Elton John moves viewers to tears at Glastonbury with heartfelt tribute to George Michael

Elton John performed his last-ever UK show, at Glastonbury on Sunday (25 June), with an emotional tribute to George Michael on what would have been the “Faith” singer’s 60th birthday.

When the news broke that Elton was to close the festival at Worthy Farm – as his final UK gig – rumours immediately started flying, concerning everything from the “Tiny Dancer” singer’s setlist to whether he’d have any special guests.

Never one to shy away from a performance of epic proportions, the 76-year-old singer brought the iconic Pyramid stage down on Sunday (25 June) with a selection of his greatest hits, including “Candle in the Wind”, “Rocket Man” and even his Dua Lipa collab “Cold Heart/Sacrifice” – although the “Dance the Night” hit-maker was noticeably absent.

That’s not to say he didn’t have some other very special guests. Rina Sawayama, The Killer’s frontman Brandon Flowers, Stephen Sanchez and Jacob Lusk all joined Elton for duets – and a fifth singer made an appearance of a different kind during one of the set’s more poignant moments.

Elton John and George Michael performing together in 1992. (WireImage)

While introducing his penultimate track, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” Elton took at moment to remember his “friend” and “inspiration”, George Michael, who died on Christmas Day 2016.

“Today would have been his 60th birthday, so I want to dedicate this song to his memory,” Elton began, as a picture of Michael was beamed on to the stage.

You may like to watch

“All of the music he left us with, which is so gorgeous. This is for you, George.”

In 1991, a version of the 1974 track that had been recorded live as a duet at Wembley Arena, topped the charts in the UK. Michael’s line: “Ladies and Gentleman, Mr Elton John”, is widely considered to be one of the best live “reveals” in pop music, and one of greatest live performances of any generation.

One of the best-selling musicians of all time and beloved by the LGBTQ+ community, Michael was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – an honour many fans saw as overdue.

Fans of both Elton and Michael alike wasted no time in sharing their love for the special dedication.

One person tweeted: “I’m in tears” while another said the “dazzling and heartfelt” set was infinitely more special for the tribute.

Before his set began, some were bowled over by rumours that Elton might be joined on stage by pop princess Britney Spears, although the fairtyale did not come to fruition.

Elsewhere, Glastonbury gave us more exceptional queer talent: Lil Nas X performed an “awesome” set just before Elton on Sunday and Rina Sawayama blew the roof off during her own slot (and seemingly called out Matty Healy) on Friday (23 June).

Jake Shears, Bimini Bon Boulash and Shygirl also performed.

Please login or register to comment on this story.