Thursday, March 31, 2011

Idol Contestants Sing Elton John, Will He Appear on Tonight's Show?


James Durbin literally lit up the "American Idol" stage.

The flashy 22-year-old rocker from Santa Cruz, Calif., was accompanied by a flaming piano for "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" during an evening of Elton John classics on the Fox talent competition Wednesday. Jennifer Lopez told Durbin that she forgot it was a contest while he was wailing atop the red piano before it was set ablaze.

"The one thing I was worried about was having a Pepsi moment," a hairsprayed Durbin revealed afterward, referencing Michael Jackson's noggin infamously catching on fire during the filming of a 1984 Pepsi commercial.

Casey Abrams, the 20-year-old film camp counselor from Idyllwild, Calif., who was saved from elimination by the panel last week, impressed the judges with a tender rendition of "Your Song." Lopez told Abrams that she didn't lose any sleep over voting to use the one-time-only power to overturn viewers' votes, forcing two singers to be dismissed this week.

"You sing different every time, and I love that about you because that shows you're a true artist," Steven Tyler said.

A pair of singers gratified with their signature growls. Randy Jackson declared Scotty McCreery, the 17-year-old high school student from Garner, N.C., was "in the zone" following "Country Comfort," and proclaimed Haley Reinhart, the 20-year-old college student from Wheeling, Ill., had the night's best performance after closing with "Bennie and the Jets."

"You sing sexy," Tyler told Reinhart.

Jacob Lusk, the 23-year-old spa concierge from Compton, Calif., and Pia Toscano, the 22-year-old make-up artist from Howard Beach, N.Y., both received positive feedback from the judges despite respectively turning in yet another slow-tempo routine. Lusk gleamed with "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," and Toscano shined on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."
"The notes take us to an otherworldly place," Lopez told Toscano.

Naima Adedapo, the funky 26-year-old dance instructor from Milwaukee, didn't have Lopez or Jackson on her side for her reggae rendition of "I'm Still Standing." Lopez said she wasn't sure if that was the right song for Adeapo, while Jackson was more blunt in his assessment: He called it "kinda corny." Adedapo didn't seem fazed by their criticism.

"What's for you is for you, and what's for me is for me," Adedapo responded.

Jackson also wasn't raving about 16-year-old high school student Thia Megia of Mountain House, Calif., or 26-year-old singer-songwriter Paul McDonald of Nashville, Tenn. He proclaimed Megia's take on "Daniel" was "once again very safe," and cautioned McDonald to "allow yourself to go all the way" after the smiley singer performed a mellow "Rocket Man."

Stefano Langone, the 21-year-old crooner from Kent, Wash., earned praise from the panel for connecting with the crowd on "Tiny Dancer," though Tyler noted that Langone often comes off as "Broadway." The Aerosmith frontman was kinder to Lauren Alaina, the 16-year-old high school student from Rossville, Ga., who was on fire with "Candle in the Wind."

"You keep singing like that, and you'll be able to afford the rest of that dress," Tyler teased Alaina, who was sporting a glamorous cut-off gown.

Two of the 11 finalists are scheduled to be eliminated Thursday.

- FOX News

For Motown week we were treated to a surprise appearance by Stevie Wonder. For Elton John week should we be expecting a surprise appearance from Elton John himself tomorrow night?

While Elton John has been busy this winter and spring raising his brand new baby, Zachary, with his partner David Furnish, it is very likely that he may make a ‘surprise’ appearance tomorrow night. His big summer / fall world tour just so happens to kick off next week in Bismark, North Dakota. An appearance on the show would certainly help sell off those remaining tickets available in most of the venues!

- Babble

Elton Sends a Message to The People of Japan


Elton was asked by Rolling Stone in Japan to send a message to the people of Japan and this is what he wrote: "I would like to send a message to the people of Japan. It is impossible to imagine the hardship, grief and tragedy that we are seeing every moment of the day. Please know that the world is praying for the dead and the misplaced. Every image I see fills me with sorrow and I hope one day to be able to do something positive for those who have survived this catastrophe. With love, Elton John."

- ej.com

David & Elton Are Planning to Have 2nd Child


Sir Elton John and David Furnish are thought to be considering having another baby.

The British singer and his civil partner David became the proud parents of son Zachary on Christmas Day last year. The tot was born using a surrogate and the couple kept the pregnancy secret.

They are both enjoying every second of parenthood and are now said to be contemplating giving Zachary a sibling in the near future. The pair have apparently always wanted to have more than one child, but originally thought they wouldn’t expand their brood for a few years.

“They’ve had six fertilised eggs stored for future use, and originally thought they’d wait a bit before contemplating another child – but they’re so over the moon with Zachary they’ve decided to speed things up so the siblings will be closer in age,” a source told National Enquirer.

Elton and David have reportedly already started interviewing possible surrogate candidates, among them the woman who carried Zachary.

In February, David, 48, hinted he and 64-year-old Elton were thinking about becoming parents again.

“We are just taking it one day at a time, it’s a huge change in our lives and we are loving every minute of it,” he explained. “Who knows what the future holds?”



- Cover Media/independent.ie

Saturday Night Live Commercial Airs



Do you have plans for this Saturday night yet? Well, if you're home around 11:30pm on April 2, a true living legend would love to visit you in your living room: Elton John is hosting Saturday Night Live, and he'll also be that night's musical guest.

