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Elton John diagnosed with walking pneumonia, cuts concert short

A visibly frustrated Elton John left the stage early on Sunday in New Zealand, then revealed he’d been diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

Video shared by fans on social media showed the tearful star throwing his hands up in exasperation and apologizing to the crowd as he exited the stage. Later, he wrote on Instagram and Twitter that he’d decided to proceed with the show, despite being diagnosed with the lung infection earlier in the day.

“I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible,” he wrote. “I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had.”

He thanked fans for their “extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful.”

USA TODAY has reached out to John’s representative for more information about his condition and upcoming tour dates.

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Elton John belted out "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from "Rocketman," which went on to get him an Oscar for best original song.

Just a week earlier, John had performed at the Oscars, where he and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin won best original song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from his “Rocketman” biopic starring Taron Egerton.

John, 72, is in the middle of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour, which he announced in 2018 would be his last. The tour is set to run into 2021.

He is scheduled to play two more concerts in Auckland on Feb. 18 and 20, followed by series of shows in Australia starting Feb. 22 in Melbourne.

“My priorities have changed,” John told CNN’s Anderson Cooper when he announced his retirement from the road.

He said he needs to dedicate more time to raising his two young children, but intends to continue recording and composing.

“I can’t physically do the traveling anymore,” he said. “I want to be at home. I really want to spend time with my children at home. I’ve had an incredible life, but life is all about change.” 

Contributing: Maeve McDermott, USA TODAY

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