Elton John's Mother Dies at Age 92: "I Am in Shock"

"I only saw her last Monday," the "Candle in the Wind" singer writes on Instagram

By Zach Johnson Dec 04, 2017 12:45 PMTags
Elton John & Sheila FarebrotherKMazur/WireImage

Elton John shared some heartbreaking news with fans Monday.

"So sad to say that my mother passed away this morning. I only saw her last Monday and I am in shock. Travel safe Mum. Thank you for everything," John tweeted. "I will miss you so much." John, 70, did not reveal the circumstances surrounding 92-year-old Sheila Farebrother's death.

The news no doubt comes as a blow to John, who ended their eight-year estrangement last year.

Their troubles allegedly began after John told his mother to cut off contact with two of their friends, Bob Halley and John Reid, after a falling out. "I told him, 'I'm not about to do that and drop them. Bob is like a son to me. He has always been marvelous to me and he lives nearby and keeps an eye on me.' Then to my utter amazement, he told me he hated me," she told The Daily Telegraph two years ago. "He then banged the phone down. Imagine! To me, his mother!"

Farebrother blamed her son-in-law, David Furnish, for inspiring John to sever ties with Halley and Reid. "I had no intention of dropping John and Bob and I told Elton so. He told me I thought more of Bob Halley than I did of my own son," Farebrother said. "And to that I said to him, 'And you think more of that f--king thing you married than your own mother.'" Farebrother also held a grudge against John for not visiting his stepfather before his death in 2010. "Clearly Elton wasn't worried about him," she told The Daily Telegraph. "He wasn't worried about me, either."

In 2016, the music legend spoke about their rift in a Rolling Stone interview. "It upsets me, but to be honest with you, I don't miss her. When she says things in the press, like last year, 'I haven't spoken to Elton since he married that f--king a--hole David Furnish...' That was pretty hard to take," he said. "I don't hate my mother. I look after her, but I don't want her in my life.'"

But, John announced in February 2016 they had settled their differences. "Out of respect for my mother's privacy, I have always shied away from speaking publicly about our relationship," the "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" singer told The Daily Mirror. "However, I can say that we are now back in touch and have been so since my mother's 90th birthday." He also wished her a "Happy mother's Day" in 2017, tweeting, "So happy we are back in touch. Love, Elton, xo."

By his own admission, John had a difficult relationship with his parents as a child.

"They wouldn't hold you," he told Rolling Stone. "They wouldn't say they loved you."

John admitted he was "afraid" of his father, who died in 1991 without ever seeing him perform live. "I was walking on eggshells the whole time trying to get his approval. He's been dead for a long time, and I'm still trying to prove things to him. I still do things and say, 'Dad, you would've loved this.'" The eight-time Grammy Award winner said he is still scarred from being beaten by his father as a child. "My mum always says, 'That's just the way we did it in those days, and it didn't affect you,'" he said. "And I'd say, 'What are you talking about? It affects me every day.'"