Elton John and Lady Gaga Shut Down Sunset Strip for Spectacular Surprise Concert
By Lynda Brendish
Photo: Getty Images
It wouldn’t be an Oscars weekend without Elton John -- and this weekend he got the party started early!
The "Rocket Man" singer literally took to the streets of West Hollywood on Saturday to thank the city for its longtime support of his Oscar viewing party, which has helped to raise millions of dollars for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Two blocks of Sunset Boulevard were closed down while the 68-year-old Brit performed a high energy set in front of the former Tower Records building, which Elton told the crowd was "one of my favorite buildings of all time." He also joked he could buy Los Angeles with the amount of money he'd spent over the years at the now-defunct record store.
ET's Denny Directo was at the show, which was also livestreamed on AOL. He said people in the neighborhood were flooding the streets, roofs of adjacent buildings, and even homes behind the venue to hear and see the iconic musician play. Photos from Elton's Twitter account show the massive scope of the crowd.
The hour-long set included a mix of old hits, including "Bennie and the Jets," "Rocket Man," and "Tiny Dancer," as well as songs off his new album, Wonderful Crazy Night.
The big surprise of the day was an appearance by Lady Gaga, who joined Elton on the stage for a duet of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." At the end of the song, Gaga asked the crowd to "give it up" for Elton, who she said was a "wonderful man who has inspired people for generations."
Even though Gaga's appearance was technically a surprise, the "Born This Way" singer tipped off fans on Snapchat and Instagram. "See you at 12pmPT at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood for @eltonjohn's free surprise show!" Mother Monster wrote in a video posted on her way to the show. "Can't wait to sing with you Elton!"
Elton himself gave fans a heads-up that he would be performing with a tweet on Friday.