John is returning to SNL for the first time since 1982, but back then he was just the musical guest. Does Sir Elton have the comedy chops to hold his own with the SNL actors?

- Buddy TV

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tip: If You are Young, Hot & Male - You Can Get Front Row Tix!


Hi all, it's Midnight Sun alum Sam Sessa (Erik is out of town until tomorrow) with a funny Elton John tidbit.

I wasn't able to make John's Baltimore concert Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena, but my good friend Kristin did. She scored second-row seats ("10 feet from Elton!") from a local radio station.

Once she and her date were situated, they turned to the young, good-looking guys ahead of them and asked them how they'd managed to land front row seats. They had been sitting further back when one of John's crew came up and offered them seats in the front row.

Kristin marveled at this, until she realized that most of the folks in the front row -- at least the ones near John -- were young, hot guys.

Then she knew what was up.

Apparently, it's something John has done for a while. When he goes on tour with Billy Joel, the front row is half hot guys and half hot chicks. John and Joel have even joked about it during shows, one fan tells me.

I've heard of bands having their roadies hand-pick hot chicks to join them backstage after shows, but never filling the front rows with them. Still, it makes sense.

- Baltimore Sun

Elton on Jimmy Fallon This Thursday

Sir Elton John will appear on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Thursday night 12:35/11:35C

Elton's Finally Online, Chatting with David Cameron Soon


The 64-year-old says his famous temper has simply evaporated since the birth of son Zachary on Christmas Day to a surrogate mother.

“He’s changed my life completely,” Elton told Gaydar Radio.

“I’m besotted by him. I never thought before a couple of years ago that I would in any way, shape or form be a father.

“The most incredible thing about it is it’s relaxed me and chilled me out so much because he’s just so adorable.

“It’s taken the emphasis off me and put it all on him. It’s made me more peaceful and I am in seventh heaven.”

Elton’s partner David Furnish adds that it’s not just Elton’s moods that have changed – he’s also been buying gadgets so he doesn’t miss spending time with Zachary even when he is away from home.

He’s changed my life completely.

“It’s moved Elton into the computer age,” he says. “For someone who steadfastly refused to get online, embrace the computer, embrace the internet, Elton took delivery of his first iPad two weeks ago because it has the dual camera on it and he wants to be able to Skype his little son every day when he’s not with him.”


Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/

Elton John told Sexten on Gaydar Radio: “I’m going to see David Cameron when I come back in April. I have a date in my diary to see him. I’m going to be talking with him – with the people who work with my AIDS foundation – to talk about this very thing and to see what the government is going to do about it, and to see how we can work together.

“It is startling that, in this day and age, the infection rate has gone up so much within gay men. It is something on our agenda and I’m going to be doing that when I come back in May.”

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/305121#ixzz1HxeFKc8G

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Elton John Week for American Idol


This week the Top 11 singers will hit the stage and belt out songs from the catalog of… wait for it… Sir Elton John.

American Idol airs on Fox Wednesday and Thursday 8/7C

Elton & David Invite Kate & William to Private Dinner


ELTON John is planning to host the ultimate Come Dine With Me event to celebrate the royal wedding – with Kate and Wills as guests of honour.

The star-studded guest list for the dinner party, three weeks before the big day, also includes David and Victoria Beckham.

And as in the popular TV show, the visitors may even get to look around Elton and David Furnish’s stunning home next to Windsor Castle while the feast is being prepared.

The soirée, at the beginning of April, will allow Kate and Wills to meet Elton and David’s baby son Zachary for the first time. Elton, who was close to William’s mum Diana, revealed last month he had received a coveted invite to Westminster Abbey on April 29. He said: “I’ve been trying to be discreet, yeah, we do have an invitation.”

A source said: “Elton loves entertaining and hosting people at his home.

“He is touring America at the moment but flits between there and the UK, and comes to his Old Windsor home whenever a short break in his schedule allows.

“He has wanted to invite Kate and William for dinner for a while now to thank them for his wedding invitation. He always puts on the most incredible feasts fit for royalty anyway, so they should feel right at home.

“The Beckhams will be invited, but it depends on whether his club let him travel.”


A spokesman for Kate and Wills said yesterday: “Anything of this nature would be a private matter.” Elton’s Old Windsor home backs on to the 5,000 acre deer park in the grounds of Windsor Castle where Prince Andrew lives.

Elton, who turned 64 yesterday, and David host many lavish parties at the house, including the annual glitzy White Tie and Tiara Ball held to raise money for Elton’s Aids foundation.
Along with the Beckhams, he is one of only a few celebs invited to the wedding.

Elton is also one of the only famous people close to the couple who usually prefer to socialise with their old friends.

Let’s hope they all remain pals after the guests give their scores and comments on the night during the taxi ride home.


- Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk

Australian Tour Ticket On-Sale Delayed


A source very close to Elton John's upcoming Australian tour this December has confirmed that there has been a delay with announcing the tour dates and ticketing information.

A reason for the delay was not provided, although sorting all the necessary planning for such a large tour and all the related resources can be quite a comprehensive task to undertake.

Therefore, we can expect ticketing information to be released around late May.

Stay tuned for more information.

Elton John Features in Japan Aid Compilation


"Songs For Japan," an all-star 38-track digital-only album, was released Friday exclusively on iTunes, with all proceeds benefiting the Japanese Red Cross Society's earthquake relief activities.

