At his Rogers Centre concert in Toronto on Thursday evening, the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” singer put a pause on all the hoppin’, boppin’, and crocodile rockin’ to remember the 96-year-old British monarch, who died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland earlier in the day.
“We have the saddest news about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,” John said at the show. “She was an inspiring person to be around. I’ve been around her and she was fantastic. She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency, and a genuine care and warmth.”
As an image of Queen Elizabeth was displayed on the accompanying screens on stage, John reflected on the impact the royal personally made on his life.
“I’m 75. She’s been with me all my life, and I feel very sad that she won’t be with me anymore,” he said. “But I’m glad she’s at peace, and I’m glad she’s at rest, and she deserves it because she’s worked bloody hard.”
John concluded, “I send my love to her family and her loved ones. She will be missed, but her spirit lives on, and we celebrate her life tonight with music, okay?”
Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage Elton John; Queen Elizabeth II
The legendary musician then launched into a powerful rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” in honor of the late matriarch.
Earlier in the day, John mourned the Queen’s death in a statement on social media. “Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing,” he tweeted in part. “Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
John wasn’t the only one who took time out from their performance last night to remember the British icon. At his performance in Madison Square Garden, Harry Styles asked concertgoers to join him “in a round of applause” in honor of the Queen’s “70 years of service.”