How did Sam Fender and Elton John become friends?
12 February 2020, 19:55 | Updated: 14 February 2020, 12:45
The Play God singer performed with the legendary artist at his 28th Annual Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Award Viewing Party, but how did they meet? Find out about their friendship here...
This Sunday (9 February) saw Sam Fender take to the stage at the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.
It was announced that the Geordie singer-songwriter was set to perform at the star-studded bash last year, but the crowds were given an extra special treat when Elton John himself joined Fender on stage for a duet of his single, Will We Talk?
Watch the pair perform the track, which is taken from Sam Fender's debut No.1 UK album Hypersonic Missiles, here:
Elton John performing Will We Talk with Sam Fender???? Proud doesn’t cut it anymore pic.twitter.com/M4Yd5VChZ3— 𝐜𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐬 (@fenderhs) February 10, 2020
But how did Sam Fender strike up this unlikely relationship with Elton John, and what do they think of each other? Find out here...
How did Sam Fender and Elton John become mates?
It all seemed to kick off when Sam Fender was invited to appear on Elton John's Rocket Hour podcast.
The Tiny Dancer singer had admired Fender's music from afar, but was finally able to get him on the 170th episode of his podcast in October 2018.
Listen to them talk about how Sam got into music here:
After that first interview, the Play God singer took to Twitter to gush about the "surreal moment" he was FaceTimed by Elton, calling him a "legend" and "a true hero who champions new artists".
Most surreal moment of my life was when @eltonofficial FaceTimed me for a @Beats1 interview. A true hero who champions new artists, what a legend, thanks for the chat mate ❤️— Sam Fender (@samfendermusic) October 26, 2018
Full interview 2pm Saturday x #eltonjohn pic.twitter.com/OZAm4mEoaZ
However, the bromance clearly didn't end there.
Fender returned for Elton John's Rocket hour less than a year later in September 2019, just ahead of the release of his debut album, and this time they were clearly closer.
Elton had sent Sam a musical gift, which Sam revealed he used to record songs for his second album.
In the interview they talked about how excited Sam was to release Hypersonic Missiles, and to play more dates in North America.
The love-in saw the legendary singer-songwriter vow to track Sam down and "catch-up" in America.
He also gushed about Sam's talent once more, stressing that he was on the "right road" and doing things the "exactly the right way".
Hear a snippet of the interview here:
It turns out that Elton John was spot on about the Dead Boys singer and his music, as his debut album scored a No.1 UK album on the first week of its release.
When Fender came to visit Radio X in late September 2019, it was clear they'd already met face to face and spent some time together.
In fact, Elton invited him for tea at his house, and it may have been just a little posher than the North-Shields singer was used to.
Speaking to Gordon Smart about hanging out with Elton in the French Riveria, he said: "It was amazing, man. He actually called us yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. I've had three calls off him in three days, [he] just updates about me album."
He added: "He knows more about the industry than most of the industry. He calls us up, and goes 'Right. I'll give you an update. He's my inside man. He's a legend."
Watch our interview with Sam here:
Talking about what he ate when Elton invited him for "tea" he said: "For a starter, we had like a salmon thing with a a pea mint thing, a puree thing, which was nice."
He added: "And there was a chicken caesar salad thing. It was a bit posher than one from Tescos, like! And the dessert was outstanding Gordon. It was like a chocolate ganache thing with pistachios and strawberries. It was off the map! It was rich mate. "
Sam went on to reveal that he even had a go on Elton's piano and "knocked out" a few numbers he'd been planning for his second album.
According to Fender, Elton John advised him to put more piano on his follow-up album.
And if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, the legendary British artist even had Irn Bru in his house!
If their chats are anything to go by, this epic duo have clearly built up a bit of a friendship, with Elton John acting as somewhat of a mentor for Sam.
And, if their epic duet at the Oscars after-party is anything to go by, it might not be the last time we see them share the stage together.
Speaking to Radio X at the NME Awards, Fender revealed it came about after the legend gatecrashed his band's rehearsals.
"We went up and rehearsed," the BRITs Critics choice singer told Steve Ferdinando. "And he just came up out of nowhere, rocked up on stage, grabbed the mic, and started singing Will We Talk?"
Speaking about Elton John's enduring talent, he added: You know what it is? He just hasn’t lost any of that range and he’s just killing it. I was like ‘Aye, he’s probably not going to go for those higher notes’ and he was just ripping it!"
Watch our interview here: