend Wilko Johnson by presenting him with an award he had just received himself. The singer, who had been handed the Genius award at the GQ ceremony by the Dr Feelgood musician, promptly handed it back to him declaring: "You're the fucking genius here." He added: "He's too busy living life to think about fucking dying."

    Speaking later, Johnson, who has cancer of the pancreas and has chosen not to undergo treatment, said he was "very, very touched" by the gesture. He said: "I didn't expect it, but I'll probably put the award on my mantelpiece like you're supposed to."

    A founding member of the 1970s Essex band Dr Feelgood, noted for his exuberant performances and mad-eyed stare, Johnson later went on to lead his own band and had a stint in Ian Dury's band The Blockheads. He has won a new generation of fans who watch him on the TV fantasy series Game Of Thrones, in which he appeared as silent executioner Ilyn Payne.

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    Hillary Clinton gets Elton John foundation honor
    Wednesday, September 4 2013

    Hillary Rodham Clinton's support of gay rights has earned her a special honor from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

    The former secretary of state will receive its first Founder's Award. In a statement on September 4, 2013, the foundation cited a 2011 speech in which Clinton asserted that gay rights were human rights for helping envision a world without AIDS.

    Others honorees include celebrity chef Sandra Lee, business mogul Ronald Perelman and Howard Rose, a founding board member of the organization. They will be feted during the foundation's annual benefit on Oct. 15 in New York City, hosted by Anderson Cooper.

    Former President Bill Clinton was given an award in 2009.

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    Elton: I will be using a Stannah stairlift by the time my kids are 15!
    Wednesday, September 4 2013

    When he was a spring chicken of 40, Elton already considered himself too old for parenthood, but that did not put him off becoming a father in his 60s.

    Now, however, he knows what getting on a bit means and has admitted that his joy at being a hands-on parent will be short-lived because he started so late. The 66-year-old singer suggested that by the time his two sons are teenagers, he will probably be so frail that he will need a stairlift.

    At a ceremony to receive the first Brits Icon Award for his contribution to music, he was reminded how, in an interview aged 40, he said he was too old to be a father. The TV presenter Dermot O’Leary asked Elton: ‘You said, “I don’t want to be 70 years old with a teenage child” – what do you say now?’ The singer replied: ‘Well, I won’t be 70 years old with a teenager – I will be 80. By the time they are 15, I will be on a Stannah stairlift. I wish I had made that decision to be a father 20 years earlier because I am no spring chicken.’

    Elton and his partner of 20 years, David Furnish, 50, are reported to have paid an unnamed surrogate £17,340 for the birth of their first son, Zachary, in 2010. It is claimed they paid a further £20,000 to the same woman for their other son, Elijah, in January 2013.

    ‘I could understand when people were concerned about our age,' Elton said at the award ceremony on September 2, 2013, ‘but to hell with it. We can show these children so much love, and in two-and-a-half years, they have brought me so much happiness.’

    Speaking between songs at the London Palladium, he revealed how family life had helped him deal with his troubled past, including his drug addiction. ‘I regret the extended use of drugs, but I had to go through that to be the person I am now,’ he said. ‘When I got sober, I had to be a human being again – I was totally divorced from reality. I did not know how to tie my shoelaces, basically.’ He added: ‘Performers are monsters sometimes, but I have changed and done a lot of work on myself. My partner has helped me and having the children is the icing on the cake. You have to behave around them . . . it affects their behaviour.’

    Elton said he had not used drugs for 23 years and feels ‘like I am 23 years old’, adding that having children was ‘the best thing that’s happened to me’. He said: ‘Everything I thought that would be annoying about being a father I find enchanting. There is not one negative thing about it. I don’t really tell them off. If they are being naughty, they are being naughty. They are just kids. We just say, “Calm down, calm down”. It makes me laugh.’

