'I gave it all I had': Teary Elton John cuts concert short due to shock illness

Sir Elton John was forced to cut his performance in Auckland, New Zealand, short due to a shock illness. Photo: Getty Images.

A teary Elton John was forced to cut short a New Zealand performance and be assisted off stage after he lost his voice due to a shock walking pneumonia diagnosis.

The music icon, 72, reached out to his fans on Instagram on Sunday, apologising for ending his show at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium early.

“I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland,” he wrote.

“I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. 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. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx”.

Elton’s shock diagnosis

Video clips posted online by fans who were at the concert showed Elton breaking down in tears as he told the cheering crowd that he could not go on any longer.

The New Zealand Herald reported that Elton told his fans earlier that he had walking pneumonia and his voice was shot, but that he didn't want to miss the show.

At one point, after performing “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” Elton slumped on his stool and required medical attention, the newspaper reported.

Sir Elton and his long-term songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin won Best Original Song for "I'm Gonna Love Me Again" from Rocketman at the Academy Awards. Photo: Getty Images.

But Elton recovered and continued to play. Later, as he attempted to sing “Daniel,” he realised he had no voice left and was escorted off stage.

The concert was part of Elton’s Farewell “Yellow Brick Road” tour. The tour lists additional performances at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium on Tuesday and Thursday and there's no word on whether those shows will go on as scheduled.

During the Australian leg of his tour, Elton announced at a Sydney concert that he would donate $1 million to the Australian bushfire relief fund. 

Elton had just returned to New Zealand after performing at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. He won an Oscar for best original song for his theme song for the movie, Rocketman.

What is ‘walking pneumonia’?

According to the Mayo Clinic, walking pneumonia is an informal term for a milder form of pneumonia that isn't severe enough to require hospitalisation or bed rest.

It affects the respiratory tract and is most often caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Walking pneumonia causes cold-like symptoms and is typically treated with an antibiotic.

Additional reporting by AP.

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