Elton John will perform at the White House
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Elton John is scheduled to perform in Washington DC at the White House on Friday, September 23, a press release from the Nation’s Capital reads.
Apparently a large tent has been set up on the South Lawn for Friday’s show. Construction or the stage and set for the show began on Monday, a White House official told CNN.
According to reports, some 2,000 guests have been invited to attend the event, which has been “in preparation for several months”.
John will be at the White House for an evening entitled “A night where hope and history rhyme”. The concert is in collaboration with A&E Networks and The History Channel. The musical performance will air on television at a later date yet to be determined, officials said.
According to a press release, the event is to “celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, salute the life and work of Sir Elton John and honor everyday story makers in the audience, including teachers. , nurses, frontline workers, psychiatrists, health advocates, students, LGBTQ+ advocates and more.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are expected to deliver remarks during the show. A&E Networks and The History Channel are footing the bill for the event, White House officials said.
According to White House staff, John’s team “expressed an interest on his behalf to play at the White House again.”
In 1998, the flamboyant entertainer was invited by then-President Bill Clinton to host a state dinner for then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The title of Friday’s show comes from a line in a poem by writer Seamus Heaney titled “The Cure of Troy.” President Biden has often said Heaney is his favorite poet and the POTUS has used the work’s ‘When hope and history rhyme’ line many times throughout his career, including his acceptance speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The last stanza of this poem says:
“It means someone hears
The outcry and the birth cry
Of a new life at its end.
It means once in a lifetime
That justice can arise
And hope and history rhyme.
In Biden’s 2017 memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, the president wrote that he used to listen to John’s music with his sons, Beau and Hunter Biden. Years later, when Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer, Biden would sing the artist’s songs to him in the hospital.
John is also scheduled to play a baseball concert at Nationals Park on Saturday, following the White House event.
Photo: Greg Gorman/UMe