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Elton John says farewell to Pittsburgh — twice

October 6, 2018

It will take three years for Elton John to bid a fond farewell to his fans worldwide.

His “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, launched Sept. 8 in Allentown, will include more than 300 shows across five continents, with stops in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia, before reaching its finale in 2021.

After a career that spans more than half a century, the pop solo artist and master showman deserves a long goodbye.

2 Pittsburgh dates

In Pittsburgh, John will perform at 8 p.m. Oct. 10 at PPG Paints Arena. That show - along with every concert date through next March - is listed on his website as sold out.

He’ll be back in the ’Burgh again, on Nov. 13, 2019. The presale for next year’s show begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 11 with the general sale starting Oct. 19.

John said he’s ready to step back from touring.

“It’s time to come off the road so I can fully embrace the next important chapter of my life,” he said when he announced his farewell tour. “After the tour finishes, I’m very much looking forward to closing off that chapter of my life by saying farewell to life on the road. I need to dedicate more time to raising my children.”

John is the father of two sons, Elijah, 5, and Zachary, 7, with his husband, David Furnish.

Awards and recognition

The English singer, pianist and composer has had a very successful music career, achieving 38 gold and 31 platinum or multi-platinum albums, and selling more than 300 million records worldwide. He has had 57 top 40 singles in the U.S., placing him second after Elvis Presley. From 1972 to 1975, he chalked up seven number-one albums.

His top 10 songs from 1 to 10, according to Billboard:

“Benny and the Jets”

“Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”

“Levon”

“Tiny Dancer”

“Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)”

“Your Song”

“Take Me To The Pilot”

“Rocket Man”

“I’m Still Standing”

“Burn Down The Mission.”

Among his awards: Songwriters Hall of Fame (with Bernie Taupin), 1992; induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1994; Kennedy Center Honor, 2004; Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award (with Taupin), 2013; Rockefeller Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013 and the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Leadership Award, 2013. Three of his albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

John also achieved three Oscar Award nominations, including an Oscar win in 1995, and a Tony Award for Best Original Score for Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” in 2000. His work on “The Lion King,” (1998) which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical; and “Billy Elliot the Musical” (2005), which earned 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

His and lyricist Bernie Taupin’s 1974 single, “Candle In The Wind,” didn’t break through the Top 10, finishing at 11, but the ode to Marilyn Monroe that John remastered and sung at Princess Diana’s funeral on Sept. 6, 1997, was certainly one of his most memorable performances.

At his Sept. 8 concert in Allentown, the day after rapper Mac Miller’s death of an apparent drug overdose, John dedicated one of his songs, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” to the artist who grew up in Point Breeze, telling the audience, “Unbelievably, 26 years of age, and passed away yesterday. It’s inconceivable that someone so young, and with so much talent, could do that ... Mac, wherever you are, I hope you’re happy now.”

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