Elton John and his family celebrate the holidays with the Saks Fifth Avenue Window Reveal

Christmas in America is a time for family togetherness and glitzy commercialism, and New Yorkers were treated to both on Tuesday (November 22) night as Elton John, his husband David Furnish and children Zachary, 11, and Elijah, 9, helped to reveal Saks Fifth Avenue vacation Screen.

A police cordon halted traffic on (the fairly busy) Fifth Avenue at 49th Street in Manhattan, while a grand piano was driven into the middle of Fifth Avenue around Cut and Roll Hall of Famer – puzzled. After some introductory remarks from Saks CEO Marc J. Metrick, who announced that Saks gave 1 million donation for the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Rocket Fund, Sir Elton took his rightful place behind the ivories.

“It means a lot to me to have your support,” John said of the donation. “Thank you so much. I am so excited to kick off the holiday season tonight and be a part of this spectacular and iconic window unveiling and light show.” At that point, Furnish brought the boys up to join Elton for a family countdown to the big reveal.

Sir Elton – who just played finally North American show of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour on Sunday (November 20) – treated lucky audience members to a one-of-a-kind performance of his Billboard Hot 100 breakthrough single “Your Song,” a top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit that began his impressive run on the chart back in 1970 (no hyperbole: We’re talking 29 top 10s, nine No. 1s on the Hot 100).

After reminding the crowd why he remains such a treasure with his live prowess and priceless gifts, Elton joined his family in a seated section of the crowd to watch the light show. The window’s extravaganza included a fitting nod to John via several rocket ships on pistons, while seasonal lights triggered the light fantastically on the building’s facade. A medley of Sir Elton’s hits accompanied the display, which had John and Furnish bobbing their heads to “Step Into Christmas” and “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix).”

As fireworks exploded over Saks Fifth Avenue, there was a moment when John reached up to scratch his head—almost certainly a biologically motivated move, but it seemed fitting that it happened when his gentle ballad “Your Song ” (which played in his studio). version) blasted over speakers to accompany the pyro over one of New York City’s most iconic and high-end ward stories.

As John detailed in his wonderful memoir Me, he was lucky enough to come across Bernie Taupin’s lyrics to “Your Song” as a struggling artist and was subsequently inspired to compose a tune that matched the unabashed sincerity of the words. The idea—hell, the reality—that this gentle ballad would 50 years later soundtrack an explosive holiday display that temporarily shuts down one of the busiest metropolitan areas on earth is remarkably unlikely. But then again, John’s life has been unlikely.

As the fireworks faded and the crowd dissipated, John can be sure of one thing: Even when he finishes, he continues to deliver—leaving us hungry after several trips down the yellow brick road. No matter how short.

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