In 1974, Elton John took “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. That summer, an eleven-year-old fan heard the song and never forgot it. Eleven years later, in 1985, that fan would perform the song with Elton, and a few years after that, their new recording of the song would outperform the original.
Elton and George Michael performed “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” at Live Aid in 1985. When Elton made a surprise appearance at a Michael show in 1991, the two sang the song together with tape machines rolling. At the end of 1991, their duet was released as a single, and it wasn’t long before it became a #1 hit in at least eight different countries. Proceeds from sales of the song went to a number of different charities.
For several years, the friendship between the two singers was on hold. In 2004, Elton criticized Michael for his drug use and suggested that he was in “a strange place,” to which Michael responded that Elton knew nothing about him. As recently as 2009, he said that Elton should “shut his mouth and get on with his own life.” But the two stars supposedly rebuilt their relationship last summer, and they appeared together at a benefit last fall.
Which version of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” you prefer, the 1974 original or the 1992 #1 hit, probably depends on how you feel about George Michael. Here’s the video. The crowd footage was recorded in Chicago, although some of the video was shot in California.
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