Friday is Elton John‘s 75th birthday, so Billboard asked some fellow stars to pick their favorite songs by the Rocket Man. Here are just a few:
Billy Joel, who toured with Elton on and off for years, picked “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” He tells Billboard, “We used to play it together during the shows while we were on the ‘Face to Face Tours’…I always liked playing that unorthodox chord progression and singing the soaring melody in that song.”
He adds, “I still do it from time to time on my own — but it’s not the same without Elton there, too. Rock on, old friend!”
Lionel Richie picked “Your Song,” telling Billboard, “I fell in love with Elton’s music when I heard this song, and from that point on I was hooked.”
Sting chose “Come Down In Time,” from the album Tumbleweed Connection, which he later recorded his own version of. “I used to play a version of it on guitar when I played folk clubs in the early ’70s…,” he says, calling it a “beautiful song with lovely and mysterious lyrics.”
Jimmy Buffett also chose a song from Tumbleweed Connction, “Country Comfort.” Buffett says he first heard the song and album while working as a reporter for Billboard, and recalls that he was surprised by the record’s country-influenced sound.
“I like the pedal steel guitar on it,” Jimmy notes. “My thought at the time was, ‘Why isn’t anybody here doing this song?’ or ‘Why isn’t in on country radio?'”
Annie Lennox and Neil Diamond both chose “Rocket Man,” with Annie noting, “It’s a full-blown spiritual experience packed into a ‘song!'”
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