Following an onstage triumph in Los Angeles, Elton John made his way to New York City this week to usher in the Christmas season with a surprise performance.
The “Rocket Man” singer joined husband David Furnish and their sons — Zachary, 11, and Elijah, 9 — at Saks Fifth Avenue on Tuesday night to unveil the luxury retailer’s annual window and light display for the holidays.
John’s appearance had been kept under wraps from the hundreds of onlookers who lined the sidewalks in front of Saks for the fete.
Police erected barricades shortly before 7 pm to stop traffic on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue ― no easy feat during the holiday shopping rush ― and to make way for a piano. Fittingly, John made a grand entrance minutes later in a blinged-out golf cart.
He then joined Furnish and their boys for a quick countdown as the windows and a dazzling light display were revealed on Saks Fifth Avenue’s facade.
The five-time Grammy winner soon launched into a stripped-down version of his 1970 classic “Your Song.”
For this year’s holiday decor, Saks worked closely with the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Rocket Fund and donated $1 million to the organization.
Each of the windows contains subtle homages to John’s 50-plus years as a musician and cultural icon. One display, for example, is decked out in stylized rocket ships.
John’s pre-Thanksgiving family outing — a rare public appearance with his sons — took place just days after he played at LA’s Dodger Stadium for the final US date of his farewell tour. The concert, which was captured for posterity as a Disney+ special, featured guest performances by singers Brandi Carlile, Kiki Dee and Dua Lipa.
He is set to return to the stage in January for shows in Australia and New Zealand before wrapping the tour’s final leg in Europe over the summer.