    In the 1970s, however, ‘there was a huge imbalance in my life’. He said: ‘I was very confident being Elton John on stage, but I was still the shy little boy off stage.’ He recalled a suicide attempt, when he swallowed 60 Valium tablets and leapt into a swimming pool, and described his drug addiction as selfish. He said: ‘In the beginning, it opened me up – cocaine helped me talk. At the end, it closed me down. The thing is, my personality is addictive – I always had to have more.’

    Receiving the award from his friend Rod Stewart, Sir Elton said: ‘It’s very flattering. I will take what I can get at my age.’

    Related News

  • Elton wins first Brits Icon award
        Tuesday, September 3 2013 at 06:20:41

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    UPDATE: Elton:"'I don't have to tour. I want to be there for parents' evenings and sports days"
    Tuesday, September 3 2013

    In an interview with the Telegraph to be published online on September 4, 2013, Elton says a combination of parenting commitments and a recent health scare - which led to an emergency operation for appendicitis - have prompted him to reappraise his lifestyle.

    "I knew I was sick, but I didn’t know I had such a dangerous thing inside of me until I had a scan, which was after nine shows, 24 flights and a summer ball," he said. "I could have easily died at any point. Your sense of your mortality kicks in. This is a wake up call for me, it really is. I’m 66 not 36 anymore. I want to write another musical for Broadway and I want to spend more time with my children. I don’t have to tour. I don’t need the money."

    Elton and David became fathers in 2010 when their son Zachary was born to a surrogate mother. They have since had another child, Elijah, who the singer said completed his family "in a most precious and perfect way". "[Elijah is] the icing on the cake," he said. "I love every minute of fatherhood, staying up all night, changing nappies, kids crying, I find it really funny and inspiring. It connects you to the world in a new way.”

    Up until now, Zachary has accompanied Elton on many of his trips abroad but the singer says, once the two-year-old starts school in 2015 he wants to be there to drop him off and pick him up. "I don’t want to just be the father who reads them a bedtime story," he said. "I want to be one of the dads in the playground, there for parents' evenings, sports day. I’ve got all that ahead of me and I am so looking forward to it.”

    The public first learnt of Elton's health problems in July 2013 when he pulled out of a concert in Hyde Park. He went on to cancel all his remaining summer concerts, and is due to return to the stage tonight at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. "When I had the operation, I said ‘This has got to stop, this is crazy, why am I doing this?’ I’m a great believer in signs coming to you in life to tell you something. This appendix thing, it’s so lucky I didn’t die. So I’m treating is as a sign in great big letters saying ‘for f---- sake get a grip!'”

    Read the full interview on September 4, 2013 on the Telegraph website.

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    Elton wins first Brits Icon award
    Tuesday, September 3 2013

    Elton has won the first ever Brits Icon award, in a gala concert which marked his stage return after surgery for appendicitis.

    The musician was presented with the prize by his friend, singer Rod Stewart, who described him as "the second-best rock singer ever". Elton said he was "flattered" by the award, given to artists who have had a "lasting impact" on UK culture. He also played several of his hits:

    • I'm Still Standing
    • Your Song
    • Philadelphia Freedom
    • Bennie And The Jets
    • Tiny Dancer
    • Home Again
    • Rocket Man
    • Mexican Vacation
    • The Bitch Is Back
    • Sad Songs
    Students from the Royal Academy of Music, where Elton trained, joined him on stage to play "Home Again", from his new album "The Diving Board", while Stewart duetted with his "dear mate" on the closing song, "Sad Songs (Say So Much)".

    The concert was attended by the likes of Liz Hurley and Gary Barlow, while video messages were played from President Clinton, Ringo Starr and tennis legend Billie Jean King, for whom Elton wrote "Philadelphia Freedom".

    Elton, wearing red sequinned shoes, received a standing ovation as he accepted the gold Brits trophy. Holding it aloft, he remarked: "They've even made it sparkly on the bottom, which you know I love". He dedicated the award to writing partner Bernie Taupin, "who I wouldn't be here without", as well as the "Women's Institute and you, the fans". He added: "I can think of a couple of people who might have deserved it more than me."