Set succeeds 2010's similarly styled "Hope For Haiti Now," Web-only compilation dedicated to the island relief effort, which was issued after a network benefit telecast. That set became the first digital-only album to reach No. 1, shifting 171,000 downloads in just two days (Variety, Jan. 28, 2010).

All four major label groups are participating in the Japan compilation, which is selling for $9.99.

Hit-driven collection includes tracks by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Adele, U2, Sting, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Lady Antebellum and Justin Bieber. All performers have waived royalties for their contributions, as has Apple.

- Variety

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Elton!





Today, March 25, is Sir Elton John's 64th Birthday.

On behalf of everyone who respects and values your contribution to the world musically, personally and in the philanthropic field - Happy Birthday!!

We realise today must be a difficult day as it unfortunately comes at a time of bad news with regards to your dear friend Elizabeth Taylor.

However, we know that with Zachary and David by your side you will be stronger than ever.

Thankyou again for all the love and joy you bring to the world.

With Love,

Paul Jelicich
EJN Editor

Elton Pays Tribute to the Late Elizabeth Taylor


Singer Elton John paid tribute to his friend and fellow AIDS-activist, Elizabeth Taylor, at a concert in Pittsburgh Wednesday night.

"Today I lost a friend and you lost a hero named Elizabeth Taylor," the singer told a cheering crowd at the Consol Energy Center. "She was not just a movie star, although she was a huge movie star and there will never be anyone like her again ... She was without a doubt one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life."

"She stood up when no one was prepared to stand up and be counted against AIDS," John continued. "She supported everybody in that with 1,000% of her body and her fiber. But most of all she loved people. She fought for the underdog. She was an incredible woman and I was privileged to have known her."

As John began to play the opening notes of his song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" he said "God bless you, Elizabeth. God knows how we're going to replace you. This is for you and your beautiful memory and for all the people you helped and saved."

Taylor and John have been active for years in raising awareness about AIDS and HIV, as well as raising money for research and care for sufferers. John accepted an award on her behalf from the group she helped create, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), at the group's 25th annual black-tie benefit in February.

Taylor passed away early Wednesday at the age of 79.

- CNN

Founder Sir Elton John, Chairman David Furnish, and the Board of Directors and staff of the Elton John AIDS Foundation deeply mourn the death of legendary film actress and HIV/AIDS activist and humanitarian Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Sir Elton John stated, "We have just lost a Hollywood giant, but more importantly we have lost an incredible human being. Elizabeth Taylor earned her fame with her extraordinary talent as a young actress, making her first movie at the tender age of nine. She earned our adoration for her stunning beauty and for being the very essence of glamorous movie stardom. And she earned our enduring love and respect for her compassion and her courage in standing up and speaking out about AIDS when others preferred to bury their heads in the sand."

David Furnish added, "In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, Elizabeth Taylor was a force of nature. She compelled people to listen, made them respond, and urged them to act. She gave comfort to the dying, roundly condemned the stigma associated with AIDS, and was fiercely critical of the government's sluggish, reluctant response to the epidemic."

In the early 1980s, Dame Elizabeth founded the National AIDS Research Foundation, which joined forces with Dr. Mathilde Krim's AIDS Medical Foundation in 1985 to become amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. On amfAR's behalf, Dame Elizabeth traveled to many parts of the world, broadcasting her message of compassion and tolerance, pushing for a more vigorous global response to the epidemic, and raising millions of dollars for AIDS research. She also testified before Congress, most memorably rounding up Senate support for the Ryan White CARE Act of 1990. In 1991, she founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to support organizations providing direct care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS; to date, her Foundation has distributed more than $12 million to AIDS service organizations across the country. Elizabeth Taylor's extraordinary achievements have earned her numerous accolades and honors, including two Academy Awards for Best Actress; the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award; the French Legion of Honor; the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire; and a Presidential Citizens Medal.

EJAF's Executive Director Scott Campbell noted, "Elizabeth Taylor has inspired every one of us and many millions of others around the world. She has shown us the meaning of courage and moral responsibility in the face of injustice and bigotry. We join our colleagues at amfAR in mourning the loss of an extraordinary leader in the fight against AIDS."

- EJ.com

Article Suggests Ray Williams Matched Elton to Bernie Taupin


In her recent book, “Being Wrong”, Kathryn Schulz describes an experiment in which actors stage a row before an unwitting crowd. It ends with one firing a gun and another falling to the ground. When witnesses are asked what happened, they get details wrong, imagine dialogue or blood and report things that didn’t happen. Memory is fickle - we often forget or just get it wrong, which is one reason why you should date and time stamp your ideas.

So maybe it’s Elton John’s hazy recollection of how he met Bernie Taupin 40 years ago that prompted him to say in a recent interview for Rolling Stone magazine: “The story of how we met is so ridiculous in the first place. I went to Liberty Records while I was still in Bluesology and said, ‘I may be able to sing, I may be able to write, but I can’t write lyrics,’ and a guy hands me a big brown envelope that hadn’t been opened and says, ‘Take these, they’re from some guy in Lancashire'."

