Elton John performed with The Lion King’s cast on Sunday night (05Nov17) to mark the 20th anniversary of the Broadway show.
The 70-year-old singer took to the stage at the Minskoff Theatre in New York after an enthusiastic curtain call for the cast following the special celebration performance. Accompanied by many of the cast members from the Broadway production, John performed Circle Of Life, an original song he helped write for the Grammy and Oscar-winning soundtrack for the Disney film on which the show is based.
Around 1,700 specially invited guests, including former cast and crew from the production and their families, enjoyed John’s vocal and piano performance, which saw the entire theater on their feet.
The Lion King premiered on Broadway in 1997 and has since become one of the world’s most popular musicals, thanks to the combination of the moving story, catchy songs and impressive puppets used in the production.
It’s been a busy few days for John, who has only recently made his return to the spotlight after being forced to cancel several performances earlier this year (17) when he was struck down by a potentially fatal bacterial infection.
Monday (06Nov17) afternoon will see the star honored by Harvard University, as he will be presented with the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award. The gong recognizes John’s philanthropic efforts to fight HIV and AIDS, with the singer calling the award “both gratifying and tremendously humbling”.
“(I remain committed to) sustain and grow the progress we’ve made to eradicate stigma and end the spread of HIV/AIDS, once and for all,” he added.
Previous winners of the prize include former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan.