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ELTON JOHN NEWS
"The Lion King" is being remade by Jon Favreau
Thursday, September 29 2016
The circle of life, as Elton John once sang, moves us all Ė now it seems Jon Favreauís path unwinding has arrived at "The Lion King".
The filmmaker has been confirmed to direct a new "re-imagining" of Disney's classic animation; he cheekily tweeted a hint of his next project with a couple of emojis, swiftly confirmed by an official Disney press release.
Favreau is still basking in the billion-dollar afterglow of his wildly successful live-action/CGI "Jungle Book" remake, and itís safe to assume he will redeploy the same CGI-heavy performance-capture methods for "The Lion King" (although, without any human characters, there may be no live-action elements at all this time around).
Itís the latest in a long line of modern updates to Disneyís animated back catalogue, following the box-office success of "Maleficent", "Cinderella", and indeed Favreauís "The Jungle Book" (the latter of which is due a sequel, with Favreau still technically attached to direct).
The original "Lion King", loosely based on Shakespeareís Hamlet, was released in 1994 at the peak of Disneyís 1990s renaissance, and remains the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film of all time. It became almost as famous for its Grammy- and Oscar-winning Elton John/Tim Rice soundtrack, and spawned a successful Broadway musical which has run for 19 years.
The new film will ďinclude songs from the filmĒ, in keeping with the practice of most of Disneyís recent remakes, but the press release does not mention if any of the songs introduced to the stage show will make it on screen.
Thereís no word on an exact release date yet, but since Disney are putting this into ďfast trackĒ production, expect a whole new generation of children to be singing Hakuna Matata at full volume near you very soon.
Elton to perform for Hillary Clinton in final L.A. fundraising swing
Thursday, September 29 2016
Hillary Clinton is returning to Los Angeles on October 13, 2016 for a round of fundraising including a concert performed by Elton John.
This is expected to be her final visit before the November 8, 2016 election. Tickets for the event are $33,400 per person, and include dinner. The $100,000-per-person tickets include a co-chair reception and premium dinner seating.
Clinton was to attend a series of fundraising events earlier in September 2016, including an event at the home of Seth MacFarlane, but she took time off the campaign trail to recover from pneumonia. Instead, former President Bill Clinton headlined the events.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint committee of Clintonís campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state party committees.
Bernie Taupin opens up about his true (visual) passion
Tuesday, September 27 2016
Eltonís longtime lyricist is also a veteran visual artist who's bringing three exhibitions to galleries both coasts this fall.
Bernie Taupin has carved an iconic, multi-decade career as a lyricistóprimarily as Eltonís longtime collaborator on such songs as "Rocket Man," "Candle in the Wind," and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"óas well as Broadway and film, earning a Golden Globe Award for Brokeback Mountainís"A Love That Will Never Grow Old."
But he has also been creating visual art since the early '90s, exhibiting in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, and selling to private collectors. His current solo exhibition, 8, at KM Fine Arts in Los Angeles, features eight large-scale mixed-media works on view through October 28, 2016.
In November 2016, an election-timed exhibit featuring incarnations of the American flag will grace Waterhouse & Doddís New York gallery November 3-30, 2016, with another at ArtMiami, November 20-Dec 4,2 2016.
"Songwriting takes very little of my time. I spend a couple of hours or a day, when a project surfaces. But art is a 24-hour passion; itís a much stronger expression for me," says Taupin. "Both art and music are about striving to find your own voice. Now with these assemblage pieces and use of found material, I want people to be able to dive into and explore them," he adds. "Iíve tried for a long time to disassociate myself from the dreadful 'celebrity artist.í That drives me nuts. I think Iíve proved my worth just by the people who are showing my art now."
Inspired by '60s and '70s American modernist styles when he moved Stateside some 40 years ago, the British-born Taupin began painting before taking a more sculptural and tactile direction. Two years ago, he began working in multi-media assemblage and found material, incorporating items like eight-track tapes, guitar parts, vintage comics, Polaroids, scorched canvases, and broken frames, often adding a dash of edginess and sardonic social commentary.
