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Elton John Richard Branson

Branson asked me to sing at Diana’s funeral

5 Jan, 2002

John tells Larry King Live that he was first asked to sing at Diana’s funeral by Branson:

Well, when I was initially approached to play at the funeral, which is, you know, kind of like a first at one of these state occasions — usually they’re very, they’re very meticulous in what they have as far as music. And it’s usually classical music, and sacred music, which it should be. And the music chosen for her funeral was beautiful. But when I was asked — approached by Richard Branson, if I would be interested in singing at her funeral, I said yes, but what? Should I write something new? Should I — I didn’t know what to do.

This led to the new version of Candle In The Wind:

And having watched the news and seeing the people lining up outside Saint James’ Palace, signing the books of condolence and then writing passages from the original song, Candle in the Wind, we came up with the idea of maybe … writing a completely different lyric, which would — appertaining to her, instead of using the Marilyn Monroe homage, which would have been completely inappropriate, obviously. So we decided to, as quick as we can, or as quick as we could, rewrite Candle in the Wind.