Elton John’s promoters say the stricken pop legend will be OK to kick off his Australian tour later this week, despite cancelling his two remaining New Zealand shows because of pneumonia.
A tearful Sir Elton, who said he was suffering from “walking pneumonia”, was forced to retire mid-show in Auckland on Sunday when his voice gave way as he attempted his classic ballad Daniel.
“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry,” he told the packed crowd.
“I gave it all I had.”
Since then, Sir Elton’s planned gigs at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium on Thursday and Friday night have been rescheduled for January.
The rock legend is due in Melbourne on Saturday to kick off his Australian tour. He also has concerts scheduled in Coffs Harbour, Townsville and on the Sunshine Coast – and his promoters are confident he will make those dates.
“All remaining Australian shows will go ahead as planned,” promoter Chugg Entertainment said on Wednesday.
The shows will be the legendary performer’s last in Australia, and are part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road‘ tour, which began in late 2018.
Sir Elton said in a statement he was “incredibly disappointed” at the New Zealand cancellations and sent his sincerest apologies to his fans.
“I always want to be able to give 100 per cent and I’m afraid that, right now, I’m not able to do that. I am grateful for the love and loyalty I have been shown by all of you and I can’t wait to return in January next year to perform my final New Zealand shows,” he said.
Video clips posted online by fans at Sunday night’s performance showed the singer breaking down as he told the cheering crowd he couldn’t go on any longer.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern enjoyed a brief audience with Sir Elton prior to the show.
“You could tell that he wasn’t feeling well and he said he wasn’t feeling well,” she said.
“I think you could see that on the stage … which I think is just a credit to his commitment to his fans.”
Sir Elton had just returned to New Zealand after performing at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
He won an Oscar for best original song for his theme song for the movie Rocketman.