Rocket Man Elton John does not pull sickies.
During a performance in Mt Smart in Auckland on Sunday night, Elton left the stage in tears, shaking his head and apologizing.
Elton John, in true form, soldiered on with his New Zealand show despite having no voice left.
Elton had returned to New Zealand after gracing the stage at the Academy Awards in LA, where he won an Oscar for Best Original Song in Rocketman. The incident happened during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
“I’ve just completely lost my voice. I can’t sing,” he said to the crowd. “I’ve got to go. I’m sorry.”
The singer required medical attention after performing “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” Medical assistants took his blood pressure while he remained on the piano stool. Elton recovered and attempted to sing “Daniel,” before stopping halfway .
He told the crowd he was suffering from walking pneumonia, an infection that affects the respiratory tract and causes a low fever, sore throat and dry cough. Leaning on the piano, he appeared to weep and was escorted off stage. He posted a heartfelt apology on Instagram:
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I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx 📷 @bengibsonphoto
The 72-year old had met with NZ’s prime minister Jacinta Ardern five minutes before the show. Ardern is a long-time fan of John’s, and the singer has expressed his appreciation for her leadership in the past.
“You could tell that he wasn’t feeling well and he said he wasn’t feeling well,” Ardern said. “So I think you could see that on the stage last night, which I think is just a credit to his commitment to his fans.”
Some of his biggest hits were intended for the end, meaning the audience missed out on I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Fans have responded with a flurry of support and admiration for his perseverance.