Sunday, November 30, 2008

Elton on Billy Elliot Coming to Melbourne

IT may be normal to feel nervous about meeting Elton John.

He must be one of the five most famous people in the world but apart from that, his songs seem to have always been there as anthems to our lives. There was the Crocodile Rock dance, the mournful Song for Guy in adolescence and Your Song will just always be there.

The nerves are eventually calmed but it takes a while and happens in three stages.

It begins with John's partner in life, David Furnish, meeting us in the lobby of the St Regis in New York. His easy charm makes the situation all seem normal.

He takes us up to John's floor. I say floor because John doesn't just have a room, a suite or even a penthouse. He has the entire floor.

The next stage in quietening nerves is when the second set of french doors open to John's private suite and his gorgeous spaniels, Marilyn and Arthur, rush to greet me with wagging tails and glistening noses.

Everyone seems welcoming so far. Only one stage to go.

Furnish leads us past the dining room into the sitting room and rushes down the hall to tell John we have arrived.

He rushes out with effusive warmth, beautiful tailoring and elegant diamond-encrusted fingers.

He's here, he's happy, it's all fine.

It is only 90 minutes before the Broadway opening of Billy Elliot. John has not only written the score for the hit show but it is also largely and coincidentally his own story.

He is probably nervous, too, having known mostly success but also some failure on Broadway. He never thinks about whether something will be successful, he just works on his instincts.

Those instincts have created some of the prettiest songs and the two most successful musicals in Australia in recent years -- The Lion King and Billy Elliot.

It is strange luck that just as the world collapses into recession, US audiences are feeling especially connected to the Billy Elliot tale. This timeless story of a gifted and artistic boy struggling to express himself among hard-nosed miners could also not have been more timely.

"One of the reasons I fell in love with this story is that out of all the chaos that happens to the miners comes a thing of beauty in Billy," John says.

"The US has gone through a tough 10 years, which is why the emergence of someone like Barack Obama who, overnight, turned this country into a country of hope again and a thing of beauty.

"Billy is the butterfly that comes out of the incredible hardship that the miners are suffering."

Billy Elliot is set in northern England in 1984-85 when Margaret Thatcher's Government announced pit closures leading to a year of strikes, violence and police pickets.

Among the political turmoil, Billy emerges as a young working class 11-year-old who is forced to go to boxing classes but discovers ballet is held in the same community hall. He develops a fascination for it and sneaks into classes.

In many ways, Billy's story is the same as John's. He connected deeply with the film when he saw it in Cannes eight years ago.

Furnish had to escort him from the theatre then because he was sobbing and he still reacts in the same way. He cried again at the Broadway opening two weeks ago along with the hardened NYC audience where sniffling was audible, as well as spontaneous standing ovations during the show.

It's that kind of show -- a rare one. It works on so many levels because it is both tender and political.

"Of all the things I'm proudest of in my career, and there have been a lot of things I'm proud of, this is the thing I'm most proud of," he says.

"Every time I see it, it affects me in the same way. It never gets dull. The different casts bring something new to it but it's really the story that gets you. Even though it's Billy's fictional tale it's also what really happened."

In many ways it is also what happened to the man born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947. Although he was close to his mother and step-father, he was never close to his father.

Stanley Dwight was in the air force when his first son was born and they never managed to connect. Young Reginald became the excuse for the friction between his parents who bickered throughout their 11-year marriage.

The pain of feeling unloved by his father hit him twice -- firstly when he was in drug rehabilitation and secondly when he saw Billy Elliot.

"Basically my mum and dad should never have married," he says.

"They married after the war, as a lot of people did, and they weren't suited to each other.

"They were always arguing about me and stayed together for 11 years of hell for my education and they made a lot of sacrifices for me, some of which I appreciated and some I didn't, but I do appreciate them now.

"Even towards the end when we reconciled and I used to take him to the Liverpool (soccer) games and have lunch with him it was nice to see him, but we were never comfortable with each other.

"He was a terrific father to the four children he had subsequently and I don't blame him for anything any more. I came to terms with it during rehabilitation. I wouldn't have been able to move on with my life unless I did."

Success is probably also a great salve. At 61, John's quick brain is as keen as ever and he is always looking towards the next project, making the next friend and discovering the next new talent.

Admitting he still battles with low self-esteem, he also knows he has never been happier. His 15-year nurturing relationship with Furnish and 18 years of sobriety have given him something he never had before - acceptance and balance.

He has learnt how to be an adult in the child-like world of rock 'n roll.

With Furnish, he recognised a maturity from the beginning and regards him as the first person in his life who he didn't have to look after. The safety helped him look at all of his relationships differently.

"My relationship with my father made me the person I am now. It made me an oddball and someone who is incredibly driven but I'm grateful to him for that.

"I didn't come from an unhappy childhood but I did have that burning desire to want to be cuddled by my dad and I never had that.

"It's good to be able to bury that resentment and understand it from his point of view rather than just my own but Billy regurgitated it all and I still weep at certain scenes where the dad holds Billy. I'm a mess, a mess. I just can't help it. It's something that touches me and I envy it so badly.

"All the tough times for me were emotional times trying to convince my father I was doing the right thing."

There have been other tough times. He counts the death of his two great friends Gianni Versace and Diana, Princess of Wales, within six weeks of each other as one of the worst periods of his life.

"When I got sober I realised life's not about highs all the time, it's about coping with the lows," he says.

"Everybody has highs and lows to cope with in their lives and I just wasn't able to cope with the lows so I put myself into the hands of drugs and drink and got into that mess.

"When Gianni Versace and Diana were killed, it was something that was really hard to deal with. Loss is the hardest thing."

It took the musical genius two weeks to write the Billy score and he is clearly more emotionally open than ever.

Staying open is one of his greatest gifts though he says it is a recent development.

"I've learned to be open because I've had to be," he says.

"I was always closed up. I always wrote very beautiful, emotional melodies in things like Funeral For a Friend, Your Song and Daniel where the melodies were very much a part of what I felt but that's different from being an emotionally open person."

Billy Elliot opens at Her Majesty's Theatre on New Year's Eve. Previews commence December 13. Bookings: 1300 555 593 or Ticketek Australia.

