As part of his farewell tour, in June 2019, John was presented with France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'honneur, by President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Macron called John a "melodic genius" and one of the first gay artists to give a voice to the LGBT community. On 25 June 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed John as one of hundreds of artists whose master recordings were reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire.
John had other hits during the 1980s, including "Nikita", whose music video was directed by Ken Russell. The song reached number three in the UK and number seven in the US. In 1986, a live orchestral version of "Candle in the Wind" reached number six in the US, while "I Don't Wanna Go on with You Like That" reached number two there in 1988. John's highest-charting single was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder called "That's What Friends Are For". It reached number one in the US in 1985; credited as Dionne and Friends, the song raised funds for HIV/AIDS research. His albums continued to sell, but of those released in the latter half of the 1980s, only Reg Strikes Back (number 16, 1988) placed in the top 20 in the US.More Info
In early September, John asked Taupin to revise the lyrics of their 1973 song "Candle in the Wind" to honour Diana, and Taupin agreed. On 6 September 1997, John performed "Candle in the Wind 1997" live for the only time at Diana's funeral in Westminster Abbey. The song became the fastest- and biggest-selling single of all time, eventually selling over 33 million copies worldwide, the best-selling single in UK chart history, the best-selling single in Billboard history and the first single certified Diamond in the US, where it sold over 11 million copies. The 2009 Guinness World Records states that the song is "the biggest-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s, having accumulated worldwide sales of 33 million copies". The song's proceeds of approximately £55 million were donated to Diana's charities via the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. It won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards in 1998. The song "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" was released as a double A-side.More Info
John released The Union on 19 October 2010. He has said the album, a collaboration with American singer, songwriter and sideman Leon Russell, marked a new chapter in his recording career, saying: "I don't have to make pop records any more." He began his new show The Million Dollar Piano at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, on 28 September 2011, and performed it there for the next three years. He performed his 3000th concert on 8 October 2011 at Caesars. Also in 2011, John performed vocals on "Snowed in at Wheeler Street" with Kate Bush for her album 50 Words for Snow. On 3 February 2012, he visited Costa Rica for the first time, performing at the recently built National Stadium.More Info
On 26 January 2017, it was announced that John would compose the score for the Broadway musical version of the novel The Devil Wears Prada and its film adaptation, with Kevin McCollum as producer and Paul Rudnick writing the lyrics and story. The timeline for the musical is yet to be announced. In June 2017, John appeared in the award-winning documentary The American Epic Sessions, directed by Bernard MacMahon. In the film, he recorded live on the restored first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s. John composed and arranged a lyric by Taupin, “Two Fingers of Whiskey”, written specially for the film, live on camera with the help of Burnett and Jack White. Danny Eccleston in Mojo pointed out that “in one of the series’ most extraordinary moments, Elton John arrives toting a box-fresh lyric by Bernie Taupin and works it up in an instant, the song materializing in front of the viewers' eyes before John and Jack White go for the take. There's the magic right there.” “Two Fingers of Whiskey” was released on 9 June 2017 on Music from The American Epic Sessions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.More Info
In August 2003, John's fifth UK number one single, "Are You Ready for Love", topped the charts. Returning to musical theatre, John composed music for a West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005 with playwright Lee Hall. Opening to strong reviews, the show won four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. The 11th-longest-running musical in West End history, the London production ran through April 2016, with 4,566 performances. As of December 2015, Billy Elliot has been seen by over 5.25 million people in London and nearly 11 million people worldwide (on Broadway, in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto, Seoul, the Netherlands and São Paulo, Brazil etc.), grossed over $800 million worldwide and won over 80 theatre awards internationally. John's only theatrical project with Taupin is Lestat: The Musical, based on Anne Rice's vampire novels. It received negative reviews from critics and closed in May 2006 after 39 performances. John featured on rapper Tupac Shakur's posthumous single "Ghetto Gospel", which topped the UK charts in July 2005.More Info
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