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A couple of star-studded projects to benefit charity are on the horizon.

Elton is to play piano on a remake of Marc Bolan and T. Rex‘s Children of the Revolution. Axl Rose is lead vocalist, and others on board include Ringo Starr and his son Zak Starkey, who drums for The Who. Proceeds from the disc, also featuring Slash and Iggy Pop, will go to Teenage Cancer Trust, and more details are yet to be released.

On 20 May, the UK’s London Palladium will host an evening of songwriting talent. The Other Songs Live boasts names like Bernie Taupin, who will discuss his songwriting partnership with Elton, and Pete Bellotte, known for his work with Donna Summer and for serving as songwriter and producer for Elton’s Victim of Love album. Proceeds are to be distributed to the BRITS School, Nordoff & Robbins, and Ivor Academy Trust.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised over 600 million dollars, and was honoured during the recent Library of Congress Gershwin Prize concert. Andrea White read a letter Elton wrote to her brother, Ryan, after his death in 1990. Elton told his young friend how much has changed over the years, as patients now receive more compassion and effective treatments for HIV/AIDS.

One of the most talked about Gershwin Prize performances was when Joni Mitchell jazzed up I’m Still Standing. She even changed some of the words, singing, ”My heart’s not broken and my path is clear; you were just a little bumpy detour, dear.” And there were not  just musical salutes: Host Billy Porter wore a white, feathered outfit resembling one Elton wore in the seventies, while Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden put on a pair of rhinestone-rimmed glasses.

We especially enjoyed the look back at Elton’s first appearance in the U.S. Davey Johnstone, who wasn’t in the band then, did not even know who Elton was. This was rectified by Robert Hilburn, the Los Angeles Times pop music critic, who predicted that Elton would become one of rock’s most important stars.

Would you like to hear symphonic versions of Elton’s hits? Pianist Michael Sobie told this website he has been working on his own arrangements of Elton and Bernie’s compositions for several months–probably 1,000 hours in all. This is for the 17th of May when he’ll take on Elton’s role and will be joined by a symphony orchestra of 35 musicians. The event is called Rocket Man, and will be held at St. Monica Catholic Community in Santa Monica, California. Tickets are now on sale.

An offbeat Elton John tribute took place in February at Union Pool, a club in Brooklyn, New York. The band, Real Estate, sang Daniel for a select audience–all with the same name as their new album, Daniel. The tracklist doesn’t include Real Estate‘s version of Elton’s hit, but there’s another ‘Daniel’ involved . . . the producer Daniel Tashien. At any rate, the guys got Elton’s attention. He told frontman Martin Courtney on Rocket Hour that their performance was ”beautiful.”

An Israeli vocalist has received a nod from Elton as well. Elton says Mergui‘s single, Cry, ”refashions Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”


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Mergui told Digital Journal that he wanted to use the melody from Elton’s song for Cry. Elton received a demo, and sent a response a few weeks later.

”He said he loved it and he approved. I couldn’t believe it, it was just a special moment,” recalled Mergui.

Cry is also close to the 24-year-old’s heart because it’s about his family and friends.

Lance Bass was supported by Elton when he came out in 2006. He told People magazine that the star sent him a gift basket. The NSYNC singer joked: ”Wow, I got a welcome basket from the king of the gay mafia. I’m like, ‘I’m in!’

”I thought that was the most fun, welcoming basket you could ever get.”

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