See Elton introducing the Search for Billy in Australia/New Zealand here: Herald Sun Video.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Billy Elliot Coming to Korea! - New Movie Rumored

Elton John and the creative team behind Billy Elliot the musical have been mulling over the prospect of turning the show into a movie.

Yes, we know the show was based on a film in the first place, but that movie, released in 2000, didn't have an original score. Rather, it had the protagonist dancing to T.Rex and The Clash. The movie of the musical would vary considerably.

'It's an idea that has been kicked around and discussed, but the point is it has to be vastly different from the original Billy Elliot film,' said Eric Fellner, co-chair of Working Title, the studio which is the controlling force behind the film that came out in 2000 and the stage production, which has become a success not just at the Victoria Palace but also in Australia - and New York, where it's the hottest show on Broadway this year.

The musical is based on the film version written by Hall, directed by Stephen Daldry and choreographed by Peter Darling, in which Jamie Bell played the eponymous miner's son who realised he could pirouette from the pits to the barre.

'I feel I've finally got it right with regards to stage musicals - and there might be
more we can look at, with a film of the show,' Elton told me in New York recently.

Lee Hall, who also wrote the film's screenplay and penned the stage show's lyrics and 'book' said the film of the musical was 'something that's in the ether' and he felt it would be an opportunity to look deeper into what the miners and their families went through during the year-long strike in 1984.

Elton's stage score cleverly combines a wide range of styles from disco to choral anthems, ballads to working- class folk songs, and it gives a tremendous sense of time and place.

Elton would write more numbers for a possible movie, although that would depend on how Hall structures his screenplay.

David Furnish, an executive producer of the show, insisted a movie wasn't something that would happen soon.

Indeed, Hall has to write a script that persuades the others that it's a project worth pursuing.

In any case, with the show just beginning its advance around the globe - Sydney, New York, Melbourne. . . and next year Korea! - there's no urgency for a screen version.

Also, all of the creative team have other projects to fulfil first. Billy Elliot continues at the Victoria Palace, where it remains the best musical in the country.

Watching Billy Elliot on various stages around the world, I have been struck by how disparate audiences react.

I believe they're all moved by the sense of loss of community, disruption of family and, ultimately, the generosity of those who had nothing, but decided to give something to help a child achieve his dream.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tantrum's & Tiara's DVD Available Now

This incredibly personal documentary offers an extraordinary insight into one of the world's greatest musical talents and his larger than life lifestyle. For the first time Elton John gives a camera crew unprecedented access into his personal and professional lives. This remarkably brave and honest film gives the viewer a fascinating and touching look at the complex character of a modern day composer and performing artist.

Directed by his partner, David Furnish, the film chronicles the year 1995, one of the most successful years in Elton's multi-faceted career. The Brit Awards, the Academy Awards®, a new album release and a massive world tour provide the backdrop for some frank, funny and touching filmmaking.

Special Feature(s): First Time Ever: Commentary featuring Elton John and (Partner/Director) David Furnish; Never-Before-Seen Footage featuring Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue, and Fashion Industry Icons Mario Testino & Gianni Versace; Deleted Scenes; Bloopers; Collectable Embossed O-Card Packaging with Elton John's Signature.

Released globally on November 25th.

Click this link to purchase it now: Elton John: Tantrums and Tiaras

Elton John Red Piano Tour Set List

Below is the set list which will be used during Elton's Red Piano Tour of Europe and Great Britain:

Intro (Piano Unveiling)

Bennie And The Jets
Philadelphia Freedom
Rocket Man (I Think It´s Gonna Be A Long Long Time)
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word
Tiny Dancer
Band Introductions
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Candle In The Wind (Solo)

Inflatable Finale Section

Pinball Wizard
The Bitch is back
I'm Still Standing
Saturday Night's alright for fighting (First 3 rows of Stalls allowed on stage)


Your Song

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Elton & The Killers Christmas Single Release Info

A brand new Christmas collaboration between The Killers and Elton John is set to launch a new charity digital music service to mark World Aids Day.

(RED)WIRE is set to be launched through MSN on December 1, with all proceeds going to HIV-infected victims in Africa.

The service will be kicked off by Elton John and the Las Vegas' band's festive track 'Joseph, Better You Than Me'

Meanwhile, the service will deliver exclusive tracks every week directly to subscribers, including a new music from U2, Bob Dylan, Coldplay and Jay-Z.

Other songs set to feature include Elvis Costello and The Police jamming on the pair's respective classic tracks 'Watching The Detectives' and 'Walking On The Moon'. The performances were taped during Costello's new Sundance Channel show 'Spectacle'.

Additional (RED)WIRE tracks will be announced in the coming weeks.

For £4 per month, (RED)WIRE members will receive a weekly digital download directly into their iTunes library.

Each weekly issue will contain four elements - an exclusive song from a major artist, a song from an up-and-coming artist, a non-music item - such as a digital short film, photography or a reading from an artist or actor - and short videos about (RED) work in Africa.

For more more information go to

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Elton's Red Piano Europe Tour Begins...

After more than 200 shows and four years in Las Vegas, Elton John is taking his Red Piano on the road – and first stop was Birmingham.

The show has been running at Caesars Palace in Vegas to packed houses since 2004, but now the singer has embarked on a short European tour of select venues, including the NIA.

The Red Piano is a career overview of four decades, reminding everyone of just what an amazing musical life Sir Elton, aka Reg Dwight, has had.

For more than two hours the huge back catalogue of hits kept on coming, from Tiny Dancer to Rocket Man, via I’m Still Standing, Candle In The Wind and Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

Although he has sung them hundreds of times, he still managed to make them sound fresh and as if he meant every word.
There is plenty to look at too. Elton’s Yamaha glossy red grand piano stands in front of the largest video screen I have ever seen at a concert, which totally dominates the stage.

The visual part of the show was designed by photographer David LaChapelle, who put together a video montage with the theme of love. Some of the films worked better than others.

Elton describes the show as “bright, brash and colourful”, although he is not quite as garish as he used to be. He left behind the ostrich feathers and cartoon costumes – remember when he dressed as Donald Duck and the Statue of Liberty? – though he couldn’t resist a few sequins, satin shirts and embroidered jackets.

He is not pop’s most energetic performer, but he still put a great deal into the show, especially for a man of 61. Occasionally he stood up and came out from behind the piano to join his band on the rest of the huge stage.

