Losing a loved one is never easy and often leaves those bereaved with little more than memories, but Sir Elton John was able to not only brave the thunderstorms of grief attributed the tragic loss of his dear friend Princess Diana of Wales but bottle lightning. Before an audience of approximately 2.5 billion watching the global broadcast of the September 6th, 1997 funeral of “the people’s princess”, John took his place behind a Westminster Abbey grand piano and gave the first and only live performance of Candle In The Wind 1997, a heartfelt reworking of his 1973 hit composed for the loss of his companion and fellow icon, Princess Di.
At once familiar yet unprecedented in its poignancy, the new rendition would come to be more recognized as the best-selling single of all time - with 33 million copies sold. More than a testament to semantics of best seller, Sir Elton Hercules John’s unrivaled prowess for living up to his larger-than-life stage name, today’s moment in rock history speaks poignantly of turning a broken heart into art.
Photograph of Sir Elton John: photographer Barrie Wentzell — Elton John, England, 1972 and Morrison Hotel Gallery
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