The debut of annual Christmas commercial for high-end U.K. department store chain John Lewis is a longstanding holiday tradition in England. And now the 2018 edition, starring Sir Elton John and boasting a rumored $6.5 million budget, has become must-see seasonal viewing on this side of the pond as well.
Music fans will surely enjoy watching a series of lookalike actors portray the rock ‘n’ roll legend at various stages in his storied career – the clip almost plays more like a commercial for the forthcoming Elton biopic Rocketman, or for John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, than for John Lewis itself — or the commercial’s dazzling, arena-worthy production value. But the true emotional impact of the ad comes from the simple final scene depicting the rock star as a little boy. The scene is a sweet reminder of how one special holiday gift — in this case, a piano from the young Reginald Dwight’s adoring grandmother — can change a person’s life forever.
“The John Lewis Christmas campaign has so many warm memories for me and my family,” John said of the commercial in a statement. “It’s been a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my grandmother’s piano marks the moment when music came into my life. The ad is absolutely fantastic and I’ve truly loved every minute of being a part of it.”
Elton John’s John Lewis commercial will make televised debut on Britain’s ITV Thursday evening. In the meantime, check out a very different sort of memory, as John dishes with Yahoo Entertainment about the time he pranked Iggy Pop onstage while wearing a gorilla costume:
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