By the end, he had the NIA on its feet too.

If you’re quick, you can get tickets to catch Elton when he’s next in town. He returns to the NIA on December 16.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Elton on Billy, "Mrs Joel" & Balls

In the stage version of Billy Elliot, the story of striking miners is as important as the unlikely tale of the boy who falls in love with ballet (to the horror of his father). Appropriately for a show with politics at the forefront, the splendid music by Elton John is the antithesis of schmaltz—one song, “Electricity,” even became a top-five hit in the U.K. “Their careers are finished, their community is finished,” John says, “and then there’s this little butterfly called Billy going to London to become something different.” Growing up, John had a similar experience—his father didn’t want his son to have anything to do with the music business. And like Billy, he flew away to a place where he could be himself.

Time Out New York: Are you a fan of many musicals?
Elton John: Uh. Mmmm. [Laughs] No. No. I like what I write. West Side Story, for me, is the greatest musical ever written, and that’s something I aspire to—to write something in the same ballpark. South Pacific is great. But no, I’m not a great fan of musicals.

TONY: You wrote the music to Billy Elliot in two weeks. What is that process like?
Elton John: I don’t write very often. I write in spasms. It goes back to all the early albums: [Goodbye] Yellow Brick Road. People say, “Elton, you shouldn’t mention that because people will take you less seriously,” but it’s the way I write, and I only write that quickly because I’m enjoying the process so much.

TONY: Has anyone ever pitched a musical using just your music that already existed?
Elton John: No. I’ve always resisted it. People have tried to do Yellow Brick Road, and actually I wanted to do the Captain Fantastic musical with Stephen Daldry. That’s the first time I met him, but he didn’t have the time. If I’m going to write a musical, I want to write something from scratch.

TONY: You have said that you love people with balls. Who has balls today?
Elton John: Um. Oh God. It’s hard to say who has balls. That’s the thing: Not many people do. Sarah Palin has big balls. It’s not my cup of tea. Obama’s got balls in a way because he handled this campaign in a very dignified way. He couldn’t come out swinging because people would have said, “Listen [to the] angry black man.” Balls? Who’s got balls? God almighty. Not enough musicians have balls. We live in a kind of mediocre society—people are too afraid to say what they feel.

TONY: I know you have a bunch of godchildren. What makes a good godfather?
Elton John: Making sure you spend time with them and you take an interest in what they do. I had dinner with two of my godchildren last Sunday in Los Angeles. I took my godchildren to see Kung Fu Panda. It was hilarious because they were hilarious. I haven’t been a good godparent to a lot of my kids because in the ’80s, when I became a godparent, I was such a loose cannon and so self-obsessed. I lost one of my godchildren this year, four years old, who died of cancer of the brain. That was just awful. I played at his funeral.

TONY: What did you sing? “Skyline Pigeon.”
Elton John: There is a danger of me becoming a funeral entertainer. I wanted to sing for him because he loved music, but it was so bleak and horrible. I became a godfather on a whim. “Oh, yes, I’ll be godfather!” I didn’t take it seriously enough, but now I do.

TONY: You’re going on tour again with Billy Joel. Doesn’t Rod Stewart call you Sharon and you call him Phyllis? Do you have a name for Billy?
Elton John: No. Mrs. Joel. [Laughs wickedly] I love Billy. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully he won’t collapse at the piano and cancel his tour again. He’s in a much better frame of mind these days.

TONY: Toward the end of the movie and the musical, Billy Elliot is asked what it feels like when he’s dancing. What does it feel like when you play music?
Elton John: I just love to play live. The older I get the more I enjoy it. My records don’t sell like they did anymore. I made 48 albums. The world doesn’t really need another Elton John album.

TONY: My father would disagree.
Elton John: [Laughs] But I’m realistic enough to know that. I just disappear, really, like Billy does when he dances. It’s the most incredible thing and some nights, you feel like shit and you think, I can’t go on tonight. I’m so tired. And you go on and it’s so brilliant. Some nights you’re feeling really perky and you can’t wait and it’s crap. That’s the joy of live performing. It’s always to a certain standard, but some nights you just fly away.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Elton in Australia Soundtrack

Baz Luhrmann's new epic feature 'Australia' starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole KIdman will also feature a special track written by Sir Elton John.

The track is titled - 'The Drover'.

Australia in cinemas next wednesday November 26th.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leona Lewis to Support Sir Elton

Leona Lewis is being lined up to perform at Sir Elton John's New Years Eve party at London's O2 Arena, according to reports.

But the former X-Factor winner is also apparently wanted at a different event in America.

Lewis has enjoyed huge success in both countries since winning the talent competition in 2006 despite never touring live.

According to the Sun newspaper, she is torn between the two offers because she had hoped to spend the evening with her family.

“She had planned to spend it at home with Lou [Al-Chamaa, her boyfriend] and her family," a source said.

Lewis returned to The X Factor last weekend to perform a cover of Snow Patrol's 'Run'.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review: Elton at Mohegan Sun Arena

"Pinch me," said a woman in her 60s to her friend as they waited with hundreds of other concertgoers to enter the Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night. "I can't believe I'm actually going to see him live in concert. This was on my 'to do' list before I die!"

The "him" to whom she referred was none other than music legend Elton John, who was playing his first of two back-to-back sold-out shows in the casino's arena.

At promptly 8:15 p.m., the lights dimmed, fog rose from dry ice machines strategically placed around the stage, and the familiar synthesized opening strains of the timeless "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" filled the packed arena. A minute or so later, as thunderous applause erupted, John entered stage right, gave a smile and wave to the crowd, and gingerly made his way to the piano bench to kick off what would be nearly three hours of musical entertainment at its finest.

After the 10-minute classic opener, John kicked things into gear with his hit song "The Bitch is Back," which brought most of the crowd to its feet. Oddly enough, there were pockets of fans in the audience who stayed in their seats during this and other rocking numbers, with some even urging those up and dancing to sit down ("That's the challenge with playing a casino," explained one of the band members after the show.) Apparently, some of the "high rollers" are given complimentary tickets to shows at the arena and may not be big fans of the performers they're seeing.

