Sir Elton John has marked his 70th birthday by throwing a star-studded bash in Los Angeles.
Actor Rob Lowe hosted the bash, benefitting the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and friends including Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder took to the stage to serenade the music icon.
The two performed an upbeat “Happy Birthday” duet and Gaga also delivered a piano medley of hits including “Born This Way”.
Speaking about the birthday milestone, Elton said he’s currently the “happiest he’s ever been.”
“I’m interested in moving forward all the time, with what I create, my collaborations, and also with discovering the work of other people,” he mused.
“I think age is immaterial, provided we keep our minds alive by being open to new things.
“I can be as excited by a new artist who plays me their demo as I am by a new record of one of my musical heroes. I can be excited by playing a new city I’ve never played before, or revisiting somewhere I know well and seeing how it’s changed.
“Life is a constant state of flux for us all, and I like to embrace that.”
Last year, Elton said that he wanted to scale back his touring commitments to spend more time with his children.
But longtime collaborator and close friend Bernie Taupin, with whom Elton is celebrating 50 years of working alongside, rejected talk of the singer ever retiring completely.
“Good lord, no. I’ll retire when they put me in the grave – it’s the same for Elton. We’re work horses,” he told the Mirror.
“We enjoy what we do – we always have. We have the same enthusiasm now as we did when we started out in 1967.”
On his Instagram, Elton John posted a sweet snap of himself blowing out birthday candles with his two sons Elijah and Zachary.
He also posted a retrospective video of clips from his career, writing: “So many memories in this video. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and your support over the years.”
Husband David Furnish also posted a birthday message to Elton, writing on Instagram: “Happy 70th Birthday Elton!! Husband. Partner. Soulmate. Friend. Sharing my life with you is the greatest gift of all. Thank-you for all the love, humanity, joy and happiness you bring to our world. I love you forever.”
Later this year Elton John will come to Australia for four tour dates, including his first ever shows in north Queensland, at the BB Print Stadium in Mackay on September 22 and at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns on September 30.
What an extraordinary evening celebrating two historic milestones – Elton's 70th Birthday and 50 years of Elton and Bernie Taupin's successful songwriting partnership. True love and loyalty seem to be short supply in some quarters today. United by a deep and abiding love of music, Elton and Bernie serve as a beacon of inspiration for us all. @eltonjohn #HappyBirthdayElton