"This is my first major show of assemblage pieces," he says of his current exhibit. "A few assemblage pieces were previously sneaking into other shows." Itís also the first public showing of his decade-old American Burka, a sculpture of a female mannequin wrapped in coarse cloth and barbed wire. "The hardest part is coming up with idea. Once I have the inspiration, the execution of the pieces is a piece of cake," he says. "Iíll go for a couple of weeks where Iím just dry and have run out of ideas. I donít sleep very well; my mind is constantly creating.
"Iíll wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, and sketch or write it out. Then just let me loose in the studio," he laughs. "Thereís almost a prehistoric drive when I get into the studio, blast loud music, surrounded by all my mediums, and Iíll be in there for hours, creating one piece in one long haul. Unless I donít have all the pieces. I sometimes spend more time in the hardware store than the studio.
"I love being in my studio, inventing and creating. Itís like being a mad professor."
Elton to co-host Evening Standard theatre awards
Monday, September 26 2016
Elton John is to co-host this year's Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
He will break from the European leg of his latest tour to attend the awards on November 13, 2016at London's Old Vic. He will co-host the event with the Standard's proprietor Evgeny Lebedev.
"I think we produce some of the best theatre in the world here and I feel passionately that we must support it," said Elton. "The London stage has nurtured and given a creative voice for many, many talented individuals and it's such a great honour for me to co-host these illustrious theatre awards at The Old Vic this year."
Sir Elton's music has featured in West End shows Billy Elliot and The Lion King. The shortlist for the awards - first held in 1955 - will be announced at the end of October 2016.
Last year Nicole Kidman and James McAvoy won the top acting prizes, while Imelda Staunton picked up the best musical performance prize for Gypsy.
Wonderful Crazy Year - Elton Fan Survey
Sunday, September 25 2016
Round 34 - week 39/2016 - Aida
With the release of "Wonderful Crazy Night" on February 5, 2016, we had kicked off our "Wonderful Crazy Year" during which we invite you to vote on all of Elton's recordings since the beginning of his career.
Now the next poll is open and awaiting your votes. Simply click on the banner above to start voting.
You can always check the results of the current and of previous polls. Please note, however, that this is currently limited to the first 100 votes. All votes past that are still being counted, they just don't show in the iterims result yet. When all votes are in for all the polls we have planned, we will present the full results taking into account all registered votes.
Until then, you can always get in touch with Antti Honkasalo from Finland (visit him on Facebook), who is the brain behind "Wonderful Crazy Year". He will be able to share more details about the current results of the polls with those interested.
"Wonderful Crazy Year" - 3rd Quarter of Results
Friday, September 23 2016
Now the "Wonderful Crazy Year" fan survey is in it's 33rd week - again time to bring you some results, this time from the third quarter of surveys.
We will publish two lists, the average scores for albums and individual recordings, like last time.
Again, some of the answers had to be deleted because they were made by the same person on the same survey. No more editing has been done. Just like last time, you can get a good direction where the preference of the masses is, but the scores are not absolute.
All surveys will remain open!You can still vote and a full analysis of all survey results will be published in the end! We will gladly acquire more survey answers, so that the final results will be more realistic!
