Adult Contemporary

Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Sting & more pick their favorite Elton John songs in honor of his milestone birthday

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Friday is Elton John‘s 75th birthday, so Billboard asked some fellow stars to pick their favorite songs by the Rocket Man. Here are just a few:

Billy Joel, who toured with Elton on and off for years, picked “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” He tells Billboard, “We used to play it together during the shows while we were on the ‘Face to Face Tours’…I always liked playing that unorthodox chord progression and singing the soaring melody in that song.” 

He adds, “I still do it from time to time on my own — but it’s not the same without Elton there, too. Rock on, old friend!”

Sara Bareilles also picked “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” saying, “The musical path it takes is both somehow immediately familiar and completely unexpected and made my mind wander into all kinds of fantastic spaces as a kid, and still does.”

Lionel Richie picked “Your Song,” telling Billboard, “I fell in love with Elton’s music when I heard this song, and from that point on I was hooked.”

Sting chose “Come Down In Time,” from the album Tumbleweed Connection, which he later recorded his own version of.  “I used to play a version of it on guitar when I played folk clubs in the early ’70s…,” he says, calling it a “beautiful song with lovely and mysterious lyrics.”

Annie Lennox and Neil Diamond both chose “Rocket Man,” with Annie noting, “It’s a full-blown spiritual experience packed into a ‘song!'”

Elton’s latest duet partner Dua Lipa chose three: “Rocket Man,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and “Bennie and the Jets.”

“His songs work for any situation — singing in the shower or the car, or a night out with friends,” she says. “I just want Elton with me wherever I go.”

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