That doesn’t tally with Ray Williams’ memory. He was the guy at Liberty Records. He put an ad in NME to which Elton and Bernie responded. Ray met Elton and arranged for him to record some demos. He read Bernie’s lyrics and identified a potential partnership so introduced the pair. And, to be strictly accurate Bernie was from Lincolnshire not Lancashire!

It was 1967 and Ray was 20 years old. According to him he did more than just introduce Elton to Bernie. He wanted to sign him as a recording artist, but his Liberty bosses didn’t like Elton’s voice. So, at Elton’s request Ray became his personal manager. He signed a co-management deal with Dick James entitling him to half the management commission.

In 1970, after the Troubadour gigs that Ray set up for Elton, Dick James unceremoniously terminated Ray’s contract. With no money for lawyers and a new baby girl to look after called “Amoreena” – no coincidence there’s a song of the same name - Ray was forced to accept less than £1,000 for his role in launching Elton John’s career. He has never received a penny since.

You may empathise with Ray’s predicament. In fact, you may have your own similar stories and I’d be keen to hear from you, if you have, but it’s a story laden with irony and some sadness on a number of levels.

Elton and Bernie’s song-writing partnership is so etched on the last 44 years of pop repertoire it feels like a historical inevitability, but in fact it’s very unlikely they’d have met if Ray hadn’t put them together. He recognised their talent, had a great idea, he put it in motion and, in so doing, he fulfilled the classic music publisher A&R role initiating a creative partnership that would produce some of the most successful and valuable copyrights; quickly too - Your Song was written within a couple of years. But he didn’t protect himself first.

He then embarked on the toughest part of any artist manager’s career – the bit at the start when you try to convince people to take your artist seriously. The phase when it’s a struggle to get the gigs and TV appearances and when you really have to work to persuade anyone to say “Yes!” to your act. It’s a long time ago in Elton’s case, but that was Ray’s part in his career.

I know this to be true as, having worked with Ray on and off over the last 20 years, I’ve heard people like Bill Martin (co-writer of Sandie Shaw’s “Puppet On A String”) come up to Ray and say, “I know you. You’re the guy that always bloody pestered us about that young pianist with glasses called Elton John that you said was going to be the next big thing. Well, you were right! I hope you did alright out of that!?”

That’s when Ray mutters or laughs. How can you launch the career of one of the most successful recording artists and create one of the most lucrative song-writing partnerships in pop history and feel any sense of pride if you come out of it with nothing?

But he was in his early 20s. Like many people with the best insights and ideas, Ray was young and inexperienced. He wasn’t savvy. He couldn’t know that by the time he was 23 he would have just enjoyed a uniquely successful role he could never hope to repeat in his life. The last 44 years are testament to the fact there could never be another opportunity in his career that would come close to being so significant for him. It’s like the Winklevosses at Harvard with Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook – they know nothing can be as big again, and they’re only in their twenties.

As Ray says in my interview with him, he, Elton and Bernie were mates. They were all young and he thought it would get sorted out. Elton said he would honour Ray’s agreement. But time passes and before you know it, it’s 40 years later, he’s in his sixties reading an article in Rolling Stone magazine that conveys him as a nameless character in the middle of a ridiculous coincidence.

You can't expect Elton John, in every magazine interview to reel out verbatim the full story of Ray's part in the launch of his career. But you might have thought that in the natural order of things, somewhere in the process of confronting his past, Elton might have found a way to do the right thing and recognise he owes Ray some debt of gratitude.

- John Woollcombe/ Protect Your Ideas Blog

An Emotional Experience at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame



A rare cover of Leon Russell's 'A Song For You' by Elton John:

Elton & Leon Want You to Make Their Music Video


Ever wanted to make a music video? Elton John and Leon Russell, along with their record label, Decca, are partnering with music video site Vevo for the site's first-ever "Make Your Own Music Video" contest. Participants are encouraged to submit their own videos created for John and Russell's single "Hey Ahab," from their much-lauded album The Union. The contest will be promoted across Vevo and its YouTube channels with a personally recorded message by John himself about the contest.

Fans can use assets provided by Vevo and Decca when making their submission, such as a live performance of "Hey Ahab" filmed at New York City's Beacon Theater and the CD launch concert which was broadcast on Fuse. They can also pick from high-resolution photos and the full audio track. Submissions much be entered by May 1, when John and Russell will personally choose the winner.

- Appscout

* Open to US & Canada residents only.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Leon Russell, Greg Allman Join Elton at MSG


Elton John scored Leon Russell's first post-Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction appearance on Wednesday night (16Mar11) when the old-timer joined the Rocket Man onstage in New York.

Just two nights after inducting his pal into the Hall of Fame, Elton introduced fans to the white-haired legend at Madison Square Garden.

The concert marked Russell's first return to the fabled venue since he was part of George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh there in 1971. It was Elton's 61st show at the Garden.

The two pianists worked through eight songs from their 2010 album The Union, and they were joined by another rock legend - Greg Allman stepped out onstage to belt out Neil Young's part in the song Gone to Shiloh.

- Contact Music

The setlist was identical to the previous concert review below.

Leon & Elton at Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Induction


On Monday, March 14, Elton inducted Leon Russell into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. The Induction Ceremony took place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, and will be shown on Sunday at 9 p.m. E.D.T. on the Fuse cable channel.