"Wonderful Crazy Year" calendar weeks 28-38
average scores for the albums:
1. Live In Australia 8,29 2. Sleeping With The Past 7,96 3. Made In England 7,92 4. The One 7,69 5. Breaking Hearts 7,18 6. The Lion King 7,03 7. The Big Picture 6,97 8. Ice On Fire 6,95 9. Reg Strikes Back 6,89 10. Duets 6,44 11. Leather Jackets 5,93
average scores for the recordings:
1. The One 9,21 2. Circle Of Life 9,16 3. Sacrifice 8,97 4. Blessed 8,90 5. Believe 8,87 6. Can You Feel The Love Tonight? 8,80 7. Candle In The Wind [Live from Live In Australia] 8,77 8. The Last Song 8,70 9. Healing Hands 8,69 10. Tonight [Live from Live In Australia] 8,65 11. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That 8,64 12. Sixty Years On [Live from Live In Australia] 8,50 13. Your Song [Live from Live In Australia] 8,48 14. Sad Songs (Say So Much) 8,42 15. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me [Live from Live In Australia] 8,39 Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me [Live][With George Michael] 8,39 17. Nikita 8,39 18. Have Mercy On The Criminal [Live from Live In Australia] 8,36 Simple Life 8,36 20. Burn Down The Mission [Live from Live In Australia] 8,28 21. The Greatest Discovery [Live from Live In Australia] 8,28 22. Latitude 8,27 23. I Need You To Turn To [Live from Live In Australia] 8,25 24. Madman Across The Water [Live from Live In Australia] 8,24 25. Club At The End Of The Street 8,17 Made In England 8,17 27.Live Like Horses 8,15 28. Take Me To The Pilot [From Here And There Disc 1] 8,11 29. Something About The Way You Look Tonight 8,10 30. The King Must Die [Live from Live In Australia] 8,08 31. Tiny Dancer [Live from Live In Australia] 8,05 32. Please 7,92 33. Amazes Me 7,93 34. Whispers 7,92 35. I'm Still Standing [Live 1984] 7,87 36. Blue Avenue 8,86 37. Belfast 7,85 38. Duets For One 7,84 Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word [Live from Live In Australia] 7,84 Take Me To The Pilot [Live from Live In Australia] 7,84 41. House 7,83 42. The North 7,81 43. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That [Just Elton And His Piano Mix] 7,80 44. Burning Buildings 7,70 45. A Word In Spanish 7,69 46. Recover Your Soul 7,65 47. Runaway Train 7,63 48. Cold 7,53 Emily 7,53 Sleeping With The Past 7,53 51. In Neon 7,52 Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word [Live 1977] 7,52 53. I Just Can't Wait To Be King 7,51 54. I Never Knew Her Name 7,47 55. Pain 7,46 56. The Man Who Never Died 7,45 57. Cry To Heaven 7,44 58. A Woman's Needs [With Tammy Wynette] 7,40 59. Breaking Hearts (Ain't What It Used To Be) 7,39 60. Did He Shoot Her? 7,31 If The River Can Bend 7,31 Whitewash County 7,31 63. Suit Of Wolves 7,25 True Love [With Kiki Dee] 7,25 65. Long Way From Happiness 7,24 66. Man 7,21 67. On Dark Street 7,19 68. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters, Pt. 2 7,17 69. Durban Deep 7,16 I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That [Shep Pettibone Mix] 7,16 71. Lies 7,15 72. Circle Of Life [Carmen Twillie] 7,13 Shoot Down The Moon 7,13 74. Who Wears These Shoes? 7,12 75. Restless [Live 1984] 7,06 76. The Big Picture 7,04 77. Restless 7,02 78. Sweat It Out 7,00 79. Hakuna Matata [Ernie Sabella & Nathan Lane] 6,99 80. Understanding Women 6,95 When A Woman Doesn't Want You 6,95 82. Since God Invented Girls 6,94 83. Stone's Throw From Hurtin' 6,92 84. Paris 6,87 85. This Town 6,83 86. Slow Rivers [With Cliff Richard] 6,69 87. Slow Down Georgia (She's Poison) 6,67 Town Of Plenty 6,67 89. Japanese Hands 6,66 Teardrops [With K. D. Lang] 6,66 91. Can You Feel The Love Tonight? [Joseph Williams & Sally Dworsky] 6,63 92. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters, Pt. 2 [The Renaissance Mix] 6,61 93. The End Will Come 6,56 Wicked Dreams 6,56 95. Passangers 6,53 96. Heartach All Over The World 6,51 97. The Camera Never Lies 6,50 January 6,50 99. Soul Glove 6,48 100. Love Letters [With Bonnie Raitt] 6,45 101. I Just Can't Wait To Be King [Jason Weaver] 6,44 102. Old Friend [With Nik Kershaw] 6,42 103. Rope Around A Fool 6,40 104. If You Were Me [With Chris Rea] 6,39 105. Be Prepared [Jeremy Irons] 6,37 106. King Of Pride Rock 6,36 The Power [With Little Richard] 6,36 108. Fat Boys And Ugly Girls 6,35 109. Under The Stars 6,34 110. Dancing In The End Zone 6,33 111. Hoop Of Fire 6,31 To Die For 6,31 112. Heavy Traffic 6,28 113. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing [With Marcella Detroit] 6,27 This Land 6,27 Wrap Her Up 6,27 116. Act Of War [With Millie Jackson] 6,25 117. Born To Lose [With Leonard Cohen] 6,23 118. Goodbye Marlon Brando 6,20 119. Poor Cow 6,18 120. Lil' Frigerator 6,15 121. Love's Got A Lot To Answer For 6,10 Satellite 6,10 123. Too Young 6,07 124. Love Is A Cannibal 6,03 125. Gypsy Heart 5,98 126. Leather Jackets 5,92 127. I Fall Apart 5,91 128. Tell Me What The Papers Say 5,91 129. Candy By The Pound 5,83 130. I'm Your Puppet [With Paul Young] 5,75 131. Shakey Ground [With Don Henley] 5,73 132. I Can't Steer My Heart Clear Of You 5,50 133. When I Think About Love (I Think About You) [With P.M. Dawn] 5,45 134. Angeline 5,43 135. Go On And On [With Gladys Knight] 5,39 136. Don't Trust That Woman 5,32 137. Go It Alone 5,31 138. Don't Go Breaking My Heart [Remix][With RuPaul] 5,02 139. Memory Of Love 4,98
"People have enough Elton John"
Tuesday, September 20 2016
Elton John hints at retiring from music ahead of his 70th birthday in March 2017.
Elton is ready to retire from music and hand record making on to a younger generation, according to his latest interview. He appeared on Good Morning Britain on September 19, 2016 and revealed his records are no longer selling like they used to because "people have enough" of his music in their collections and it's time to pass the candle to a younger generation.
"I love playing," the legend told ITV's Richard Arnold. "My records don't sell any more because people have enough Elton John records in their collection. I love making them but it's someone else's turn now."
Elton headlined the Apple Music Festival at the weekend and revealed he's alongside some great names like Britney Spears, Michael Buble and Calvin Harris who make great music - although he's not inspired by them. "No, but I listen to their records," he replied. "It's a very diverse bill and that is what Apple Festival is about and that is what it should be about. Diversity. It's all about the songs really. That keeps you in the forefront. There are all really good artists and great songwriters, proper artists and not top 10 crap artists," he said.
"When I hear new music - and there is a lot of it around - it keeps me young and on my toes. I know all the great music, it's all in my head but when you hear something new and that is so great, it really does inspire me."
On March 25, 2017 Elton turns 70. Speaking about his forthcoming birthday celebrations, Elton said: "My voice is getting better as I get older. I think I'm singing better than I ever have. I'm going to be in Los Angeles, I'd like to do something for charity on the night."
Speaking about his greatest achievement, the superstar, who also heads up the Elton John AIDs Foundation, said "having children" was his greatest moment.
Elton John and band performed At Apple Music Festival on September 18, 2016
Monday, September 19 2016
Elton delivered "a night of surprises" as the 2016 Apple Music Festival opened with aplomb in London.
Elton lived up to his reputation as a charismatic entertainer with extended arrangements and contemporary reworkings of his greatest hits, mixed with guest appearances and cover versions from emerging talent.
Opening with "The Bitch Is Back", "Philadelphia Freedom" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues", Elton paused briefly between songs to take in the applause from all around the venue before inviting special guests to the stage to each perform two tracks.
He told the crowd at Camden's Roundhouse: "It's going to be a night of surprises. Tonight we decided I wanted to do a show that Incorporates some of the artists I've found through Apple Music Radio. They don't get played on mainstream radio because mainstream radio mostly plays all crap."
First up was songstress Rosie Lowe, from Exeter in Devon, before LA soulman Gallant was welcomed to the stage. Oklahoma-based folk musician Parker Millsap helped perform "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", a duet previously sung with George Michael, before French singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens produced a fully choreographed rendition of her radio hit "Tilted".
