TORONTO — Elton John paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at his final concert in Toronto on Thursday night, saying he was inspired by her and is sad she is gone.
“She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace and decency and genuine caring,” John said.
“I’m 75 and she’s been with me all my life and I feel very sad that she won’t be with me anymore, but I’m glad she’s at peace,” he said. “I’m glad she’s at rest and she deserves it. She worked bloody hard.”
The singer-songwriter then performed his 1974 track “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”
The queen died Thursday at her summer residence in Scotland at the age of 96.
John was knighted by the queen in 1998, a year after the death of his friend Princess Diana. Prince Charles also anointed the musician and charity patron as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honor last year.
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John’s concert was the second of two nights at Toronto’s Rogers Center and part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, billed as his final tour.
More celebrities who were knighted by the longest reigning monarch also sent their memories of the queen, including Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Rod Stewart.
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McCartney shared a portrait of the late queen on Instagram with the message “God bless Queen Elizabeth II.”
“May she rest in peace,” he added. “Long live the King.”
Stewart posted a simple crown behind a black background on Instagram calling it “a privilege” to perform for her majesty.
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“We have all lost Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at 96. The Queen has been an unwavering presence throughout my life and a great unifier. A shining star that will never fade in our hearts and souls,” Stewart wrote. “What a privilege it was to perform for her.
My deepest sympathies to the Royal Family. “God save the King.”