Leon was inducted into the category of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Musical Excellence (previously the Sidemen category). During the induction speech Elton said that when he first met Leon he looked like "something from outer space." Leon thanked Elton for their collaboration on The Union, and said that Elton "found me in a ditch at the side of a highway of life and took me up to the high stages with big audiences, and treated me like a king."

At the end of the ceremony Elton, Leon and Doctor John all backed Lloyd Price in a performance of 'Stagger Lee', and then for the finale Darlene Love, Bette Midler, Elton, Alice Cooper and Neil Diamond performed 'Da Doo Ron Ron' along with Leon Russell on piano, as he was for the original 1963 Phil Spector-produced version of that song.

Elton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Rocket Pictures Buys Movie Rights to Children's Book


Andersen Press is excited to announce that only a month after publication, Sir Elton John's film company, Rocket Pictures has bought the film options for Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll by Derek Keilty.

The wild west-meets-fantasy children's novel was hailed by Amanda Craig in The Times as 'a romping fantasy...full of Irish wit, dystopian vision and musicality'. Craig went on to compare Keilty to Eoin Colfer, Derek Landy and Garret Carr.

The Picture will be produced by Rocket Pictures' partners Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish. "We are delighted to have secured this imaginative, fun and thrilling book and look forward to bringing it to the screen. We're sure the combination of a cowboy story in a fantastical world is a winning one." said Furnish. Rocket Pictures has recently released 3D animation movie Gnomeo & Juliet to worldwide success.

- BookTrade

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Elton Coming to Louisville, Springfield, Peoria


Elton John is bringing his Greatest Hits Live concert tour to the KFC Yum! Center on April 15, with tickets going on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

John last performed in Louisville in 2001 at Freedom Hall, when he shared the bill with Billy Joel, although he was at Rupp Arena in 2003.

Tickets will be $19.50, $79 and $139, and will be available at the KFC Yum! Center ticket office, www.livenation.com, and all Ticketmaster outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com and charge-by-phone, (800) 745-3000.

- Courier- Journal

Music legend Elton John is coming to Springfield. The announcement came today that Sir Elton will play JQH Arena Saturday, April 16th. Tickets go on sale March 19th at 10am.

If you’re wondering how much it will set you back to see Elton John in Springfield, the best seats are $139, while the cheap seats are $29 and a mid-range price of $79 for mid-range seats.

- KSMU

Elton John will be performing a "Greatest Hits Live" concert at 8 p.m. April 17 at the Peoria Civic Center Arena.
Tickets for the event go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

Tickets are $29, $79, $139 and will be available at Ticketmaster.com, the Peoria Civic Center Arena Box Office and charge by phone (800-745-3000). There is an eight-ticket limit per customer.

- Pantagraph

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leon Russell Joins Elton at Mohegan Sun


Nobody mentioned a special guest.

What started as an evening with Elton John and his band Friday at Mohegan Sun turned into a rare opportunity to see John share the stage with Leon Russell, the singer, songwriter and pianist. The two last year recorded an album together, "The Union," and John, 63, introduced Russell, 68, as one of his biggest influences.

Their eight-song interlude interrupted the steady flow of hits from John, which an unfortunate number of people in the packed arena took as an opportunity to wander around or top off their beers. In a way, though, the set within a set was the most interesting part of the show, which stretched to just shy of 3 hours.


Sure, the John-Russell collaboration is less familiar than, say, everything else on Elton's set list, from "Love Lies Bleeding" at the start of the show through favorites including "Levon," "Tiny Dancer," "Rocketman," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Bennie & the Jets," "Candle in the Wind" and "Crocodile Rock" — a dazzling roster of hits. But the obvious reverence that John showed for Russell, and the way he clearly cherished having Russell perform with him, transcended even a back catalog as deep as John's.

"One of the reasons I wanted to get hold of Leon again was to make people realize how brilliant his career has been," John said. Indeed, Russell, who played with everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis to Frank Sinatra to George Harrison to the Byrds, gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Monday.

Playing on facing pianos, the pair traded verses and piano fills on the smoky roadhouse number "If It Wasn't for Bad" and the up-tempo boogie "Monkey Suit." Russell, white hair cascading over his shoulders from beneath a white cowboy hat, took the lead in a craggy voice on the ballad "Gone to Shiloh," and he anchored the gospel shouter "Dream Come True."

With that, Russell departed and John resumed the hit parade, performing every song with an abundance of energy and looking as if he had never enjoyed himself more. He got up from the piano to play air drums during the breaks on "Take Me to the Pilot" and frequently pointed at people in the crowd between songs.

He performed mostly with a band including longtime drummer Nigel Olsson and guitarist Davey Johnstone and a quartet of backup singers, though he took a solo-piano turn on "Candle in the Wind."

John ended the main set with "Crocodile Rock," egging the crowd into singing along, before returning to play "Your Song" for the encore.

- Courant.com

Elton and band
Funeral for a Friend
Love Lies Bleeding
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
Levon
Madman Across the Water
Tiny Dancer
Philadelphia Freedom
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Rocket Man
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

Elton and band with Leon
If It Wasn’t For Bad
Hey Ahab
Best Part of the Day
Gone To Shiloh
When Love Is Dying
Monkey Suit
Never Too Old
Dream Come True

Elton and band
Sad Songs Say So Much
Intro/Take Me To The Pilot
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Candle in the Wind
Burn Down the Mission
Bennie and the Jets
Bitch is Back
Crocodile Rock
Your Song

Elton Clashes with Photographer


Elton John has been recorded verbally abusing a female photographer in public.

