Elton John one of the Glastonbury festival’s best-ever headline sets

The 76-year-old took to Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage for what may be his final full live U.K. show – and was joined by guest stars Jacob Lusk, Brandon Flowers, Stephen Sanchez, and Rina Sawayama – while The Beatles legend watched from the wings. Taron Egerton, who played Elton in his biopic Rocketman, was also reportedly watching on.

Jacob, Elton, and a gospel choir performed the star’s hit Are You Ready For Love, while The Killers frontman joined him on Tiny Dancer. Rina meanwhile took on Kiki Dee’s role to duet with Elton on Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Stephen had the greatest honour as he got to perform his own song, Until I Found You, with the music legend.

During his set Elton also paid tribute to the late George Michael on what would have been the Wham! star’s 60th birthday, dedicating Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to his “friend”. Although originally released in 1974, a live duet by the pair got to number one in the U.K. in 1991.

Elton John’s Glastonbury 2023 set breaks BBC viewing records, The legendary singer-songwriter played what seems to be his last ever UK show on Worthy Farm, bringing a hit-packed set to one of the biggest crowds the Pyramid Stage has ever seen.

A source told MarkMeets the set was watched by 7.3million viewers across the BBC, three times that which saw Paul McCartney headline last year and the most-viewed set on television in the festival’s history.

The other two headliners, Guns N’ Roses and Arctic Monkeys attracted a viewership of 1million and 1.5million respectively.

Sir Elton John hails ‘loyal fans’ as he performs final UK gig at Glastonbury

Elton told the crowd during his set: “I want to thank you for all dressing up in your costumes and your glasses and your outfits … it makes me feel so happy. Thank you for your love. And I want to thank you, also, for 52 years of amazing love and loyalty that you’ve shown me.

“It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve had the best, best time. I will never forget you. You’re in my head and my heart and my soul.

“You’ve been amazing. You’ve been an incredible crowd tonight.

“Thanks so much Glastonbury. Thanks so much England.

“I wish you love and health and happiness.”

“Oh wow, I never thought I’d play Glastonbury, but here I am,” coyly shrugs Elton John. “I’d better entertain you as you as you’ve been standing there so long.”

The British music icon took to the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm for the last two-hour set of the festival, in a performance being billed as his final live UK show as he headlined the final night on the Pyramid Stage with a hit-stacked, 21-song setlist. 

Some on the front row had reportedly been camping out there since midnight the night before, but we’ve all been long overdue Elton’s Glasto moment. I would have been seismic and historic under normal circumstances, but this – a peak in Sir Elton’s mammoth Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour – is anything but a standard ‘show up and play the hits’ gig. It marks the last time you’ll ever see him perform in the UK (allegedly). On Worthy Farm’s hallowed ground, he promised a brand new live production to his other recent dates, and four, count ’em FOUR, very special guests.

Rumours of potential guest stars were rife all week: A source told us that, Elton had opted for “newer” special guests. Jacob Lusk from Gabriels lends some sweet soul to ‘Are You Ready For Love’, Rina Sawayama absolutely slays Kiki Dee’s part on ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ and he even has Glastonbury singing along to Steven Sanchez viral hit ‘Until I Found You’, rather than have him duet on one of his. Just as with Rocket Hour radio show and 2021 collaborative album ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, Elton is as much concerned in the future as he is the pastThe closest thing to an ‘old school’ turn comes from The Killers‘ frontman Brandon Flowers, who adds a little bit of that fabulous Vegas glamour to ‘Tiny Dancer’, but it’s merely the icing on an absolutely awesome cake. The crowd present are all ages, with the youngest singing even louder for one simple reason: Elton’s music is timeless and travels. Banger after banger comes, with never a lull.

Look at that setlist – it can’t be improved. As previously promised, the ending segment of the show saw “all hell break loose”. ‘Crocodile Rock’, massive. ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’, feral. ‘I’m Still Standing’, the summit. ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’, dedicated to George Michael on what would have been his 60th birthday. We were spoiled tonight. Flares light the sky, friends hold one another and an epic firework finale sees us into a monumental closer of ‘Rocket Man’. His one stage move (rising from the piano, arms outstretched, and smiling) is all he needs. The songs and his heart do the rest. Everyone here is on his side. Go on Reg.

“I’m so happy to be here,” he says, profoundly touched. “I’m never gonna forget this.”

None of us will. Sir Elton left everything on the field. It was a Glasto set for the ages from a true all-time great. We’ll never see his kind again. So long, Rocketman – and thank you.

Elton John’s setlist was: 

‘Pinball Wizard’
‘The Bitch Is Back’
‘Bennie and the Jets’
‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’
‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues’
‘Philadelphia Freedom’
‘Are You Ready for Love’ (with Jacob Lusk from Gabriels and London Community Gospel Choir)
‘Sad Songs (Say So Much)’ (with London Community Gospel Choir)
‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’
‘Until I Found You’ (with Stephen Sanchez)
‘Your Song’
Candle in the Wind’
‘Tiny Dancer’ (with Brandon Flowers)
‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ (with Rina Sawayama)
‘Crocodile Rock’
‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’
‘I’m Still Standing’
‘Cold Heart’
‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’
‘Rocket Man’

The Your Song singer recently completed the U.K. leg of his mammoth Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, with only a few dates left in mainland Europe before he officially retires from touring. It’s a trek that has taken him to all corners of the globe, grossing a record $887 million (£698 million).

After a stellar set packed with his biggest hits, the rock icon looked emotional as he closed his show with Rocket Man and took his final bow in the U.K

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