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β€œI can’t describe how it feels to be 75 years old and number 1 in the world. And that was my first hit, 52 years ago.”

Sir Elton John performs live at the final North American show of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP Press Association

LOS ANGELES (AP) β€” Forty-seven years after he took the stage at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in a sequin-studded baseball uniform as the world’s biggest pop star, Elton John took the same stage Sunday night wearing a dazzling Dodgers robe, a uniform more befitting a 75-year-old man on the verge of retirement.

A crowd of more than 50,000 roared as the moment came in the final minutes of the final North American show on what John believes will be his last tour.

“I want to spend time with my family because I will be 76 next year,” he said. “I want to bring them out and show why I’m retiring.”

He embraced and kissed his husband, David Furnish, while his two sons, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Elijah, wearing matching Dodgers jackets with “Elton” written on the back, waved happily to the crowd.

John then broke into “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, the inevitable ending song that gave the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour its name.

A crowd full of rocket men and rocket women, kids in blue jeans and women from Los Angeles, many of John’s age but many in their 20s, 30s and 40s, swayed and sang, as they would in a two-hour concert during songs like “Rocket Man” and “Little Dancer”. Some were wiping tears.

Many wore their own sequins and sequins, sparkling glasses, top hats, feather boas, and in a few cases, Donald Duck suits, representing the stages of John’s 55-year career.

“Thank you all for the costumes,” said John, “I’m so happy when you wear the most fantastic costumes.”

When that last song ended, John shed his robes to reveal another retirement outfit, a green and red track suit, and climbed into a small transparent elevator that lifted him to an opening in the background. He could then be seen on a giant video screen walking down a yellow brick road in the distance.

Many others joined John for the occasion.

Kiki Dee took the stage to sing a duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.

β€œIn 1975, this woman was here with me and we sang this song,” John said, pulling Dee out. “I asked her to come and recreate that amazing moment.”

John sprang up from his usual place on the keyboard, grabbed the microphone and sang and danced with Dee while his rehearsal pianist, Adam Chester, struck the keys in his stead.

John played “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” in tribute to the four bandmates who had died during his career, and brought in another guest after the first verse, shouting “Ladies and gentlemen, Brandi Carlile!”

The moment was an unspoken tribute to another deceased collaborator, George Michael, who in 1991 duetted with John on the song.

Carlile, which was the centerpiece of Joni Mitchell recently back on the scene, she wore her own Dodger-themed suit. She sang her lines and exclaimed, “Can you believe it?!” facing the crowd as John put his arm around her and was drenched in applause.

The drum machine pounded as Dua Lipa, wearing a black dress that contrasted with the flashes on everyone else, stepped out for the first of the encores, “Cold Heart”, her 2021 hit with John.

“I can’t tell you what it’s like to be 75 and have a world number 1 record,” John later said. “And that was my first hit, 52 years ago.”

He started playing piano chords and sang, “It’s kinda funny, that feeling inside,” the first line of the 1970s song “Your Song”.

“That Was Your Song, Los Angeles!” he shouted after him.

About two hours earlier, after taking the stage in a tuxedo with sequins that flared into the flames and opening the “Benny and the Jets” concert, he explained the importance of the city to his music.

“Alright, it’s a very special night for me, a very emotional night for me, and it’s been a long journey, and I first came here to America in 1970 to the City of Angels in Los Angeles and played at a club called The Troubadour.”

The concert, which was streamed live on Disney+, was the last of a three-day run at the stadium (and his 103rd appearance in the Los Angeles area, he told the crowd). The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour kicked off in September 2018 with the first of over 300 scheduled dates. It was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and resumed in 2021.

In January, John heads to Australia and New Zealand before moving on to the UK and Europe. He is due to finish in Sweden in July, although he has made it clear that he is only done traveling and not making music.

Many of those who supported him were in his band from the very beginning or very close, including Nigel Olsson, his drummer since 1969 and Davey Johnstone, his guitarist since 1971, who at the age of 71 stood at the front of the stage and led band through a spirited version of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”.

John also gave a rare onstage glimpse of an even more longtime collaborator, the man who wrote most of the words the crowd sang all night, songwriter Bernie Taupin.

“We’ve been writing together since 1967,” said John, hugging Taupin, who couldn’t have been more in contrast to his writing partner with his bald head and simple earth-colored coat. “We still love each other more than ever before.”

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