Rami Malek may have won Best Actor at the Oscars on Sunday for his spot-on portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, but it seems the Sir Elton John biopic Rocketman is already campaigning for next year’s Academy Awards.
Following the buzzy release of Rocketman’s extended trailer last week, this Sunday at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s annual fundraising Oscars party in West Hollywood Park, auctioneer Alexander Gilkes invited the film’s leading man, Taron Egerton, onstage to sing one of John’s songs. Egerton agreed only if John accompanied him on piano — and what ensued was a delightful surprise duet of “Tiny Dancer.”
And unlike Malek — who in Bohemian Rhapsody mimed along to tracks sung either by Mercury or Queen Extravaganza tribute band frontman Marc Martel — Egerton sang live, holding his own alongside the Rocketman himself.
Rocketman is actually the Egerton’s third Elton John-related project, following his performance (as an animated gorilla) of John’s ’80s hit “I’m Still Standing” in 2016’s Sing, and a brief scene with John in 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle. “He has given me feedback on lots of stuff I’ve recorded for [Rocketman], and it’s all been, I’m glad to say, very positive. It’s really nerve-racking, actually, singing Elton John songs and knowing he’s going to hear them,” Egerton told Yahoo Entertainment in November.
Judging from how well John and Egerton gelled onstage on Sunday — and how they were received by the A-list audience, which included Patricia Arquette, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Fonda, Tiffany Haddish, Paris Jackson, Lauren Jauregui, Caitlyn Jenner, Quincy Jones, Heidi Klum, Diane Lane, Busy Philipps, Christina Ricci, Diana Ross, Nicole Scherzinger and Jane Seymour — Egerton needn’t be nervous anymore. And he should get ready to perform, or even accept an award, at the Oscars in 2020.
Egerton wasn’t the only performer at John’s Oscars gala. This year, John’s handpicked musical party guest was the Killers, with whom he has a long relationship: In 2008, John and the Killers collaborated on the benefit holiday single “Joseph, Better You Than Me,” and last year the band contributed a cover of “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” to the all-star Elton John tribute album Revamp. But when John joined the Killers onstage Sunday for a duet of his 1973 ballad “Daniel,” a still-starstruck Killers frontman Brandon Flowers couldn’t help but quip, “I got no business playing any music with Elton John!”
The 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, raised more than $6.3 million for the global effort to end HIV and AIDS. Rocketman comes out May 31.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
- Why the 2019 Oscars rocked: From Gaga and Cooper’s star turn to Queen’s reign
- Taron Egerton is glad Elton John wasn’t on ‘Rocketman’ set while they filmed sex scene: ‘That would’ve been weird’
- Elton John remembers surprising Iggy Pop onstage — in a gorilla costume
- Watch Elton John jam with the ‘amazing’ Greta Van Fleet at his 2018 Oscars party