Punters reached for their mobiles as the lights dimmed for a rousing singalong of "Your Song", one of the best-known titles in Elton's extensive repertoire, while evergreen favourites "Rocket Man" and "Tiny Dancer" also featured.
Elton wore a black and red sparkly Beefeater-style ensemble as he romped his way through a hit-packed set lasting nearly two hours, supported by a full band including long-time collaborators Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper. He was joined again by his guest performers for encore "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting".
However, scores of punters were left queueing outside the north London venue as the show began, with staff confirming they were suffering "teething problems". The venue, which holds around 1,570 people, will also play host to acts including pop star Britney Spears, former Take That singer Robbie Williams, and DJ Calvin Harris during the festival's run. The full line-up - marking the event's 10th anniversary, having previously been known as the iTunes Festival - also features Alicia Keys, Bastille, Chance the Rapper, Michael Buble, OneRepublic and Monday's headliners The 1975.
The Roundhouse was filled with fans who applied for free tickets, while all 10 shows are being made available live on the internet to Apple Music members.
Following is the complete set list of the Apple Music Festival show on September 18, 2016:
The Bitch is Back
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
Woman (with Rosie Lowe)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (with Rosie Lowe)
A Good Heart
Weight in Gold (with Gallant)
Bennie and the Jets (with Gallant)
The Very Last Day (with Parker Millsap)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me (with Parker Millsap)
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Tilted (with Christine and The Queens)
Tiny Dancer (with Christine and The Queens)
All the Young Girls Love Alice
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (with Rosie Lowe, Gallant, Parker Millsap and Christine and The Queens)
Back to the roots for Elton and Nigel
Saturday, September 17 2016
Elton kicks off the Apple Music Festival on September 18, 2016 Ė in the same venue in which he first performed live with Nigel Olsson an incredible 46 years ago.
Nigel, who cut his musical teeth in and around Sunderland in the 60s, has been a stalwart of Eltonís band for decades and memories will come flooding back when he takes to the stage of Londonís Roundhouse. It was back in 1970 that he first performed live with Elton Ė and the venue was the Roundhouse and as support to The Who.
Today Nigel, who returns to the North East in December 2016 with Elton for a show at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcatle, lifts the lid on working with the larger than life singer songwriter. ďWe have moodies now and again but it doesnít affect us as weíve been through it before,Ē softy spoken Nigel, now 67, tells Chronicle Live backstage before a gig.
ďHeíll get over it, heíll be fine tomorrow. Itís amazing, really. Itís family. We all have our good days and bad days, OK days. Fantastic, wonderful days. As long as we make people smile and we do something to give back what they give to us, our job is done. Itís an amazing life and I wouldnít want it any other way.Ē
Elton and his band are at the Metro Radio Arena on December 3, 2016 as part of their Wonderful Crazy Night Tour series of shows. They have already performed a series of summer shows, and are the first headline act at the Apple Music Festival 2016, which also sees the likes of the 1975, Bastille, Robbie Williams, Britney Spears and Calivin Harris putting on shows, which you can watch if you are subscribed to Apple Music.
Elton has hinted Decemberís Newcastle concert could be his last in the city. ďYou never know. Maybe, maybe not. I donít think itís any time soon. That would be a question for him! Iíll ask him,Ē laughs Nigel. ďItís been a life of just total blessed moments, and Iím still very blessed to be around and to see it evolved to what it is now,Ē says Nigel, whose family are of Swedish origin but who settled in Sunderland when he was a teenager.
ďWe still pack arenas, we pack outdoors and festivals. Itís unreal that we are still on top of the whole thing. To be part of this musical history, basically. The key is we feed off the audience. They give it to us and we give it back. Itís a joyful life to have and weíll keep going for as long as we can do it.Ē
It was back in 1970 when Elton and Nigel first played the Roundhouse Ėtheir first live gig together. ďWe were supporting The Who,Ē he recalls. ďI got to play Keith Moonís drums. That was it for me Ė Iíd made it finally.Ē