Hours after Her Majesty died at age 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the British singer took the stage during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour stop in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 8. Elton addressed the crowd saying, "Well of course you know today we had the saddest news about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth."
He continued, "She was an inspiring presence to be around and I've been around her and she was fantastic. She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine care and warmth."
During his remarks, the "Tiny Dancer" singer reflected on the late sovereign's life and legacy. "I'm 75—she's been with me all my life and I feel very sad that she won't be with me anymore," Elton explained. "I'm glad she's at peace, and I'm glad she's at rest, and she deserves it because she's worked bloody hard."
After expressing his condolences to the royal family, Elton had one request for the audience, saying, "I send my love to her family and her loved ones. And she will be missed, but her spirit lives on and we celebrate her life tonight with music, OK."
The legendary musician concluded the tribute by launching into his 1974 hit, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."
Earlier in the day, Elton released a statement on his official Twitter account, writing, "Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's passing. Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly."
Elton's friendship with the royal family spans decades. In his 2019 autobiography, Me, Elton reflected on first meeting the family after being invited to dinner at Kensington Palace by the Queens sister, the late Princess Margaret in the '70s. In 1998, the late monarch appointed Elton a knight for music and charity services.