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George Michael, Elton John

Caroline True/Getty Images

Elton John paid tribute to his longtime friend George Michael last night.

The legendary singer and songwriter opened his Las Vegas concert with an emotional rendition of his song with the late singer, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."

John also spoke to the crowd through his tears about how close he was to the former Wham! singer.

After telling the audience that he wished that "George was here to sing" their duet with him, he recalled the beginnings of their friendship and how difficult he took the news of his death.

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"On Christmas Day, George Michael passed away, which was one of the saddest moments of my career because I've known George Michael more or less since the start of Wham! and got to know him very well, played with him, recorded with him. It was the most awful news because he was on the road back supposedly to good health."

John continued, "Apart from his music, which is outstanding…more than anything as a human being he was one of the kindest, sweetest, most generous people I've ever met. He gave so much money to so many great causes without telling anybody."

 

Shortly after it was revealed that Michael had passed away on Christmas Day, John posted a gut-wrenching message to his followers around the world on Instagram.

"I am in deep shock," he began by writing. "I have lost a beloved friend—the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans."