Elton John performs at White House for first time since 1998

Elton John stated Friday that he’d performed in some stunning venues — however the stage in entrance of the White House, beneath an enormous tent on an ideal autumn evening, was “most likely the icing on the cake.”

Then he kicked off the show with “Your Song,” his first huge worldwide hit.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed the 75-year-old singer, speaking about his activism, the facility of his music and his all-around goodness. The occasion was dreamed up and paid for by A+E and the History Channel.

“Seamus Heaney as soon as wrote, and I quote, ‘Once in a lifetime, the longed-for tidal wave of justice can stand up, and hope and historical past rhyme,” Mr. Biden stated. “Throughout his unbelievable profession, Sir Elton John has been that tidal wave, a tidal wave to assist individuals stand up and make hope and historical past rhyme.”

At the top of the present, Mr. Biden stunned John with the National Humanities Medal, for his songbook and his lengthy legacy of advocacy.

Tearing up, John stated he was “flabbergasted and humbled.”

Elton John White House
British singer Elton John will get emotional as US President Joe Biden presents him with the National Humanities Medal on the finish of “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme” on the White House in Washington, DC, on Sept. 23, 2022, the place the singer carried out.


The 2,000-person visitor record included academics, nurses, frontline employees and LGBTQ advocates, plus former first woman Laura Bush, civil rights advocate Ruby Bridges, schooling activist Malala Yousafzai and Jeanne White-Ginder, an AIDS activist and mom of Ryan White, who died from AIDS-related issues in 1990.

The evening, in truth, was known as “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,” a reference to the poem Mr. Biden quoted by Ireland’s Heaney.

It was John’s first White House gig since he carried out with Stevie Wonder at a state dinner in 1998 honoring British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At age 75, John is on a farewell tour after performing for greater than 50 years.

The present got here collectively after A+E Networks and the History Channel, which footed the invoice, requested the White House and John in the event that they’d be up for a collaboration honoring “on a regular basis history-makers” in addition to John himself, in accordance with individuals aware of the discussions who spoke to the AP on situation of anonymity to debate inner planning.

Elton John
British singer Elton John performs on the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23, 2022.


John can be on the town Saturday taking part in Nationals Park as a part of his remaining tour. He opened the ultimate leg of his North American farewell collection in Philadelphia in July.

The president and first woman are huge followers. Mr. Biden wrote in a 2017 memoir about singing “Crocodile Rock” to his two younger boys as he drove them to high school, and once more later to son Beau earlier than he died of most cancers at age 46.

“I began singing the lyrics to Beau, quietly, so simply the 2 of us may hear it,” Mr. Biden wrote. “Beau did not open his eyes, however I may see by way of my very own tears that he was smiling.”

John performed the track Friday, saying somebody informed him Mr. Biden used to sing it.

Mr. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, was additionally a fan of John. He tried to get John to carry out at his 2017 inauguration however John declined, saying he did not assume it was applicable for a Brit to play on the swearing-in of an American president.

The White House insisted Friday’s present wasn’t an effort to troll Trump, who has praised John in his books and has typically featured John’s music — together with “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer” — in his pre-rally playlists over time. Trump nicknamed North Korean chief Kim Jong Un “rocket man” for his report of test-firing missiles.

John did play “Tiny Dancer” Friday, to thunderous applause.

Sir Elton — who was knighted in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II — has bought over 300 million information worldwide, performed over 4,000 reveals in 80 nations and recorded one of many best-selling singles of all time, his 1997 transforming of “Candle In The Wind” to eulogize Princess Diana, which bought 33 million copies. 

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