When Elton John met Dua Lipa

Legendary singer Elton John and rising star Dua Lipa “totally clicked” when they met virtually to discuss their first musical collaboration.

Lipa, 26, described 74-year-old Sir Elton as an “inspirational artist” who had provided a “creative and joyous experience” when recording their single, Cold Heart.

Sir Elton shared her enthusiasm, describing Lipa as a “truly wonderful artist and person” who is “bursting with creativity and ideas”. Their meeting was part of Sir Elton’s series of musical collaborations, called The Lockdown Sessions, created over 18 months, during 2020 and 2021.

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Collaborative album

The iconic singer/songwriter, who has been in the music industry since 1962, released his 16-track collaborative album after recording the tracks remotely. He has recorded tracks with some of the music industry’s biggest stars including Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and Glen Campbell, but when Elton John met Dua Lipa via a video conferencing link, it was the start of a whole new experience for the veteran singer.

He admitted the last thing he expected to be doing during lockdown was recording an album. Initially, he planned a handful of one-off projects. However, as the pandemic continued, his recordings started to evolve into the album, with Sir Elton collaborating via Zoom with the artists.

Thrilling meeting

London-born Lipa, who released her debut album in 2017, was thrilled to meet Sir Elton virtually. Describing it as an “honour and a privilege” to work with him, she was asked to record a track for his album after she performed at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards. The event raised more than $3 million for the foundation.

Sir Elton was so impressed by Lipa’s energy and talent that he invited her to meet him virtually to discuss their musical collaboration. Based on four of Sir Elton’s classics: Rocketman, Kiss the Bride, Where’s the Shoorah and Sacrifice, spliced together by the Australian music trio, PNAU, who had worked with Sir Elton in 2012 on an album called Good Morning to the Night; the result was Cold Heart.

Zoom recordings

Sir Elton said some of the recordings for The Lockdown Sessions were done remotely, via Zoom, which he hadn’t ever tried before. Other sessions were recorded under strict safety regulations, with the performers separated from each other by glass screens.

“All the tracks were really interesting and diverse,” he added, describing them as having taken him out of his comfort zone, into “completely new territory”.

The accompanying music video for Cold Heart was directed by animator Raman Djafari. It features animated characters of Sir Elton and Lipa in a euphoric world, but they separate as their planets drift apart. The duo also appeared together when Sir Elton was a guest on Lipa’s Studio 2054 live stream.

Global hit

Cold Heart has been a massive international success. It topped the singles charts in the UK, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, Poland and the US dance chart. It was a hit all over the world and was certified double platinum in terms of sales and streaming.

Sir Elton and Lipa have remained good friends. After the single was released, Sir Elton wrote on an Instagram post, “Dua, I adore you and it has been an incredible experience making this together.”

Although there has been no talk of any future collaboration yet, judging by the success of their single and how much they enjoyed working together; surely, it’s only a matter of time!

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