Sir Elton John: Why this rock legend was the perfect choice to play at Shane Warne’s memorial 25 years after he movingly marked the life of Princess Diana

How appropriate that the life of one of the world’s greatest sportsmen Shane Warne should have been marked so movingly by one of our greatest singers and musicians - Sir Elton John.

Fans, friends, family and celebrities turned out in Melbourne for a celebration of Warne’s life cut cruelly short.

Sir Elton then performed a pre-recorded performance of one of his early hits ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ which he dedicated it to Warne’s children, saying he wished he’d been able to perform in person.

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“This song is in memory of Shane, probably one of the greatest sportsmen ever. One of the most amazing Australian cricketers of all time,’ Sir Elton said.

Elton John sings a dedicated song during the state memorial service for the former Australian cricketer Shane Warne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s a sad day today but it’s not in some ways because his legacy lives on and he will live on through future generations because he was mesmerising, brilliant and loved to play cricket and loved life.

“I want to dedicate this song to Brooke, to Summer and Jackson and to all the people that came out today. God bless you, Shane. God bless the family.”

It was another of his greatest hits that he adapted to mark the passing of another global icon who died too young.

At the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales in 1997 he performed a rewritten version of Candle In The Wind - originally a tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

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Sir Elton has been a frequent visitor to Sussex, playing a number of sell-out concerts at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove, over the years.

A tireless and generous fundraiser for his AIDS Foundation he has led the fight against the disease and done more than just about any other icon to raise a positive public understanding of it.

A hugely successful biopic of his life Rocketman was released in 2019 - and illustrated with great poignancy the personal challenges he had faced.

Throughout it all he has been a perfectionist - producing songs often with writer Bernie Taupin which remain utterly timeless - everything from Your Song to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

But it has been his personal generosity of spirit that once again marked him out as a true legend at Shane Warne’s memorial - just as it did 25 years ago at the funeral of the Princess of Wales.

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