Elton John forced to cut New Zealand show short due to pneumonia diagnosis

Elton John
Elton John (Image credit: Dave Simpson/WireImage - Getty)

Elton John (opens in new tab) was forced to cut his show in New Zealand on Sunday short after losing his voice.

The vocalist was playing at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium and had to be helped off stage after performing 15 songs on the latest stop on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, with John visibly upset as he apologised to fans.

John later thanked fans on his Instagram feed and explained he had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

He said: “I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. 

“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. 

“Thank you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton.”

John is scheduled to play at the stadium on Tuesday and Thursday this week and both shows are still scheduled to go ahead as planned.

Walking pneumonia is an informal term used to describe a milder form of pneumonia that doesn’t require hospitalisation. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, dry cough, chest pain and fatigue.

Last week, John and his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin were celebrating after their Rocketman track (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again scooped the Oscar for Best Original Song (opens in new tab).

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.