Elton John brought Dua Lipa on stage for performances of his song “Bennie and The Jets” and her song “Love Again” during his watch party for the Oscars on Sunday night. John is known to host Oscars watch parties every year that he isn’t attending the ceremony in-person.
The rendition of John’s 1974 hit single begins like his usual recent live show performances, with John singing at his piano and a team of backing vocalists aiding him on the chorus. Dua Lipa takes over on vocals starting from the second chorus. It’s a smoky vocal performance in which she starts low and hits all the high notes with ease.
“Love Again” came out a year ago on Dua Lipa’s popular album Future Nostalgia. It wasn’t released as a single, but keeps up the same nu-disco energy as the album’s bigger hits such as “Don’t Start Now,” “Break My Heart” and “Levitating.” In this new performance, Dua Lipa sings over an orchestral instrumental provided by John on piano and the rest of his backing band on violin and additional vocals. Mirroring their version of “Bennie and The Jets,” John joins in singing for the song’s second verse. The live violin easily fits the song due to the presence of a string sample in the original song, taken from Lew Stone & the Monseigneur Band ft. Al Bowlly’s version of “My Woman.”
Dua Lipa had played solo earlier in last night’s watch party before joining the older icon for the two collaborative renditions of each other’s songs. Other celebrities present at John’s high-production event included previous Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris as host and performances from Lady Gaga, Cynthia Erivo and the It’s a Sin cast.
Each year, John’s watch parties serve as a fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Although he was virtually involved in the 2020 Oscars ceremony, John had still hosted a watch party last year via livestream by timing performances to occur during the recorded event’s commercial breaks. He and longtime lyric-writer Bernie Taupin’s Rocketman song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” ended up taking home the win for Best Original Song at that ceremony.
Photo credit: Kalyn Oyer