Sir Elton John plans to complete New Zealand concerts

The veteran singer is recovering from a bout of walking pneumonia which forced him to cut short a show on Sunday night.

Elton John-Pneumonia
Elton John-Pneumonia

Sir Elton John intends to play his remaining shows in New Zealand this week despite being forced to cut short a performance in Auckland on Sunday night, his tour promoters said on Monday.

Video clips posted online by fans showed Sir Elton breaking down in tears as he told the cheering crowd he could not go on.

The 72-year-old singer said he had walking pneumonia and was assisted off stage.

Tour promoters Chugg Entertainment said on Monday Sir Elton was resting and doctors were confident he would swiftly recover.

They said a concert planned for Tuesday in Auckland would be delayed until Wednesday on the advice of doctors. Another concert is scheduled for Thursday.

“Elton John was disappointed and deeply upset at having to end his Auckland concert early last night,” the promoters’ statement said. “At this stage, all remaining shows will go ahead as planned.”

Sir Elton, who is on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, thanked the concert attendees via an Instagram post and apologised for ending the show early.

“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,” Sir Elton wrote. “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.”

The New Zealand Herald reported Sir Elton told the crowd he was ill but that he did not want to miss the show. He slumped on a stool and required medical attention after performing Someone Saved My Life Tonight, but recovered and continued to play, the newspaper reported.

Later, as he he attempted to sing Daniel, he realised he had no voice left and was escorted off stage.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she watched the show and met Sir Elton for about five minutes beforehand.

“You could tell that he wasn’t feeling well and he said he wasn’t feeling well,” Ms Ardern said.

“So I think you could see that on the stage last night, which I think is just a credit to his commitment to his fans.”

Ms Ardern said the pair discussed politics and how her toddler daughter Neve loves to dance to the music of Sir Elton, who has previously expressed his admiration for the New Zealand leader.

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.

According to the Mayo Clinic, walking pneumonia is an informal term for a milder form of pneumonia that isn’t severe enough to require being admitted to hospital or bed rest. It affects the respiratory tract and is most often caused by bacteria.

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