TMZ has posted footage of the singer leaving a Hollywood bookstore on Friday, during which he clearly tells an unknown individual: "F**k off you horrible c***."


The video goes on to show the website staff's horrified reaction to the incident, which according to a reporter at the scene appeared to be unprovoked.

They said: "She gave him space, he had plenty of room, she was very kind. You can hear it in her voice."

It is not known whether the photographer had done anything to infuriate John before his entrance into the shop, or whether the pair have clashed in the past.

- Digital Spy

Watch the video here: http://www.tmz.com/2011/03/12/elton-john-insult-tmz-on-tv-piece-clip/?mediaKey=f146f80b-cf7d-45af-8366-a341f475ff76&isShareURL=true

Saturday, March 12, 2011

George Michael Thinks Elton is Like "Nan"


GEORGE MICHAEL risked triggering another feud with SIR ELTON JOHN after comparing the singer to CATHERINE TATE's vile Nan character.

The Faith star credits the Rocket Man legend with mentoring him through life, despite their public spats of the past.

However, he claims Elton is prone to old lady-like mood swings.

George said: "We all earn the right to get a little more grumpy as we get older - but he's getting terribly close to Nan territory, you know the Nan from Catherine Tate."

However, the 47-year-old - who came out after engaging in a lewd act in a Los Angeles public toilet in 1998 - hailed Elton as his biggest inspiration in a chat with Bauer Radio's In:Demand.

He said: "I'll always love Elton. Elton can do no wrong because he did so much right for my life.

"He was literally one of my mentors in every way as a child who really wanted to write and sing.

"Elton will always have a special place, regardless of if we have our tiffs."

In 2004, Elton sparked a nine-month row with George after accusing him of smoking too much marijuana.

He claimed there was "deep-rooted" unhappiness in the Freedom star's life and branded his album Patience "disappointing".

- The Sun

Sir Elton Supports Sheffield Eagles with Anti-Homophobia


Sir Elton John has sent a message of support to Sheffield Eagles RFC after hearing of their planned stand against homophobia during their Co-operative Championship game, this Sunday.

Eagles players will become the first professional sports team in the UK to wear a kit bearing an anti-homophobia slogan when they compete against Widnes Vikings at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

Sir Elton, currently in Los Angeles following his world-famous annual Oscars party, took time out of his schedule to applaud the efforts of Sheffield Eagles and all those involved in this historic stand against homophobia.

He said: “I am delighted to hear about Sheffield Eagles’ initiative. I feel that an enormous step forward is being undertaken when Rugby League recognises the diversity of human sexuality. I applaud all those involved in this initiative. Best wishes and love, Elton John.”

Sheffield Eagles will sport a specially commissioned bespoke kit brandishing the slogan ‘Homophobia: Tackle It!’ when they take to the field on Sunday.

The kit - a first for professional sport has been joint funded by LGBT History Month and Pride Sports to help support equality and diversity within Rugby League.

- Pink Paper

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rare Footage of Elton & John Lennon at MSG 1974



There have been audio recordings, both bootleg and legitimate, of former Beatle John Lennon's surprise appearance with Elton John in 1974 at Madison Square Garden, but here is the first known video footage of the show.

There's no sound, unfortunately, but it's fantastic it's finally out there.


- Continue reading on Examiner.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simon Cowell Attacks Elton, Calls Him "Money-Grabbing"


Elton has continually criticised the X Factor, having called the show ‘boring and a***-paralysingly brain crippling’ and suggested Cowell cares more about cash than discovering new talent.

But Cowell defended the show on Piers Morgan’s US chat show, saying claims the X Factor has crushed emerging talent are ‘absolute rubbish’.

And in a scathing attack on the singer, Cowell said Elton is the one more interested in making money.

He said of Elton: ‘Well, look. This is somebody who charges what, a million dollars a private gig? Two million dollars, you know? I don’t know whether he’s concerned about himself – maybe he is.

'But they always bleat on that we’re not giving other people a chance.

'And I always want to say to them, “I tell you what, you just made a million dollars off your last private gig. Go and give it to a bunch of young musicians you care about, put them in a studio. Go and nurture them. Go and spend some time looking after them. Then I’ll buy your argument."

‘They’re only worried about themselves.’


Read more: www.metro.co.uk

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Elton John Playing Magic Summer Live at Hatfield House


It’s been announced earlier today that Sir Elton John is to headline a day-long music event at Hatfield House this summer. The event ‘Magic Summer Live’ is being launched by London radio station, Magic105.4, in association with BT, and will be held in the grounds of the historic house on Sunday 17th July 2011.

As well as the multiple Grammy and Brit Award winner, confirmed acts include pop-soul act Rumer and American duo, The Pierces. And in the run-up to the event, more acts will be added to the bill.

Tickets for the event are on sale now, with the cost of a standard entry ticket costing £60 plus booking fee and postage, and VIP tickets, with fast-track entry and grand stand seating on sale at £95 plus booking fee and postage.

The doors to the event will open at 12 noon, with the first act on stage at 2pm, and the event will finish at 10.30pm. There is no age restriction on the event, although under 16’s must be accompanied by and adult, and under 5’s will not be admitted in to the VIP area. However, under 5’s go free so this does appear to be an event that the whole family can enjoy.