Party poopers aside, John slowed things down a bit for the next few songs, which included "Madman Across the Water," "Tiny Dancer," and "Levon," which, despite its ballad-like beginning, turned into a rocked-out sing-along and showcased the talents of John's five-piece back-up band, which includes longtime John cohorts Davey Johnstone - often referred to by music industry insiders as one of the best guitarists ever - and Nigel Olsson, the gifted drummer whose energy and enthusiasm are infectious. "I Believe in Love," off the "Made in England" album, came next, followed by a jazz- and rock-infused piano progression into "Take Me to the Pilot" and the classic "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," on which John's vocals were as sweet and inspiring as ever - even if he did need a little bit of help from his bandmates when hitting the high notes.

The popular ballad "Daniel" was followed by an elongated version of "Rocket Man," the funky "Honky Cat," and a slew of slow songs, including "Sacrifice," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word," and the beautiful tribute to Marilyn Monroe - later reworked as an homage to the late Princess Diana - "Candle in the Wind."

John, who at 61 is still an amazing talent - and an energetic one, to boot - then switched gears by launching into a string of rocking hits that included "Benny and the Jets," "Sad Songs," "Philadelphia Freedom," "I'm Still Standing," "Crocodile Rock" - which turned into a karaoke-like sing-along with the crowd joining in on the "la, la, la, la, la, las" - and the first set's closer, the anthem-like "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," which saw John - wearing a baggy suit and tails adorned with sequined musical notes, an owl, and a caricature of himself as a wizard - atop the piano with his arms raised in a victory cheer.

A steady standing ovation brought John out for two songs that would round out his 24-song playlist: "Pinball Wizard," and the timeless "Your Song," which he dedicated to the audience and to all of the fans in America who have supported him so generously through the years.

There's no question that John delivered a hit-filled set, but as a longtime fan, I would have preferred to hear some of the lesser-known songs that don't often - if ever - make their way to the stage (how about "In Neon," "Grimsby," "One Horse Town," "Amoreena," "Writing," anything from the "Friends" soundtrack or his first album, "Empty Sky").

John was less chatty than usual between songs, but was clearly humbled by the repeated standing ovations, and thanked the fans numerous times during his show. Near the end of the concert, he walked the length of the stage signing autographs for the diehard fans who had made their way to the front of the arena.

John's ivory-tickling was fluid but not tricky as he settled into his show with the combination "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding," his voice prodding its lyrics intently as the tune built to a crescendo accompanied by a seizure-inducing LED light display above the stage.

That was the limit of the show's visual fireworks, but John soon threw out pyrotechnics from his piano, from the hammering he gave the keys in "The Bitch is Back" to the expansive surge with which he decorated the deliberate thump of "Madman Across the Water."

And while seeing John live, or getting his autograph, may not have been on everyone's bucket list, fans streaming out of the arena after Friday night's concert - many of whom were pumped up and singing or humming songs from the performance - most certainly had a grand time.

Elton John's performance Friday night included the following songs:

"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,"
"The Bitch is Back,"
"Madman Across the Water,"
"Tiny Dancer,"
"Take me to the Pilot,"
"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,"
"Rocket Man,"
"Honky Cat,"
"Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me,"
"All the Young Girls Love Alice,"
"I Guess That's why They Call it the Blues,"
"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word,"
"Candle in the Wind,"
"Bennie and the Jets,"
"Sad Songs (Say so Much),"
"Philadelphia Freedom,"
"I'm Still Standing,"
"Crocodile Rock,"
"Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting),"

"Pinball Wizard,"
"Your Song."

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Gift for My Supporters

Link To Me

As a very big thank you to all the supporters and regular guests to my website, I have created a special badge that you are more than welcome to copy and share amongst your friends and publish on your site or in the various forums.

Thank-you once again for your loyalty and generous support of Sir Elton and myself.

Kind & Warm Regards,

Paul Jelicich
EJN Editor

See Elton's New Years Eve Party Live in London

This New Year's Eve Elton invites you to the ultimate party as he and his band perform The Red Piano show at London's O2 Arena.

On Monday November 17 tickets for Elton John's New Year's Eve Party go exclusively on sale to O2 customers.

Elton has been wowing audiences with his Red Piano show in Las Vegas since 2004, and Elton John's New Year's Eve Party will see him perform his greatest hits at the biggest party in town; the final concert in his 2008 Red Piano European tour. He has just released his 3 disc deluxe 'Red Piano' DVD - a 14 song performance of the best of the show including favourites such as Candle in the Wind, Your Song, Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer. .

Elton commented on New Year at The O2: "I can't wait to get to spend New Year's Eve with 17,000 of my biggest fans. I can't think of a better way to see in 2009."

David Campbell, Chief Executive of AEG Europe, owners and operators of The O2 added: "I've seen the set list for New Year Eve and this is absolutely going to be one massive party. The O2 is the world's most popular music venue, and for New Year Eve we have always wanted the best celebration anywhere. What more could you ask for than Elton John to kick off 2009 in style. In difficult times this will be a night to remember. Thanks Elton."

New Year's Eve transport to and from The O2 couldn't be easier with the London Underground running 24 hours, 2,000 car parking spaces available at the venue, high speed boats, all night buses and taxis.

Billy Elliot Opens in New York

It's not often that a musical comes along that is as ambitious as it is emotional — and then succeeds on both counts.

But "Billy Elliot," which opened Thursday at Broadway's Imperial Theatre, is an exceptional work that exemplifies what the best musicals are all about: collaboration. Everything comes together in this impressive, warmhearted adaptation of the 2000 British film about a North Country coal miner's young son who yearns to dance and join the Royal Ballet School in London.

The movie was directed by Stephen Daldry, who performed the same duties for this stage version, a big hit in London for the last three years. And there's no reason to believe "Billy Elliot" won't be just as popular in New York.

Daldry has done a masterful job assembling a superlative cast and artistic team that includes pop superstar Elton John, who wrote the music, and Lee Hall, who adapted his own screenplay and wrote the lyrics, too.

But let's start with some of the actors, particularly the title character and the show's gaggle of youngsters. Not since "Annie" have children been used so well on a Broadway stage. Daldry has triple cast the role of Billy, with three boys rotating in what must be one of the marathon roles of musical theater.

At one of the last preview performances before the opening, Billy was played by David Alvarez, a dark-eyed, curly haired youngster with a solemn demeanor and astonishing grace. The most satisfying moments in musicals often take you by surprise, and watching as Billy begins to dance for the first time is one of them.

