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Sad–And Glad–Songs (Say So Much).

On Friday night, Elton performed at the White House for a group which included nurses, teachers, and AIDS activists such as Jeanne White-Ginder. In fact, the music-maker dedicated Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to her late son, saying, ”Ryan, you saved my life.”

Ryan Wayne White was an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana, who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS activism in the United States after his school barred him from attending classes following a diagnosis of AIDS. As a hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment in 1984. Elton befriended him and White’s plight became a wake-up call for Elton to put his own life in order and help AIDS sufferers. White died in April 1990 and later Elton gave proceeds from sales of his first-ever UK solo number one single Sacrifice to four AIDS charities.

Brought to tears, Elton was ”flabbergasted and humbled” to receive a National Humanities Medal from President Joe Biden. Elton said on Twitter that he considered a ”great honour” to be recognised in this way for his career achievements and for fighting against AIDS. Also at the event–watch_here–Elton praised former president George Bush for his efforts to combat AIDS (his wife, Laura, was in attendance). Click here if you’d like to read the Bidens‘ remarks (and a brief one from the headliner).


The night before was emotional, too. Elton appeared at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, where he told the audience that he would take them in his heart and soul, and would never forget them. He’s a part-time resident, so folks might see him walking around. ”I’m not going anywhere. I’ve lived here for 30 years, and I’ve loved every single minute.”

Also in the area of Atlanta, Elton and David Furnish stopped by Walmart to meet some of the associates behind their partnership. Last year, the songster’s eyewear line was launched with Walmart and Sam’s ClubEjaf says that Walmart‘s $1 million annual donation from the sales of the eyewear is helping Elton’s charity change the course of HIV in America.

In 2017, the musician credited Princess Diana with being an early and public campaigner for HIV and AIDS awareness and treatment. As reported by EJW at the time, the remarks were part of Prince Harry and Prince William‘s documentary
Diana Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. It’s now available on HBO Max. Or check out Diana for the performer’s input.

Last year, Elton admitted that he was sick of singing Crocodile Rock. A couple of filmmakers obviously are not tired of hearing it because the tune is used in their new movie, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. The film, directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, is adapted from the Bernard Waber children’s story of the same name. Among others on the soundtrack are Shawn Mendes (who voices the titular character), the Gap Band, and Stevie Wonder. The tunes will be available for streaming on 7 October, the same day as the movie’s official premiere. Go to lylelylecrocodile to pre-save the soundtrack.

In other cinematic developments, there’s a new documentary about Rich Engler, who has worked with the likes of Elton, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, and StyxBehind the Stage Door is based on his 2013 memoir of the same name.

In addition, the promoter and producer will be making a couple of personal appearances in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: on 1 and 15 October.

Visit giant-cinema for more details or to purchase tickets.

This seems to be the season for documentaries! Here’s another: It’s called If These Walls Could SingDisney Original Documentary (Disney) has announced a partnership with Mercury Studios and Ventureland for the worldwide streaming release of this flick, which is about Abbey Road Studios. Showbiz follower fans can look forward to hearing from, among others, director Mary McCartney‘s dad Paul McCartney; Elton; Ringo Starr; Cliff Richard; Giles Martin (George Martin’s son); George Lucas; Celeste; and Kanye West. Its world premiere was held earlier this month at Colorado’s Telluride Film Festival.

• There’s news about another classic as well, The Lion King. Did you know that since returning in October 2021 (lion-king) from its 18-month pandemic shutdown, the North American tour has played to capacity houses, entertaining over 800,000 guests, in 16 cities? The tour is scheduled to play 13 cities during the 2022-23 season.

In more sombre developments, an actress who played Rafiki, the mandrill in The Lion King on Broadway has passed away. The cause of death was not disclosed but Marva Hicks was 66.

If you go here, you’ll learn that the singer and actress also appeared on the big and small screen and toured with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. And in 1991, she enjoyed an R&B hit with Never Been in Love Before.

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