- Harpenden People

Elton Has a Music Librarian


Sir Elton John has revealed that his CD collection is so humongous that he has a librarian take care of it.

"I had a new room built with industrial holders on rollers to keep them in," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.

"I have a librarian to look after them.

"What if I want to hear something obscure and it's not there? I'll go nuts," he added.

- Times of India

Monday, March 7, 2011

Elton Coming to La Crosse, Wisconsin


Elton John is coming to the La Crosse Center at 8 p.m. April 19.

John will appear with his band - Davey Johnstone on guitar, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion, Nigel Olsson on drums and Kim Bullard on keyboards - in a "Greatest Hits Live" concert, featuring No. 1 chart hits and classic album tracks from throughout John's five-decade career.
Before you rush to the La Crosse Center and start camping out, tickets don't go on sale until 11 a.m. March 14. And most tickets likely will be sold over the Internet.

La Crosse Center Director Art Fahey said he's been working with Fred Frank of Frank Productions for more than a year to make the show happen, but was never sure it would.

"There's probably no bigger touring act in the world who sells out wherever he goes," Frank said. Tickets were gone in an hour for shows Frank promoted last year in Duluth and Mankato, Minn.

"In Mankato, we had over 300 people in line and not all of them got a ticket," Frank said. He recommends ordering tickets online.

The La Crosse Center will release more details about tickets later this week.

- winonadailynews.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Billy Joel Autobiography Due June 14



The Book of Joel, Billy Joel's memoir, co-written with author Fred Schruers, will be in stores June 14, and according to publisher HarperCollins, it will cover the entire arc of the Piano Man's career, from his early struggles to his eventual superstardom.

He will discuss his troubled love life, including his marriage to Christie Brinkley, and his feelings about fatherhood, as well as the real-life events that inspired many of his hits.

Widely speculated is what he may say about Elton John, who recently made headlines for saying that Joel needed to go to a "serious" rehab program.

Readers are promised "an emotional ride."

- ABC News Radio

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Union Film Premieres at Tribeca - Elton to Give Free Concert



The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival takes its opening night outdoors on April 20, 2011, with the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's The Union, a documentary on the collaboration between Elton and Leon Russell. This opening night will close with a performance by Elton for New York City.

The Tribeca Film Festival today announced that the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's documentary The Union will open the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express. A performance by the film's subject - Elton - will follow the free, outdoor screening to kick off the Festival's 10th edition and thank the New York City community for its ongoing support. The Union will premiere on Wednesday, April 20 at the North Cove at the World Financial Plaza. The 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 20 through May 1, 2011.

The Union is an unprecedented and personal look at the creative life of Elton and the remarkable collaborative album with Leon Russell, produced by T Bone Burnett. Begun in November 2009, the filming captures the entire writing and recording process of the heralded album Elton recorded with his early-career idol, Leon Russell. Elton's composing process has never been filmed before, and The Union is an extremely candid portrait of his extraordinary journey of the heart - one that sent him to reclaim and reinvigorate the life and musical career of Leon Russell, to whom Elton hadn't spoken in over 38 years. The Union is a captivating and exhilarating real-life experience of musical creation and generosity, directed by Cameron Crowe.

Music producer T Bone Burnett, Elton's lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, icons Neil Young and Brian Wilson, legendary R&B organist Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph and a 10-piece gospel choir are featured on the album, while appearances by Stevie Nicks and Don Was colour the documentary about a love of making music.

"It's a special opportunity to open our 10th Festival in this distinct and unique way-not only are we inviting the community to join us for the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's film The Union, but to have Elton, whose music transcends generations, perform after is an extraordinary gift to our Festival and more specifically the downtown community," said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. "Cameron Crowe gives audiences unprecedented access into Elton John and Leon Russell's artistic process in an emotional and realistic way."

"I'm absolutely thrilled that the documentary about The Union will premiere opening night at the Tribeca Film Festival," said Elton.

"As a longtime fan of both artists, it was a pleasure to spend a year filming their collaboration," said Cameron Crowe. "We can't wait to show it to one of the greatest audiences in the world, the Tribeca Film Festival."

The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival will announce its feature film slate on March 7 and 14, 2011. Tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival will be $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings, and $8.00 for daytime weekday and late night screenings. Advance selection ticket packages and passes go on sale for American Express Cardmembers on Monday, March 7, and on Monday, March 14 for the general public. All advance packages and passes can be purchased online at www.tribecafilm.com, or by telephone, toll free, at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling. The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,100 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 3 million attendees and has generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Elton & David Will Attend Royal Wedding, Disney Not Fond of Gnomeo


Elton John and David Furnish have made the cut! Prince William and Kate Middleton have invited them to their royal wedding.

“We do have an invitation,” the Elton told Canada’s CTV. “I’ve been trying to be discreet.”

So what does Elton think of the Prince William’s bride-to-be?

Kate “is Diana in personality. She is very discreet, she is a very beautiful girl,” he said. “They have been together a long time and I think she has handled the pressure so much.”

But he reportedly wasn’t thrilled that she received Diana’s ring.

“It is none of my business,” he said, “but I thought it was a little odd.”

And Elton thinks the pressure the future husband and wife will face will continue as he says Prince William “one of the hardest jobs in the world … the scrutiny he will be under.”