The miracle occurs in a dance class for little girls (a riotously inept corps de ballet) run by a delightfully jaded, chain-smoking teacher named Mrs. Wilkinson. She is portrayed by the show's superb London original, Haydn Gwynne. The woman's comic demeanor camouflages her fierce desire for her pupils to "Shine," one of John's more exuberant numbers.

That leads to one of the show's other heroes, choreographer Peter Darling, whose airborne creations (at one point, literally) gets everybody dancing by the musical's exuberant finale. Yet Darling's dances are about more than ballet.

"Billy Elliot" takes place in the mid-1980s, the heyday of Margaret Thatcher's England, and is set against the backdrop of a bitter miners strike. Billy's tentative steps into the world of ballet are contrasted with this contentious walkout, and Darling's inventive use of movement to show both worlds is dance storytelling at its finest.

Hall carefully creates a parade of vivid supporting characters. Billy's father (Gregory Jbara) and militant older brother (Santino Fontana) at first denigrate Billy's desire to dance.

The young man finds encouragement from a variety of people, not the least being his good buddy Michael, a cheerful cross-dresser who delivers his toe-tapping philosophy in a song called "Express Yourself." As played by a pint-sized song-and-dance man named Frank Dolce (one of two young actors who alternate in the role), this lad will have no trouble filling the shoes — make that high heels — of Judy, Liza or Bette when he grows up.

Another mentor is Billy's dotty grandmother, played with delectable astringency by Carole Shelley. It is she who remembers her late husband primarily because he was a great dancer, so maybe dancing was in Billy's genes after all.

Yet hovering most emotionally over the story is Billy's dead mother, who returns to comfort her son. Leah Hocking offers these words of encouragement in the form of a letter, which happens to be one of the composer's most touching songs. Unabashedly sentimental? Of course. But effective nonetheless.

John's music is his most expansive yet for the theater. Unlike the more rigidly pop-flavored melodies for "The Lion King" and "Aida," the songs here range from huge, hymnlike chorale numbers for the miners to several jaunty comedy songs including a catchy number entitled "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher," whose melody will be permanently etched in your brain.

Most startling, though, is the raging rock music that closes Act 1, a fierce barrage that accompanies Billy's defiant frustration about being denied his dream.

Hall's lyrics are unassuming in the best way possible. They don't call attention to themselves, but their simple, direct manner serves the story.

And Daldry's design team could not be better. Ian MacNeil's settings are often gloomy, perfect for the bleak coal-mining town. But when show-biz extravagance is called for, MacNeil delivers, particularly in a giant Thatcher puppet or when a parade of equally large frocks start dancing with the dress-addicted Michael.

Rick Fisher's lighting is equally appropriate, dazzlingly in the classical ballet sequences when young Billy dances with an older version of himself (Stephen Hanna).

In the end, though, "Billy Elliot" is a very intimate, personal story. It celebrates being true to yourself and finding your place in the world — even against the most adverse of circumstances. For the striking coal miners, a way of life is disappearing, never to return; for others, such as young Billy, a whole new adventure is about to begin. And "Billy Elliot" tells his tale with amazing theatricality.

Visit the below link to hear Elton & Stephen discuss Billy:

General Tour Schedule for Face To Face Announced

Billy Joel and Elton John will reprise their wildly successful co-headlining concerts beginning in March of next year in select capital cities throughout the United States.

Elton and Billy will perform across the southern states and the west coast during that month. In May and later in 2009 Elton and Billy will head back to the USA for more concerts, and in 2010 the tour will cover more of North America (Canada), and then continue into other continents including Europe, Asia and Australia/ New Zealand.

John confirmed the duo would work again together yesterday (Nov. 11) on "The View," adding that they could be on the road for "at least" two years. But sources say the extent of the pairing is still being determined.

At first, Joel and John will play "select cities" in March and May. Details of initial on-sales will be announced soon.

Regarded as the top-grossing co-headliners of all time, John and Joel first worked together in 1994 and last toured together in 2003, when they grossed $45.8 million from only 24 sellouts, an average of nearly $2 million per night, according to Billboard Boxscore.

The pair have played stadiums as well as multiple nights at arenas, but all upcoming shows will be in arenas. Sources say the format will be similar to 2003, when the artists played songs together and individually.

Ticket prices will be similar to 2003, when the top price was $175. "It's two people for the price of one," John said on "The View." "Our ticket prices are the same as you'd see anyone else, but there's two of us. In this day and age, we hope to be getting people value for their money."

It is believed the tour will work with individual promoters in each market as opposed to a national touring deal. John is booked by Howard Rose at the Howard Rose Agency, and Joel by Dennis Arfa at Artists Group International.

Video: Elton at An Enduring Vision

See: http://www.etonline.comnews/2008/11/67594/ for the video.

Elton John, accompanied by his longtime partner, David Furnish, had some choice words about California's Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage that passed on Nov. 4.

In December 2005, John and Furnish tied the knot in a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor, England. But, clarified the singer, "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage."

John and Furnish, and their two cocker spaniels, Marilyn and Arthur, were in town for Tuesday's annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off.

"You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

The dinner, held at Cipriani Wall Street, was hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and featured a performance from Gladys Knight. John's foundation gets a four-star rating, the highest available, from, and John, in his speech, called for a national AIDS policy.

What does the annual gala mean to him? "It means we get to see our friends on the East Coast who support us so much. It's a staple event for us on our calendar in America. We do the Oscar party on the West Coast, and we do this on the East Coast."

As one of the world's best known musicians Elton John can rely upon the support of a host of stars at his charity events. And this week was no exception, with soul singer Gladys Knight joining the Piano Man and his partner David Furnish for a gala evening in New York.

The multi-award winning songstress, who teamed up with Elton in 1986 for charity single That's What Friends Are For, attended 'An Enduring Vision', the city's seventh annual benefit to raise funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

And the lucky guests, including Emily Mortimer and Delta Goodrem, were treated to a special duet by the two singers, which Georgia-born Gladys insisted they'd not practised together.

"He called me and said, "Look, if were going to do something, we're just going to do it. You're a pro and I'm a pro.'," she revealed.

