AFP, published on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 07:20
His music “changed our lives”: US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Elton John with these words on Friday, before a White House concert by the British pop legend – of whom Donald Trump is a great admirer – .
“What a dump here!” joked Sir Elton John, in a shiny black suit and orange-tinted glasses, as he sat at the piano. Behind him, the residence of the American president all illuminated, and a military band in full dress.
Playing on this stage is “the icing on the cake,” he said later before singing “Your song,” an essential ballad in his repertoire.
Under a huge transparent tent erected in the gardens at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the US executive had invited some 2,000 guests: activists, in particular activists for the rights of LGBTQ+ people, nursing staff, teachers…
According to the White House, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, or the former tennis champion and activist Billie Jean King attended.
The singer recalled his commitment to the fight against AIDS and thanked America for the help provided in this fight.
He made the audience laugh by reporting on an exchange with George W. Bush, whose wife, Laura Bush, was in attendance.
The former president would have asked him, in colorful terms, to help convince France to give more money to the fight against AIDS: “Make the French give more fucking money.”
It was, according to the White House, to celebrate the unifying power of music.
But since everything in Washington is always political, it was difficult, when he sang “Rocket Man”, one of his innumerable hits, not to think of the former Republican president.
This is how Donald Trump nicknamed North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The Republican used to play Elton John songs during his meetings, in particular “Tiny Dancer”, another hit that the artist performed on Friday night.
The Briton, who at 75 is on an important tour of the United States, thanked Joe Biden for his invitation but also praised former President George W. Bush.
“I just wish the United States was more capable of crossing partisan lines,” he said.
Before resuming his concert of about forty minutes, he concluded with another planetary success, “I Am Still Standing”.
Joe Biden finally presented the artist with the National Humanities Medal. “I am never shocked, but here I am shocked,” said an emotional Elton John, receiving the award from him.