Speaking to the crowd on Thursday night (September 8) at his final show in Toronto, Rocket Man reflected on the late monarch, who died on Thursday (September 8) at Balmoral Castle in Scotland aged 96.
“She was an inspiring presence to be around,” he said as images of the late royal lit up on the large screens on either side of the stage.
“She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace and decency and genuine care and warmth.”
In February this year, the Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.
“I’m 75 and she’s been with me all my life and I feel very sad that she doesn’t want to be with me anymore, but I’m glad she’s at peace,” John continued. “I’m glad she’s at peace and she deserves it. She worked hard. I send my love to her family and her loved ones and she will be missed. But her spirit lives on. And we will celebrate her life tonight with music.”
Elton John sings “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” after paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Toronto pic.twitter.com/FT1oX6lP5E
— Patrick Searle (@patsearle) 9 September 2022
The veteran pop star then led into a performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” which he dedicated to the Queen.
John has had many meetings with the British royal family and was close friends with Princess Diana, who famously performed an updated version of “Candle In The Wind” at her funeral in 1997.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1998 for his work in music and philanthropy over decades, making him the first openly gay musician to receive an honor of that calibre.
As news of the Queen’s death traveled around the world, Elton, like so many others, turned to social media to show his respect.
“Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,” the 75-year-old singer wrote. “She was an inspiring presence to be around, leading the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth.”
He added: “Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day and I will miss her dearly.”
Elton’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tour, his final world tour, continues Saturday night (September 10) at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, NY.