During the event - which included a cocktail reception, a dinner and live auction - actor Tim Allen was recognised for his contribution to the charity. The Santa Clause 3 star was quick to deflect credit back to his host, however, saying: "It’s a terrific thing that he's done and I'm just doing the best I can."

"I'm so proud to be in this country. So proud to be a part of something so incredibly moving, and touching," Elton said from the stage to a packed crowd at Cipriani Wall Street. "Last week's election demonstrated to me why I fell in love with America in the first place. More importantly, it demonstrated to everybody across this planet that America is a good place now."

Citing recent reports showing significant increases in the number of new AIDS cases in America – especially among African-Americans – he went on to praise President-elect Barack Obama for including the development of a National AIDS Strategy in his vision for the country.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Elton at Enduring Vision

Gladys Knight, Tim Allen, Emily Mortimer and Delta Goodrem partied the night away at Sir Elton John's An Enduring Vision gala in New York.

Wearing a handmade Yohji Yamamoto silk suit, the Rocket Man arrived at the seventh annual charity do for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, held at Cipriani Wall Street, with partner David Furnish.

"I hope we raise a lot of money and I hope people go away thinking about Aids and still the difficulties we have throughout the world with Aids," he said.

"I hope they also have a good time so that they come back next year. I mean, it's great to go and give money but you can't bat people over the head with things but we've got it down quite well now, David and I. We've been doing this for so long that people seem to want to come back so that's the secret of our success, I hope."

Actor and comedian Tim Allen was a lucky recipient of an Enduring Vision award for his outstanding support of the EJAF mission in raising awareness and helping to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.

"I'm doing my best to accept an award from the genuine article and I just hope I can stick with being humble and not be a jerk, as is my natural reaction to be funny and try and laugh this off," he revealed.

"It's a terrific thing that he's done and I'm just doing the best I can."

Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys, who was performing with Sir Elton, admitted they hadn't practised.

"I'm going to surprise Elton! He called me and said, 'Look, if we're going to do something, we're just going to do it. You're a pro and I'm a pro'," she said.

Video: Elton on The View & David Furnish's Canadian Interview

Below are links to some exciting new interviews with Sir Elton on The View in which he discusses Billy Elliot, Billy Joel and Spectacle and even brings out his two dogs - Marilyn and Arthur. Watch it here:

David Furnish has also recently shot an interview with CTV Canada about life with Elton, his commitments to EJAF, Fashion and entertainment. He also announced plans for a second season of Spectacle. Watch it here:

Elton & Billy's Tour to Last 2 Years

SIR ELTON JOHN and BILLY JOEL's 2009 tour will be a two-year-long marathon road trip, taking in venues across the globe.
The pianist pals recently announced plans to team up for a series of spectacular concerts next year (09).

And John is promising everyone will get the chance to see them play.

He says, "Billy and I will go out next year for at least two years on and off. All over the world. It's something I've looked forward to for a long time. I love touring with him. We're both such good friends."

And he vows audiences will get a bargain - because they are only charging the regular price for one concert: "It's two for the price of one. The ticket price will be the same as any concert, and there's two of us. We're giving real value for money."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lineup for Spectacle Announced

The Sundance Channel will launch the debut season of the new talk/performance series "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..." on Wednesday, December 3, 2008. Be sure to tune in for in-depth conversations between host Costello and his guests, as well as rare musical performances by Costello, his guests and a wide variety of musicians. Comprised of 13 one-hour episodes, "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..." airs on Wednesday nights at 9:00pm ET/PT.

The featured guests of the series' debut season are Sir Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel, Smokey Robinson, The Police (Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers), James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Diana Krall, John Mellencamp, Jakob Dylan, She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Norah Jones, Jenny Lewis, Renée Fleming and President Bill Clinton.

These guest artists will not only talk, but perform -- demonstrating the development and creation of their music and playing new, stripped-down, or solo versions of some of their best and most loved songs. Costello also performs, starting each episode with an original, never before seen (or heard) interpretation of a song by the featured guest, or a song connected to them. And on top of all that are extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime collaborations and pairings.

Additional musical special guests include Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve of The Imposters; guitarist James Burton, who played with Elvis Presley; legendary producer, pianist, writer, arranger and singer Allen Toussaint; three-time Grammy Award winning jazz bassist Charlie Haden; jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny, who has collected 17 Grammy Awards; jazz pianist Bill Charlap; Larry Campbell and Tony Garnier of Bob Dylan's touring band, and violinist/vocalist Jenny Scheinman.

The schedule for Season 1 of "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..." is as follows:

Wednesday, December 3rd at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Sir Elton John" - Elvis welcomes the British pop-rock superstar John.

Wednesday, December 10th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Lou Reed & Julian Schnabel" - Elvis welcomes rock icon and Velvet Underground founder Reed and artist-filmmaker Schnabel.

Wednesday, December 17th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bill Clinton" - Elvis welcomes former President Clinton.

Wednesday, December 24th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with James Taylor" - Elvis welcomes the iconic American singer-songwriter.

Wednesday, December 31st at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Tony Bennett" - Elvis welcomes the premier living interpreter of the Great American Songbook.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with The Police" - Elvis welcomes the recently reunited rock trio of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.

Wednesday, January 14th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Rufus Wainwright" - Elvis welcomes singer-songwriter Wainwright, one of the most acclaimed new artists of the past decade.

Wednesday, January 21st at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp" - Elvis welcomes actor/singer-songwriter Kristofferson; singer-songwriter Cash; international sensation Jones; and recent Rock & Roll Hall of fame inductee Mellencamp.

Wednesday, January 28th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Renée Fleming" - Elvis welcomes the great American soprano.

Wednesday, February 4th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Herbie Hancock" - Elvis welcomes the jazz legend, winner of this year's Grammy® Award for Album of the Year

Wednesday, February 11th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with She & Him, Jenny Lewis, Jakob Dylan" - Elvis welcomes indie duo She & Him, comprised of actress Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, singer-songwriter Lewis; and singer-songwriter Dylan.

Wednesday, February 18th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Diana Krall" - Elvis welcomes his wife, international jazz sensation Krall; she is interviewed by the program's executive producer, Elton John

Wednesday, February 25th at 9:00pm
"Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Smokey Robinson" - Elvis welcomes the legendary Motown singer and songwriter.

