By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and a few thousand fans will rock to a performance by musical legend Elton John at the White House on Friday.
The British singer will perform from the South Lawn on an extensive stage set up especially for him and his team.
“The President and First Lady will celebrate the tremendous contributions Sir Elton has made during his lifetime as an artist and advocate,” spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters ahead of the concert.
She said the crowd would include some 2,000 fans, including teachers, frontline workers, nurses, mental health advocates, students and LGBTQ+ advocates.
The show is funded by A&E Networks and The History Channel, part of A&E, and will air at a later date. A&E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ETN Television Group and Hearst.
The performance is called ‘A Night When Hope and History Rhyme’, taken from a poem by the Irish writer Seamus Heaney. Biden regularly quotes Heaney and is a lover of Irish sayings and poetry.
Biden has a special connection to John’s music. He wrote in his 2017 memoir “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose” about singing “Crocodile Rock” to his son Beau as a child and again as an adult when Beau was dying of cancer.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Leslie Adler)