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Healing Hands

”Love is the cure.”

Besides proper treatment, that’s what Elton thinks will end AIDS–hopefully by 2030–and the name of his 2012 book about his personal journey. And it is the phrase Elton used to ”turbo-charge” his new initiative. It’s called the Rocket Fund and is an extension of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. They plan to spend three years and raise $125 million to tackle the growing rates of HIV infections in vulnerable communities, and to address stigmatisation. Donatella Versace, one of the Fund’s co-chairs, has pledged to match up to $300,000 in donations to the Rocket Fund in June, to celebrate Pride month.

You can participate, too. The Elton-John-AIDS-Foundation welcomes videos and photos of folks letting out their ”Inner Elton.” That could mean sequins, feathers, or whatever else you are comfortable with.

Or perhaps, like Bernie Taupin, don a boater and a pair of sunglasses. . . . .


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A post shared by Bernie Taupin (@bernietaupinofficial)

Staffers at Good-Morning-America showed off their ”Inner Elton” to the star, who appeared via video for an interview about the EJAF. Among them was TV presenter Lara Spencer, who got carried away. Lara gushed that she ”worships” Elton, and that in fact, the whole crew loves him.

Lara then asked how it will feel to play the finale in Sweden next month. Elton admitted to not giving it much thought. But being with the band and crew for so many years, he expects it to be an emotive occasion.

When Elton appeared in Leeds, England, on Tuesday, he was moved by a blind attendee in the front row who ”can’t see me but he can hear me.” Elton added that he planned to get the boy’s phone number so they could keep in touch. As Louie’s face appeared on the First Direct Arena’s big screens, many in the audience cheered and applauded.

Paul-Jeeves of the Daily Express explained that Elton was told about the teenager before the show began. Louie apparently sang along during the entire concert, and it made Elton feel great.

As Elton continues his European dates, Billboard has revealed that the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour’s gross is getting close to $900 million. And that estimate came out before Elton rocked the Utilita Arena in Birmingham, England, on the 8th, 10th, and 11th of June.

Elton’s husband and manager says that he has tried to keep ”a Covid bubble” around the singer on the road. David Furnish smiled, though, recalling how Elton embraced members of Manchester City at an airport in England when the champions of music and sports ran into each other. ”He’s sometimes his own worst enemy,” he laughed.

David turned more serious when he spoke to the Guardian about the need for the EJAF to redouble their efforts.

David also had surprising news. He said for the last couple of years, Vladimir Putin‘s health minister has sent a WhatsApp message on 25 March, wishing Elton a happy birthday. He added that the Russian leader himself once phoned to apologise for the prank call Elton had received. The two comics, Vladimir ”Vovan” Krasnov and Alexei ”Lexus” Stolyarov, got the idea to impersonate Putin after Elton said he’d like to discuss LGBT rights in Russia with the president.

David raised another issue in a recent opinion piece for the Independent. He is upset that Florida has passed a law which permits doctors to refuse treatment to individuals because of their beliefs. He considers it a power grab.

During one of Elton’s early UK gigs, it was a flower grab, not a power grab, which took place. In Wolverhampton, a fan caught some red carnations the performer threw for the audience to catch . . . only to have another concertgoer snatch them away. Elton saw this, and handed Deborah Williams a couple more! She preserved the blooms for nearly half a century, but has now given them to Hansons-Auctioneers to sell on the 14th of June, along with one of Ray Cooper‘s drumsticks and mementoes from the Louder Than Concorde, A Single Man, and Peachtree Road tours.

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