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Glastonbury 2023 – latest: Elton John says thank-you to festival audience after farewell UK performance

Rocket Man bids farewell as he played what could be his final live show in the UK, with a jaw-dropping, career-spanning set of his greatest songs

Elton John steps out onto Pyramid stage at Glastonbury 2023

Elton John performed what will go down as one of the greatest headline shows in Glastonbury history last night (Sunday 25 June), to one of the biggest crowds the festival has seen in years.

Lil Nas X was the final artist to take to the main stage before the 76-year-old at Worthy Farm, Somerset, after a joyful Yusuf/Cat Stevens entertained fans with songs including “Wild World” and “Father and Son”.

The revered folk singer-songwriter performed with his band in the coveted Legends Slot, a gig previously handed to artists including Lionel Richie, Kylie Minogue and Dolly Parton. He also gave superfan/comedian Ricky Gervais a shout-out on his birthday, before playing his song “Tea for the Tillerman”.

At 9pm, John launched his performance with some of his best-known songs, including his 1975 cover of “Pinball Wizard” and “Benny and the Jets”. From the moment he sat down at the piano, the show was a pure blast of euphoria from one of the world’s greatest living entertainers, with surprise guests including The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, and Gabriels singer Jacob Lusk.


Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 22:14

The next musical guest is The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers!

This is amazing, so Brandon Flowers, whom Elton met in Las Vegas back in 2005, is joining him on stage right now for “Tiny Dancer”.

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 22:13

Elton John’s next guest is... Stephen Sanchez!

OK so “save for one person”, Elton’s musical guests are younger artists, a display of his utter dedication to new music, which is one of my favourite things about him.

So the next guess is US musician Stephen Sanchez, who delivers quite a beautiful tribute to Elton’s kindness and generosity (I teared up) before beginning a rendition of his song “Until I Found You”, one of the best singles of 2022 and, quite recently, a viral sensation on TikTok.

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:59

Elton John introduces Gabriels singer Jacob Lusk as his first special guest

Elton John introduces Gabriels singer Jacob Lusk as his first special guest
Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:49

A sublime performance from Jacob Lusk, who looked as though he was bricking it in those first few moments

Dressed in his resplendent hot pink suit, Jacob Lusk did look VERY nervous as he looked out at the (100,000? more) people in the audience. I thought he might have been half a beat or so behind but he swiftly caught up, and then got into the swing of things for a tremendous gospel-backed finish.

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:44

First surprise guest revealed!

And Elton’s first guest is Jacob Lusk of the band Gabriels, along with a gospel choir, here to sing “Are You Ready For Love”! What an astonishing moment for Lusk, whose band have been on the rise for the past year or so. If you needed anything to help boost your popularity, this would do it.

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:39

Let’s see what you’re all saying about Elton’s performance on Twitter

There’s a lot of noise about the crowd size:

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:38

Spotted: Elton John’s husband watching with their sons, Zachary and Elijah, plus Lewis Hamilton and director Sam Taylor-Johnson

(Leon Neal/Getty)
Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:32

Elton John’s full setlist for his Glastonbury 2023 performance

Full setlist for Elton John at Glastonbury 2023

Singer put on a crowd-pleasing, career-spanning headline show

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:30

Some pictures of the absolute scenes unfolding right now

Roisin O'Connor25 June 2023 21:28

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