Elton John said early today that he still found it hard to believe he had become a Broadway hitmaker.
The 61-year-old musician marvelled at his success at the opening in New York of the musical 'Billy Elliot', for which he composed the score. He has also composed the music for 'Aida' and 'The Lion King', which is still playing on the Great White Way.
“I’m looking up at the street and I’m seeing the sign for The Lion King, and I’m standing here and I’m thinking, ’I had never thought in a million years I’d ever be standing in Broadway and talking about something I’d written for the stage,” he said.
Elton, accompanied by his partner David Furnish, said he would rather write a musical than record an album because he liked having a storyline and characters.
“I love it – but I’ve got a lot to learn,” he said. “I’m a novice at this.”
'Billy Elliot' is based on the popular 2000 movie about a young boy who longs to dance but lives in the bleak coal-mining area of northern England. His story is set against the backdrop of the bitter miners’ strike.
“It’s a triumph over adversity. It’s something beautiful coming out of something tragic,” Elton said of the show, which has had successful runs in London and Sydney.
Joining Elton John at the Broadway performance were celebrities Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell, Ron Howard, Rachel Weisz, Kevin Spacey, as well as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and tennis legend Billie Jean King.