There has been massive pressure on Elton John to not play in Israel. Alas, he ignored those calls, saluted his fans in Tel Aviv…and then it emerged he recently accepted $1 million to play at Rush Limbaugh’s 4th wedding. A classy man:
Another week, another provocative concert by Elton John. Fresh off a gig as Rush Limbaugh’s wedding singer, the British icon performed Thursday in Tel Aviv, despite pressure from human rights groups and fellow artists to boycott Israel following the flotilla debacle off the coast of Gaza.
“Shalom, we are so happy to be back here! Ain’t nothing gonna stop us from coming, baby,” John said with a fist in the air.
The piano man then took a swipe at those artists, including Elvis Costello, Santana, the Pixies and Devendra Banhart, who have bailed on concerts in recent weeks.
“Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That’s what we do,” he said. “We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.”
Costello specifically called his decision to cancel a June 30 show a “matter of instinct and conscience.”
The Jerusalem Post said John then “turned into a human jukebox for two-and-a-half hours,” mixing old and new favorites spanning his four decade career. Songs played included ‘Levon,’ Rocket Man’ and more obscure hits like ‘Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters’ and ‘Captain Fantastic.’
An estimated 50,000 fans crammed into Ramat Gan stadium in Tel Aviv.
John recently caused a stir when he played a secret show at Limbaugh’s June 5 wedding. The gay icon caught some flack for the performance, which netted him a reported $1 million paycheck from the radio commentator, who strongly opposes gay marriage and has a history of negative comments about homosexuality.
“It betrays either ignorance or self-interest or both, and jeopardizes his admirable record on gay rights,” Aaron Hicklin, Editor-in-Chief of Out, told PopEater at the time.
John’s longtime partner, David Furnish, said the singer was “a little surprised” to get the invitation, but accepted the job after deciding “Life is about building bridges, not walls.”
The singer said Limbaugh and his bride, Kathryn Rogers, “were incredibly gracious and very welcoming and very sweet and very appreciative.”