Heartbreaking moment Elton John broke down in tears on stage before being diagnosed with pneumonia

1 April 2021, 17:26

The brave moment Elton John tried to carry on performing after being diagnosed with 'walking pneumonia' was caught on camera in February 2020.
The brave moment Elton John tried to carry on performing after being diagnosed with 'walking pneumonia' was caught on camera in February 2020. Picture: midiman nz/YouTube

By Giorgina Hamilton

Elton John was playing on stage in New Zealand in February 2020 when he broke down and had to be helped off the stage before later being diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

The brave moment Elton John tried to carry on performing after being diagnosed with 'walking pneumonia' was caught on camera in February 2020.

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The 'Your Song' singer was playing the New Zealand leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour when he started crying and had to be escorted off the stage.

72-year-old Elton John spoke directly to the crowd at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium earlier in the show, saying: “My voice has completely gone, I’m so sorry," before later breaking down completely as his concerned staff tried to comfort him.

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The appearance came just weeks after Elton John picked up an Oscar for Best Original Song for 'I'm Gonna Love Me Again' from the soundtrack of Rocketman and performed 'Tiny Dancer' live at an after party with Taron Egerton.

72-year-old Elton John spoke directly to the crowd at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium, saying: “My voice has completely gone, I’m so sorry,"
72-year-old Elton John spoke directly to the crowd at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium, saying: “My voice has completely gone, I’m so sorry,". Picture: midiman nz/YouTube
The brave moment Elton John tried to carry on performing after being diagnosed with 'walking pneumonia' was caught on camera in February 2020.
The brave moment Elton John tried to carry on performing after being diagnosed with 'walking pneumonia' was caught on camera in February 2020. Picture: midiman nz/YouTube

Elton John was later diagnosed with 'walking pneumonia', described by The American Lung Association as a “non-medical term for a mild case of pneumonia."

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In footage shared by concert goers on social media and YouTube, Elton can be seen crying as he walks off stage as the crowd give him a standing ovation.

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The star's sudden departure prompted him to later write on his Instagram page: “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.

Elton John was playing the New Zealand leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour when he started crying and had to be escorted off the stage.
Elton John was playing the New Zealand leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour when he started crying and had to be escorted off the stage. Picture: midiman nz/YouTube
“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," Elton John later said ins a statement.
“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," Elton John later said ins a statement. Picture: midiman nz/YouTube

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“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.

“Thank you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx.”

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Elton John's 300 date Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was postponed in March 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tour will now continue in Europe in September 2021, with dates in North America in 2022 and back to New Zealand in 2023.

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"I will be starting my tour again in Europe and the UK in the Fall of 2021. And I will be back in North America starting in January 2022," Elton John Has announced. Pictured on his New Zealand tour in 2020.
"I will be starting my tour again in Europe and the UK in the Fall of 2021. And I will be back in North America starting in January 2022," Elton John Has announced. Pictured on his New Zealand tour in 2020. Picture: Getty

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The Rocketman star recently gave a statement about the plans for his next tour dates: “I’ve been enjoying my time at home with the family while the world navigates its way through the COVID pandemic," said Elton John.

"But, I really miss being on the road and performing for my beloved fans in my Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.

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"While the scientists are making great progress, we are making big plans for a return to touring that will allow us to ensure the health and safety of everyone. 

"I will be starting my tour again in Europe and the UK in the Fall of 2021. And I will be back in North America starting in January 2022."

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"This means my New Zealand dates will be postponed until 2023. Don’t worry about me.  I’m using my downtime to keep myself fighting fit and healthier than ever. 

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"I’m raring to go! As always, thank you so much for your loyal support. I look forward to seeing all you wonderful Elton John fans soon. 

"In the meantime, please stay safe and be well. Thank you!”