As John’s five-decade live career came to a close at Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena on Saturday (July 8), Chris Martin and Co. — who were simultaneously performing in Gothenburg, Sweden — appeared onscreen through a live video broadcast at John’s show to honor the musical icon.
After performing a moving cover of “Rocket Man” alongside his band, Martin gave a heartwarming speech about John’s remarkable career.
“Elton, from all of us here, from all the bands and all the artists that you’ve loved and inspired and helped, we just love you so much,” Martin said. “We are so grateful for everything you’ve done for us, everything you’ve done for the AIDS Foundation. Every time you’ve been kind to anybody.”
He continued, “For everything you’ve done for LGBTQ. Everything you’ve done for fashion and eyewear. Everything you’ve done for sexiness, and love and dressing gowns. Everything you’ve done for music, everything Bernie has done for lyrics, everything your band has done over the thousands of shows you’ve done. We love you so much, happy retirement, and we’re going to miss you so much.”
John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour launched in September 2018 in North America and went on to play 330 concerts around the globe. In January, it became the highest grossing tour in Billboard Boxscore history, passing Ed Sheeran’s The Divide Tour. As of dates reported to Boxscore through June 18, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour had now grossed $910.4 million, making it the first tour to ever break the $900 million barrier. Last month, John received an award from Billboard for having the top-grossing tour of all time.
Prior to launching into “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” the final song of Saturday’s show in Sweden, John took a moment to look back on his spectacular body of work.
“I’ve had the most wonderful career, beyond belief,” he told the audience. “Fifty-two years of pure joy playing music. How lucky am I to play music? But you know, I wouldn’t be sitting here and talking to you if it wasn’t for you. You bought the singles, the CDs, the albums, the cassettes, but more importantly, you bought the tickets to the shows. You know how much I love to play live. It’s been my lifeblood to play for you guys. You’ve been absolutely magnificent.”
John continued, “I will never be touring again, but I may do something in the future — a one-off thing — but that’s miles away. I want to appreciate my family, my sons, my husband, everything. I’ve earned it. And I don’t regret it tonight. I want to thank the band, the crew, everybody. I will miss you guys so much, but I’ll see you much sooner than you think. I love you guys!”