    Pop star Lulu, who was a special guest at the show, told the BBC "he is a one-off, he is totally unique. Only the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Elvis are at the top [with him]. So it's perfectly fitting he should get the first Icon award."

    James Blunt, who is signed to the star's management company, described him as "the kindest man I've ever met. On a music level, on a friendship level, on a humanitarian level this is an incredibly special person - and that's not including his other great talent, which is he is an incredible songwriter and a formidable performer."

    The Icon prize has been created by the BPI, the music industry's trade body, which also runs the Brit Awards.
    Prior to the show, Elton had already won two Brits for outstanding contribution to the music industry, as well as the Freddie Mercury memorial award for his charity work.
    He was presented with the latter prize at the White House in 2008, by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    Proceeds from the Icon award show will go to the Brit Trust, Text Santa and the Royal Academy of Music. The highlights will be shown on ITV on September 13, 2013.

    Related News
  • Elton BRITs ICON show to be shown on ITV
        Friday, August 30 2013 at 07:09:10

  • Elton to get first Brits Icon award
        Sunday, July 28 2013 at 17:12:18

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    Cutler and Gross creates capsule range of sunglasses for the EJAF
    Tuesday, September 3 2013

    To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Cutler and Gross has created a limited-edition model of its iconic 0734 sunglass frame, with all profits to be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

    The target is to raise over £60,000 for its important work.
    Inspired by the charity’s ‘Love Is In My Blood’ campaign, designed to get the attention of the world and show solidarity for over 30 million people living with HIV, the frame has been handcrafted in a deep red thick Italian acetate and engraved with a discreet gold foil logo.

    A quintessentially British frame, the 0734 boasts a keyhole bridge and vintage circular pins. Numbered from 1-320, the first 20 frames will be glazed with luxe 24 karat gold lenses and will retail for £320 and £400 respectively, available for purchase across Cutler and Gross stores worldwide or online:

    0734 RED GOLD MIRROR SUNGLASSES (Limited Edition 1-20)
    0734 RED SUNGLASSES (Limited Edition 1-300)

    "The idea behind Love Is In My Blood is to remind the world that more than any disease, or prejudice, it’s love that flows through our veins" said Elton, “and it’s that love which will ultimately defeat AIDS." Drops of blood also featured in a unique work by globally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei created for the campaign. Two films featuring drops of blood falling on a white background, screened in Time Square in New York, Piccadilly Circus in London and Independence Square in Kiev.

    To pinpoint how far purchasing an EJAF 0734 frame can help change the lives of people living with HIV, for each pair of glasses purchased two women who have been raped in Kenya will receive counselling, emergency contraceptive and anti-HIV treatment to stop them becoming infected. Or the purchase could enable 10 young men who have sex with men in Uganda to learn about sexual health, test for HIV and get treatment – all this in a safe place without fear of violence or discrimination.

    Please join Cutler and Gross in helping to spread compassion and create and AIDS free future.

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    Elton sends filthy websites to Sharon Osbourne
    Tuesday, September 3 2013

    Sharon Osbourne has exposed another side to Sir Elton John by revealing the singer sends her links to filthy websites.

    Ozzy Osbourne's wife has been friends with Elton for years, and insists he shares her dirty sense of humour. Sharon, who recently rejoined the judging panel of Britain's The X Factor, has been staving off boredom during filming breaks by browsing disgusting websites recommended by Elton.

    She tells U.K. talk show host Alan Carr, "He sent me this thing and it's a Brazilian farting website. And there's this one lady, she's... voluptuous! And she's farting up a storm and there is this other lady who's very tiny with her nose - she's got a big nose, and it's right up this other woman's bum. I'm like, I cannot believe you would send me this, but I'm happy you did because it's amazing. He's filthy!"

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