In his latest drama, Sir Elton John has abandoned a New Zealand concert midway through because of illness – throwing into doubt upcoming performances in Australia, including in Melbourne, Coffs Harbour and Townsville.
The British star apologised to fans at Sunday night’s Auckland show after he first had medical attention on stage and then was unable to finish his set.
“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more,” Elton, 72, wrote on Instagram.
“I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance.
“I am eternally grateful.”
View this post on Instagram
I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx 📷 @bengibsonphoto
A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on
Earlier, a tearful Elton had told the capacity crowd at Mount Smart Stadium that he had been diagnosed with “walking pneumonia”. TVNZ said some fans reported he was slumped in a chair early in the set, and was checked by medical staff.
“I’m sorry. So very sorry … I’ve completely lost my voice,” he said after an aborted attempt to sing 1973 classic Daniel.
The singer apologised to the crowd and was assisted from the stage with nine songs unsung.
The legion of fans cheered the legend off the stage despite their obvious disappointment.
“Unfortunately Elton had to cut short his concert in Auckland this evening due to Walking Pneumonia. What a pro, he tried to stay but his voice was shot. Regardless, we all knew we were in the presence of a legend!” Lisa Hopkins wrote on Twitter.
The father of two is more than a year into his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which he says will be his last major tour.
He has two more shows in Auckland this week before heading to Australia.
Tour promoters Chugg Entertainment said Sir Elton was resting and doctors were confident he would recover.
“Elton John was disappointed and deeply upset at having to end his Auckland concert early last night,” the promoters’ statement said.
However, late on Monday afternoon the New Zealand Herald reported the super star had shifted his Tuesday night concert back to Wednesday, on doctor’s advice.
Sir Elton was involved in a mild controversy earlier in his New Zealand leg, when a warm-up act was binned from a second outing on the bill after interrupting his pre-show nap.
On January 31, his show at ‘A Day on the Green’ at Victoria’s Rochford Wines was cut short by powerful storms.
Elton was about 90 minutes into his set when high winds and torrential rain lashed the venue and it was declared unsafe for artists and the audience.
In December, he divided fans with an expletive-laden tirade against two “moron” security guards at a Perth concert.
About halfway into his three-hour show at HBF Park, an “angry” Elton stopped singing when he saw a woman being removed from the audience.
“Hey, you two security guards with the girl. F–k off,” the Rocket Man star, was heard saying in a video posted to social media.
“Let her up here immediately … come on, you c–ts.
“Morons, both of you, morons. You don’t treat girls like that. Leave her alone, you turds!”
When the video started circulating later on social media, Elton was both hailed as a “legend” and slammed as a “bozo” for his heavy-handed shoutout at the security team.