10 Times Elton John Rereleased His Songs With Other Artists
Few artists can match Elton John's extensive catalog.
Throughout his legendary career, he's delivered some of the greatest songs in music history. With tunes that good, it's only natural he'd want to occasionally revisit some.
Over the years, John has developed a habit of rereleasing his songs with new collaborators. These artists come from all sides of music - pop stars, opera singers, rappers, fellow legends - but they all share a common love and appreciation for the material.
We've compiled a list of Nine Times Elton John Rereleased His Songs With Other Artists below.
Elton John and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, “Candle in the Wind” (1987)
We start with a song that's a collaboration in name only. More than 13 years after the original “Candle in the Wind” was recorded, John captured a live performance of the song while on tour in Australia. Though this rendition would be featured on the 1987 album Live in Australia With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, it doesn't include the symphony. Instead, John delivers a stripped-back version, accompanied by only his piano and some backing synths. This version of “Candle in the Wind” reached No. 5 in the U.K. and No. 6 in the U.S., while also earning John a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Elton John and George Michael, 'Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me' (1992)
John wasn’t fond of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” famously struggling with 1974's original and at one point nearly abandoning the song completely. Still, the cut became a hit, and more than a decade after it was released, George Michael joined John onstage to perform the song at Live Aid. The rendition was hailed at the time, and Michael would later insert “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” into his live sets. In March 1991, the Rocket Man joined the former Wham! frontman onstage to perform the song during the latter’s concert at Wembley Stadium. This duet version of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” became a hugely successful single, reaching No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic.
Elton John and RuPaul, 'Don’t Go Breaking My Heart' (1993)
Originally released in 1976, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was a chart-topping success story for Elton John and Kiki Dee. In 1994, LGBTQ icons came together for a new version of the song, as John teamed with legendary drag queen and TV star RuPaul. This version was a far cry from the original, with pounding techno beats and dance-club electronic music. Released as the third single from John’s Duets album, the track hit No. 3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and reached the Top 10 in the U.K.
Elton John and Alessandro Safina, "Your Song" (2002)
An active philanthropist throughout his career, Elton John released a new version of his 1970 hit “Your Song” in 2002 to help raise money for the charity Sport Relief. Italian opera star Alessandro Safina joined him, adding a new emotional layer to the classic track. The 2002 version peaked at No. 4 in the U.K. and helped Sport Relief raise more than $13 million as part of their biannual event.
Blue feat. Elton John, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (2002)
Even though they never managed to invade U.S. shores, English boy band Blue enjoyed huge success in the U.K. in the early '00s. For their second album, 2002’s One Love, the group recorded a version of John’s 1976 hit “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” Initially, Blue simply planned to cover the song, but when they found out John was willing to join them in a duet, playing piano and singing on part of the song, the boy band jumped at the opportunity. The collaboration hit No. 1 in the U.K. and reached the Top 10 in an additional 20 countries.
Elton John, "Are You Ready for Love" (Ashley Beedle remix) (2002)
Elton John originally recorded the soaring “Are You Ready For Love?” in 1977, but it wouldn’t be released until 1979’s The Thom Bell Sessions EP. Although it would find its way onto a couple of rereleases, the track went largely unnoticed until 2002 when British DJ and producer Ashley Beedle released a funky remixed version that topped the U.K. chart.
Ray Charles and Elton John, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (2004)
Genius Loves Company, the final studio album of Ray Charles’ career - released posthumously in 2004 - featured the legendary R&B singer teaming up with a long list of classic artists. Among them is Elton John, who joined Charles for a rendition of “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” The two icons traded verses on the track while soaring guitar and rich instrumentation added further color to the tune. Genius Loves Company would go on to sell more than 3 million copies in the U.S. and won a total of nine Grammy Awards.
Ironik feat. Elton John and Chipmunk, "Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer)" (2009)
Any Elton John fan - or Almost Famous fan - will tell you that the 1972 song “Tiny Dancer” ranks among John’s all-time best. In 2009 the track got a very different reimagining from English rapper and DJ Ironik. The song “Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer)” officially listed John as a featured artist and generously sampled the original track’s instrumentation and chorus. Meanwhile, Ironik added rap verses, with lines like, “How many times have I told you that I love you / So many times you know I wanna hug you / So come and show me what love means / 'Cause I don't really know I've just seen it in my dreams.”
Elton John and Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart" (PNAU remix) (2021)
While most of the entries on our list are basically new versions of old songs, 2021’s “Cold Heart” found four of John’s tracks brought together to create a new number. The song incorporated elements of 1989’s “Sacrifice,” 1983’s “Kiss the Bride” and 1976’s “Where’s the Shoorah?," while also using the famous chorus of John’s 1972 hit “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time).” The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer collaborated with pop star Dua Lipa and Australian dance trio Pnau on the track, which hit No. 1 in the U.K. and peaked at No. 7 in the U.S.
Britney Spears and Elton John, "Hold Me Closer" (2022)
Following the success of "Cold Heart," John used a similar formula for "Hold Me Closer," his dance-flavored collaboration with pop star Britney Spears. The booming track, produced by Andrew Watt, nabs its primary hook from John's "Tiny Dancer" and uses verses from John's 1992 single "The One." The two vocalists mingle their voices throughout the single, which reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 and No. 3 in the U.K.