Last night was an evening of celebration for Elton John, who received the first-ever Brits Icon award for artists who have had a "lasting impact" on U.K. culture. As part of the ceremony at London's Palladium, John also performed for the first time since having his appendix out in July, the BBC reports.
Fellow singer, and friend, Rod Stewart presented the award to John, calling him "the second best rock singer ever."
John played a nine-song set that included "Tiny Dancer," "Rocket Man" and "Mexican Vacation," the new single off his upcoming album The Diving Board. Eager to get it exactly right, the singer made the band restart the song a few times before he was satisfied.
"It's a new song," John said. "We're getting excited."
John will return to the road this week after surgery forced him to cancel a string of festival dates over the summer. "I was a ticking time bomb," the singer said. I guess I could have died at any time. I feel so lucky and grateful to be alive."
The Diving Board is due out on September 24th.
- Elton John to Release 'The Diving Board' LP in September
- Elton John Cancels Shows to Have Surgery
- Elton John Recovering After Surgery
This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone: Elton John Receives First Brits Icon Award