British knight and songwriting legend Elton John loves Canadians, and not just his husband, David Furnish. At his first of four Toronto shows at Scotiabank Arena on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour in his partner’s hometown – two were just announced for next October — the 71-year-old pianist gave a nice shout-out to two Toronto musicians, Ron Sexsmith and Jessie Reyez.
John began by telling the sold-out crowd at the second show that he is Canadian, by marriage, then brought in some other connections.
“I have two sons that are Canadian, and I have a Canadian family, which is so great and I love them so much, they’re wonderful people. David, my wonderful husband, we’ve been together 25 years. Isn’t that wonderful? So I’m very grateful to Canada for that,” John said.
“I’m also grateful to Canada for all the wonderful music and all the great artists it has produced all over the years. I don't have to say them because they’re legends. One of them, who I love so much is here tonight. His name is Ron Sexsmith, and he’s been one of my favourites for a long time.
“And then a new artist here tonight, Jessie Reyez, who is so great. She's going to be a big, big star. I've played her records on my show,” he said of his weekly Rock Hour on Apple Music’s Beats 1. “I'm so glad she's here because while I love the old, what I'm fascinated by is the new because that’s what music is all about. So, Jessie, thank you for coming and Ron, I love you dearly. This is for you.”
He then launched into “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.”
John, who went record shopping last week at Toronto’s Sonic Boom where he reportedly purchased music from another Torontonian, Drake, has long touted Canadian talent, including Amanda Marshall whose debut album he bought from an import bin at an HMV in London, England, in the mid 1990s, and Vancouver’s Grimes, who he mentioned in a 2016 Carpool Karaoke with James Corden.