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Tearful Elton John at Concert: 'I've Got to Go'

Singer had earlier been diagnosed with walking pneumonia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2020 6:08 AM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2020 6:43 AM CST

(Newser) – A performance by Elton John in New Zealand had a surprise interruption Sunday, at the hands of a tearful John himself. Per the BBC, the 72-year-old singer had earlier told the audience at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium that he'd been diagnosed that day with walking pneumonia. John seemed determined to muddle through his set, though during the song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," the show stopped for a short while so he could receive medical attention, CBS News reports. John came back and began singing again, but by the time he got to "Daniel," his voice completely gave way. "I've just completely lost my voice—I can't sing," he told the crowd, per the BBC. "I've got to go. I'm sorry." In a video, the emotional 72-year-old singer can be seen putting his hand over his face, then finally allowing himself to be escorted off the stage by assistants as the crowd chanted, "Elton! Elton!"

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He'd performed 15 of the 25 songs on his set list, CBS notes. More thanks and apologies came later from John on Twitter and Instagram, where he said, "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." John's next two shows, on Tuesday and Thursday, are set to go on as scheduled, per promoters. The concerts are part of his three-year "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, after which he has said he's retiring to spend more time with his family, per NPR. The Daily Beast notes that John has had other recent health issues, however, and asks: "Can he really tour for another three years?" (Read more Elton John stories.)

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