Elton's New Xmas Song Includes Killers & Pet Shop Boys

Elton John has revealed that he is currently in the studio with The Killers recording a Christmas song, with Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys to contribute a verse to the brand new track.

During an interview on Australian radio on Monday (November 10), the superstar singer discussed his plans to record with The Killers while he is in performing in their home town of Las Vegas.

“I’m doing their Christmas single,” John told the radio show’s host. “In fact I’m going into the studio tomorrow (Saturday) to put my voice on the track.”

News of the collaboration broke last week after The Killers announced they would be recording their annual Christmas song with the superstar.

“The track is called ‘Joseph’ and I wrote it with Brandon (Flowers) the last time I was here, and they’ve been recording it all throughout different places in the world,” John says.

“I think Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys has been writing a verse, so it’s quite a collaboration.”

Saturday, November 8, 2008

See The Red Piano Live Broadcast in Holland

Sir Elton John's Paris December 9 European premiere performance of The Red Piano will now be broadcast throughout Pathe theatres in The Netherlands.

The live concert in Paris will be broadcast simultaneously via satelite from Le Bercy to cinema screens throughout Holland.

Although no concerts have been scheduled in The Netherlands for the European Tour of The Red Piano, fans don't need to travel or despair as Elton is coming to their local cinema complex, Live!

This simulcast is presented exclusively in the Netherlands from 19:45 in Pathé Tuschinski, Buitenhof, Groningen and Schouwburgplein. An after-party will follow. Tickets are Euro 22.50.

Elton Confirmed for Argentina & Chile

More dates are now confirmed for Elton and the band's Latin America tour next year. As well as the Brazil dates already announced, Elton will be performing on Thursday, January 22 at Boca Juniors Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and on Saturday, January 24 at Club Hípico de Santiago, Santiago, Chile. These concerts are part of the 'Rocket Man' tour. James Blunt will be special guest at both these concerts.

The Rocket Man tour began in 2007, just after the release of the CD Rocket Man - The Definitive Hits. This tour has seen Elton and the band perform over 60 concerts across the world - in Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa, North America and now in Latin America.

Elton will be performing with musicians Davey Johnstone (guitar and vocals), Guy Babylon (keyboards), Bob Birch (bass and vocals), John Mahon (percussion and vocals) and Nigel Olsson (drums and vocals).

Opening for Elton will be the phenomenal young British singer, James Blunt. During his prodigious career James has released only two albums so far, but he has already sold over 14 million copies around the world. The single You're Beautiful was the first British single to reach the # 1 position in the USA since Elton topped the charts there with Candle in the Wind 1997. In Brazil, James Blunt will be performing with his band, Paul Beard (piano, keyboards and vocals), Ben Castle (guitar and vocals), John Garrison (bass and vocals) and Karl Brazil (drums and vocals).

ickets for the Buenos Aires concert will be available via
Tickets for the Santiago concert will be available via

Friday, November 7, 2008

Elton to Write With Richard Fleeshman

He's duetted with the likes of George Michael and Kiki Dee, but now Elton John is to write songs with Manchester's very own Richard Fleeshman.

Elton personally invited 19-year-old Soapstar Superstar winner Richard to be his support act on his stadium tour over the summer - and has now arranged to meet at the end of November 2008 for a music jamming session.

It's something of a dream come true for Richard, as Sir Elton was his childhood idol and the man he credits for inspiring him to become a musician. Richard says: "Elton has been amazing, so supportive. We're going to be writing some songs together towards the end of this month. It's really nice of him to do it and we're just going to see what happens. Sometimes these things work, sometimes they don't. But, either way, it's going to be exciting.

"It's going to be amazing, because he was my hero growing up. I used to watch him and go, `I want to do that'. That was one of the reasons I wanted to learn the piano when I was so young. "We've never written together before, but he's been so supportive and lovely. It means such a lot when someone you admire so much takes an interest in you."

Former Coronation Street star Richard will also rejoin Elton for the December 2008 dates of his Red Piano tour - including two nights at the M.E.N Arena. Richard says: "I think the atmosphere will be amazing in the arena. I just can't wait. To finish on the 21st in Manchester, at the M.E.N, is pretty cool. It's coming home and it's going to be really great."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Elton Resigns From Watford

Sir Elton John has dramatically resigned as Life President of Watford FC tonight.

The two-times Hornets chairman made the announcement on his website and it continues an increasingly turbulent week for the Hornets, following the departure of Aidy Boothroyd as manager and the calling of an emergency general meeting next month where the club's three-man board will face a vote of no confidence and demands for their immediate resignation.

The statement reads : "Elton John has decided to resign as Life President of Watford Football Club. In a letter to Watford chairman Graham Simpson, Elton affirmed that he would always be a fan of Watford.

“Elton wishes the team every success for the future. However, in the light of developments over the past few months, he feels he cannot remain in any formal position within the club.”

Although the full reasons for the rock star's decision are not yet known, it is likely that Boothroyd's departure may have triggered it following last month's outspoken statement in which he raised his fears for the future of the club.

New Elton John Watch Series & Moscow Concert News

In December of 2008, Chopard will introduce its revised Elton John watch collection in Moscow. These extravagant and stylish luxury chronographs are to be offered in rose or white gold exclusively, with various combinations of precious stones, including pink, yellow, black and chocolate diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, or rubies. Pastel straps in exotic leathers compliment the vibrant combinations of gemstones. Each of these Chopard timepieces will be limited in production, and feature an engraved Elton John signature.

Proceeds from each watch sold will assist the Elton John AIDS Foundation. To coincide with Chopard's launch of the new collection, Elton John will hold a celebratory private concert in Moscow on December 7th.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Elton Confirms Xmas Killers Project

Sir Elton John, creator of Christmas classics such as `Step Into Christmas` and `Ho Ho Ho, Who`d Want To Be A Turkey At Christmas` is about to record a new Christmas song with The Killers.

The song is called ‘Joseph, Better You Than Me’. Recording is planned for this week and the song will be available in the first week of December.

The Killers have made a tradition of the Christmas song. Last year they released ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’. In 2006, their Christmas song was ‘A Great Big Sled’.

he song will be the third year in a row that the band have released a Chritmas single. Their previous two - 'A Great Big Sled' and 'Don't Shoot Me Santa' - were download only charity songs.

