Belfast Telegraph

Elton John pays tribute to London and Manchester attack victims onstage

Elton John returned to the stage in Twickenham, London on Saturday.

Elton John paid tribute to victims of the London and Manchester attacks as he returned to performing at the weekend (03-04Jun17) following his illness.

The Rocket Man singer dedicated his hit I Want Love to those who were affected by the bomb blast at Manchester Arena on 22 May and the van and knife attack in London on Saturday during his show at the County Cricket Ground in Derby, England on Sunday.

"It would be remiss of me to not mention these events," he said, according to the Derby Telegraph. "It was a tragic and awful thing to happen. We live in really strange times. A song can be remembered forever but it cannot replace a loved one."

His remarks were very similar to the tribute he gave at Twickenham Stoop Stadium in London on Saturday, hours before the London attack, where a white van crashed into pedestrians on London Bridge before three men went on a knife rampage.

The Twickenham show marked Elton's return to performing after he was hospitalised at the end of April after contracting a "potentially deadly" bacterial infection a tour in South America and was forced to cancel a series of concerts.

Towards the start of the show, he told fans, "It's nice to be back at the piano" and admitted "at one point it was touch and go whether I'd ever be here." He later confessed to the crowd that he was "so, so nervous" about his return to the stage, before adding, "but it has been an amazing show."

The 70-year-old also paid tribute to his family and invited his sons Zachary, six, and Elijah, four, onto the stage. Video footage posted on social media shows him hugging them as they wave to the audience before scurrying off back into the wings.

Ahead of his return to the stage, a statement on his website announced that there would be extra security checks on entry and large bags would not be allowed in to his shows. His tour continues in Birmingham, England on Wednesday.

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