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Sir Elton John opens up about his shock at George Michael’s death

Sir Elton John has opened up about his shock at the loss of his friend George Michael.

The Tiny Dancer singer halted his major Twickenham show on Saturday night to pay tribute to the late singer.

The 70-year-old singer had known the late Wham! star since the start of his career.

He told the gathered crowds at his concert: “I haven’t had the chance to play Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me in England since George died.

“It is such a big part of him and a big part of me.

“Losing him was one of the most devastating things that had happened to me for a long long time.”

The two out performers had known each other for decades, but they had not always got along well.

The two famous gay singers had a very public feud during the noughties – attacking each other in glossy magazines.

Elton tried to intervene in the Wham! singer’s life after worrying about his alleged drug habits.

Elton had referred to George Michael’s album, Patience, as “a bit disappointing”, before saying he thought the singer was in “a strange place” during a 2004 interview with Heat magazine.

That was despite the proceeds from the album being donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

He said: “George is in a strange place. There appears to be deep-rooted unhappiness in his life.

“He needs to get out more.”

This didn’t go down well at all, and the Freedom singer took to the same magazine to write a direct reply the next week.

He wrote: “Elton John knows very little about George Michael and that’s a fact.

“Contrary to the public’s impression, we have spoken rarely in the last 10 years and what would probably surprise most people is that we have never discussed my private life. Ever.”

He then claimed that Elton’s group of friends were the “busiest rumour mill in town”.

He claimed anything Elton thought he knew about him is “pretty much limited to the gossip he hears on the ‘gay grapevine’.”

George added: “Other than that, he knows I don’t like to tour, I smoke too much pot and my albums still have habit of going to Number One.

“If I stay at home too much, if anything it is because I am too contented right now.

“I have traveled the world many time and at 41, I think I have earned the right to quiet life, which I truly love, and maybe Elton just can’t relate to that.”

The singer died on Christmas Day 2016.

His burial plot, in Highgate Cemetry, north London, is next to his late mother.

But the gravestone will not be open to fans.

A tall barrier was placed around the gravestone after the singer’s funeral service on March 29, blocking the space from view.

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