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Elton John says his Oscar-nominated song was inspired by The Supremes

George Pimentel/WireImage

George Pimentel/WireImageElton John and Bernie Taupin‘s partnership has lasted more than 50 years, even though they never write their songs together. Bernie writes the lyrics and then hands them off to Elton — which is why Taupin admits that he was really surprised at what Elton did with their Oscar-nominated song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”

The song, which plays over the end credits of Elton’s biopic Rocketman, was inspired by the pop-rock legend’s own life. Elton tells Billboard, “At the end of Rocketman, I’m coming out of rehab and learning to love myself again as part of my recovery from drugs and alcohol. It’s an optimistic new chapter in my life, and we both wanted a song that captures that uplifting spirit. Bernie[‘s]…lyric captured that mood perfectly.”

But Bernie didn’t expect Elton to turn that lyric into “a joyous trip down memory lane by way of Motown,” admitting that he “saw it as more of a…waltz.”

But according to Elton, the song needed to be really upbeat, because it followed the last song in the movie, “I’m Still Standing.”

“We wanted [the audience] to dance their way up the aisles of the cinema, full of optimism and hope,” Elton explains. “I immediately saw Bernie’s lyrics as a Motown-style song. A celebration! I then checked out the tempo of ‘Come See About Me‘ by The Supremes for inspiration and constructed the melody from there.”

If “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” wins the Best Original Song Oscar, Elton, who previously won for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” will set a record for the longest span between wins in that category: 26 years.

Elton response to that fact was, “Really?!?! When it comes to writing music, I still feel like a kid doing what I love most.”

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