TORONTO, ON — 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 age 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.
John’s concert was the second of two nights at Toronto’s Rogers Centre and part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, billed as his final tour.
The North American leg of the tour, which had been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic, wraps up with three shows in four days at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Nov. 17-20. John then heads to Australia and New Zealand before coming home for dates across Ireland, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, finishing on July 8, 2023 in Stockholm, Sweden.