“I hope [William] becomes King at an early age,” Elton explained. “I think we need young people like him to lead. I think he will be a tremendous king – not that Charles won’t, but I think William will be … tremendous.”

- OK Magazine

Elton John has blasted Disney for not backing Gnomeo and Juliet to the hilt -- and then not ringing with congratulations after the animated movie became a box office winner.

“We fought resistance from the (Disney) studio for so long, and to be honest with you, the film has taken $75 million in America, and we haven’t had a message of congratulations from anyone within the studio,” the British singer let rip on the CTV daytime talker The Marilyn Dennis Show Tuesday (on Sunday, John went out of his way to thank the Disney guests at his Oscar viewing party).

Gnomeo, a Disney holdover, this past weekend grabbed the No. 2 box office spot in its third weekend in release, raking in $13.4 million for a total take of $74.3 million, according to Rentrak.

“Gnomeo and Juliet took us eleven years to make. We defied all the odds and all of the people at Disney who said, “this wouldn’t be a hit,” John said on air with one of his legendary outbursts. “And it’s the biggest hit, but it could have been a bigger hit if Disney got behind it more,” he added.

The animated Gnomeo was produced by London-based Rocket Pictures, run by John, Steve Hamilton Shaw and John’s partner, David Furnish.

Miramax financed the picture, which was animated at the Starz Animation studio in Toronto. John said Disney is red-faced over Gnomeo overcoming the odds to succeed at the multiplex. “They’re so ashamed, and they should be ashamed of themselves –they’re so afraid to congratulate us because John Lasseter of Pixar did not want us to make this movie that we still haven’t had a message of congratulations or well done,” he added.

- Hollywood Reporter

Elton & David Attend Toronto Billy Elliot Opening


Rock royalty was in Toronto Tuesday night as Elton John attended the gala premiere of Billy Elliot The Musical.

The Rocket Man, who wrote the music for the show, and his husband, executive producer David Furnish, emerged from a black SUV outside the Canon Theatre on Yonge Street looking dapper in black tuxedos and waved at the hundred or so spectators across the street before walking the red carpet.

“It feels like a dream come true,” Mr. Furnish said.

Sir Elton said he wished he could have seen a musical like this when he was growing up. “It’s about someone chasing their dreams, and as a kid I always wanted to be involved in music, and I had one parent who was against it and one parent who was for it,” he said. “That’s why the film had such an effect on me. I went, ‘Oh my god, that’s my life story.’ ”

The musical adaptation of the hit movie about a boy who discovers a love for dance has won 10 Tony Awards since it first staged in London in 2005.

The Toronto premiere attracted the likes of sportscaster Brian Williams, So You Think You Can Dance Canada judge Tre Armstrong and Canada AM host Seamus O’Regan.

Musical productions in the city still attract large audiences, but American attendance figures are nowhere near where they were before the SARS outbreak in 2003, when 50 per cent of the theatre audience came from south of the border during peak months, according to John Karastamatis, director of communications at Mirvish Productions.

And while it is impossible to know what will be a hit and what will flop, David Mirvish is optimistic that Billy Elliot will draw large audiences.

“I’m hopeful that it will be embraced,” he said.

- The Globe & Mail

Leon Russell to Join Elton at MSG, Philadelphia


During an interview on 92ZEW in Mobile last week, Russell said he would be doing some dates with Sir Elton John in support of their collaboration album, The Union. Places mentioned included Madison Square Garden and Philadelphia, both places that are currently on Elton John's mid-late March schedule. Watch for these dates to be confirmed on Russell's calendar as well shortly.

- Examiner.com

Elton John Playing Royal Beach Concert NL, Denver CO & 2nd Regina Gig


Royal Beach Concert, the annual event where sun, sand and greatest hits central, today confirms the first two headliners. Elton John and the Golden Earring make their debut on Saturday, June 4 at the second edition of the Royal Beach Concert on the beach of Scheveningen. Also launching today the sale of tickets for the concert that last year attracted over 45,000 visitors.


Elton John was the last time in 2009 in the Netherlands. Royal Beach Concert this year is the only concert he will give in the Netherlands and Belgium. Golden Earring was already a big concert in Scheveningen beach, in honor of their 25th anniversary in 1986. Besides these two top acts, other artists on June 4 entered the stage in Scheveningen. These names will be announced later. Royal Beach Concert is this concert has become a major international artist.

Tickets for the Royal Beach Concert are available today through Ticket Point and range in price from € 58.50 (Block A), € 89.50 (Block B) to € 125.00 (Golden Circle).
www.royalbeachconcert.nl

Elton John is performing at the Wells Fargo Theatre on Tuesday, April 12 to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation, founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Tickets ($49-$149) go on sale this Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m.

- Westword

After an incredible sell out of the May 11 performance in Regina, SK, Elton and his band have announced a second concert at Brandt Centre on Thursday, May 12."The Wednesday, May 11 concert sold out in record time," says Neil Donnelly, Vice President, Events & Entertainment, Brandt Centre. "Elton John evokes frenzied passion in his fans like no other artist. We are privileged to welcome Elton John to Regina for a second concert."

Public tickets for the May 12, Regina concert go on sale on Monday, February 28, at 12 noon, and will be available online at Ticketmaster.ca, Livenation.com and charge-by-phone (306-781-9300).