The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannuci told the BBC, ““I have a sneaky suspicion Elton is just going to want to get us in a room and just do a straight recording.”

The new Killers album ‘Day and Age’ will be released at the end of this month.

Elton Brings Red Piano to Limerick

Elton John returns to Ireland next June for an open air date in Limerick’s newly redeveloped Thomond Park rugby stadium.

Elton John plays Thomond Park stadium in Limerick on June 6.

Tickets priced between €79.25 and €116.25 are on sale Monday November 10 at 9am.

“We’re delighted to be running a big, outdoor gig in Limerick for the first time,” enthuses promoter Peter Aiken. “The new Thomond Park is a really spectacular venue, which can comfortably hold 25,000 people. We’ve staged all of Elton’s recent Irish gigs from Stormont Castle to Croke Park, and he always puts on a spectacular show.”

Fans will be treated to the touring version of John’s $3 million Red Piano extravaganza, which has grossed $140m during its three-year, 200 show Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace residency.

Also out this week is a Red Piano three-disc DVD/CD and Blue-ray featuring such Dwight-sian classics as ‘Benny & The Jets’, ‘Philadelphia Freedom’, ‘Tiny Dancer’, ‘Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting’, ‘Candle In The Wind’, ‘Believe’ and ‘Rocket Man’.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Elton on 'The View'

Sir Elton will be a very special guest on 'The View' on ABC next Tuesday, Nov 11, at 11:00 AM live.

Here is some interesting biographical information:

Birth Name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Birth Place: Pinner, England
Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 03/25/1947, Aries
Profession: Singer; musician; composer; music producer; actor

Elton John Fast Facts:

Won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London at age 11; dropped out in 1964 to pursue a music career.
In 1971, he became the first artist since The Beatles to have four albums on Billboard's top-10 chart simultaneously; starting with 1972's Honky Chateau, he released seven consecutive albums that went to No. 1.
Made his film acting debut in 1975's Tommy.
Formed the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992; since then, profits from his singles have gone to fight the virus.
His version of "Candle in the Wind" in honor of the late Princess Diana became the biggest selling single of all time.
Godfather of Sean Lennon.
Collaborated with lyricist Tim Rice on five songs for the soundtrack of Disney's animated The Lion King, which sold over 7 million copies and won them an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe. The movie was subsequently turned into a Tony-winning Broadway musical.
Was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

Elton John Relationships:

Fred Farebrother - Stepfather
Hugh Williams - Ex-significant Other
John Reid - Ex-significant Other
John Scott - Ex-significant Other
Linda Woodrow - Ex-fiancée
Renate Blauel - Ex-wife
Sheila Farebrother - Mother
Stanley Dwight - Father
David Furnish - Husband

Elton John Awards:

1995 Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture - Winner
1995 Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture - Nominee
2004 Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture - Nominee
1991 Grammy: Best Instrumental Composition - Winner
1994 Grammy: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance - Winner
1997 Grammy: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance - Winner
2000 Grammy: Best Musical Show Album - Winner
1986 Grammy: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal - Winner
1994 Oscar: Best Achievement in Music (Song) - Winner
1994 Oscar: Best Achievement in Music (Song) - Nominee
1994 Oscar: Best Achievement in Music (Song) - Nominee
1998 Tony: Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for Theatre - Nominee
2000 Tony: Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for Theatre - Winner

Elton Confirms 2 Shows for Brazil with James Blunt

As promised, Elton will return to Brazil, and the first big international shows of 2009 in Brazil are now confirmed. Elton and the band will be performing on Saturday, January 17, in São Paulo, at Anhembi, and on Monday January 19, in Rio de Janeiro, at Praça da Apoteose, as part of the 'Rocket Man' tour.

Tickets for the São Paulo concert will go on public sale at 10pm on November 8, 2008, and for the Rio de Janeiro concert at 10pm on November 9. They will be available via this link, or by phone at 4007-1007 (local call anywhere in Brazil).Please see 'Ticket Details' below.

The Rocket Man tour began in 2007, just after the release of the CD Rocket Man - The Definitive Hits. This tour has seen Elton and the band perform over 60 concerts across the world - in Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa, North America and now in Latin America, starting in Brazil. Elton's last public concerts in Brazil were in 1995, during his 'Made In England' tour.

Elton will be performing with musicians Davey Johnstone (guitar and vocals), Guy Babylon (keyboards), Bob Birch (bass and vocals), John Mahon (percussion and vocals) and Nigel Olsson (drums and vocals).

Opening for Elton will be the phenomenal young British singer, James Blunt. During his prodigious career James has released only two albums so far, but he has already sold over 14 million copies around the world. The single You're Beautiful was the first British single to reach the # 1 position in the USA since Elton topped the charts there with Candle in the Wind 1997. In Brazil, James Blunt will be performing with his band, Paul Beard (piano, keyboards and vocals), Ben Castle (guitar and vocals), John Garrison (bass and vocals) and Karl Brazil (drums and vocals). James' biggest hits in Brazil so far are You're Beautiful, Same Mistake and Carry you Home. These songs have been played frequently on the radio during 2008, and the latter two were both big hits following their inclusion on 2 TV Globo soap operas soundtracks.

We will have an allocation of Rocket tickets for this concert and they will go on sale soon on the Concerts and Tickets page.

Principle sponsors of The Elton John shows in Brazil are Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, who are celebrating their fifth anniversary, and Nokia. The mobile carrier Vivo is also sponsoring the tour. Planmusic Entretenimento, in partnership with Brasil 1 Entretenimento, are responsible for the organization.

Ticket details:
Tickets for the São Paulo concert will go on public sale at 10pm on November 8, 2008, and for the Rio de Janeiro concert at 10pm on November 9. They will be available via this link, or by phone at 4007-1007 (local call anywhere in Brazil.) On November 8 and 9 the call center will be operating 24 hours. From Monday 10 onwards, it will work from 6am to 12pm.
In São Paulo, it will also be possible to buy tickets at Pacaembu Stadium from 9am to 6pm every day, except on those days when there are football matches. In Rio, there will be tickets available every day at Maracanãzinho Gymnasium from November 10 onwards, except on those days when there are football matches on at Maracanã Stadium.
There will be 30,000 tickets for sale for São Paulo's concert and 35,000 for Rio de Janeiro's gig. Age restrictions apply for those under 18.