Sir Elton John’s friends plead with him to slow down after deadly infection

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Friends of Sir Elton John are pleading with him to slow down after he ended up in an intensive care unit.

Sir Elton contracted a “potentially deadly” bug, his agent said, while touring in South America.

Close friends are now calling for the performer, who recently turned 70, to slow down his busy schedule of touring.

A source told The Sun: “Elton has a real close-knit circle of friends who are genuinely worried about him.

Sir Elton John’s friends plead with him to slow down after deadly infection

“Nobody wants him to burn himself out and they hope this recent scare will encourage him to take stock.

“But he’s not even considering retirement at present.”

Sir Elton came down with the bacterial infection on a flight back from Chile, where had been doing a series of concerts.

He spent two nights in intensive care and was kept in hospital before being released, and is now taking extended leave from performing.

The infection has been described by experts as “rare” and “potentially deadly”, and all forthcoming concerts have now been cancelled.

His agent tried to calm fears about the ageing performer’s health, despite the major illness, in a statement.

He said: “Thankfully, Elton’s medical team identified this quickly and treated it successfully.

“He is expected to make a full and complete recovery.”

The entire run of his Million Dollar Piano tour, including performances in Las Vegas during April and May, have been cancelled, as well as a planned show in California.

Sir Elton has discussed winding down his career to spend more time with his family as he gets older previously.

He said: “Obviously I work – but the work will get less and less and I’ll spend more time with my children growing up.

“And that’s what I want to do, I’ll gradually phase things out in a few years.

“It’s not forever but I want to see my kids grow up. I go all over the world. I just don’t want to tour so much.”

Sir Elton, whose husband David Furnish recently gained British citizenship, spoke after being hospitalised to say: “I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologise for disappointing them.

“I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

Murray Chalmers, the performer’s agents, said they hope he will be able to return to performing by June.

In a statement, the company said: “During a recent, successful tour of South America, Elton contracted a harmful and unusual bacterial infection.

“During his return flight home from Santiago, Chile he became violently ill.

“Upon returning to the UK, Elton’s Doctors admitted him to hospital, where he underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection.

“After spending two nights in intensive care followed by an extended stay in hospital, Elton was released from hospital on Saturday, April 22 and is now comfortably resting at home per doctors advice.

“Infections of this nature are rare and potentially deadly.”

Sir Elton recently told fans he planned to make a decision on quitting touring altogether within the next six months.

Speaking about his 70th birthday, which was in March, Sir Elton said: “Some people don’t like birthdays, they don’t like celebrating, they don’t want to know about them, and I’ve always enjoyed my birthday.

“Seventy sounds so archaic, doesn’t it?”

“When I was growing up, 70 sounded like the end of the world. But things have changed — you’re only as old as you feel inside.”