After Candelabra stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon introduced John, the singer, wearing a sparkly blue suit, paid tribute to Liberace before breaking into song, saying, "This guy played a mean piano . . . I was keenly aware of his enormous talent and his impact on the musical world – and my dress sense, of course. What I wasn't aware of until years later was his lifestyle – yeah, right – which, due to the tenor of the times, had to be concealed."
John said he and lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote the new song "Home Again" in honor of the flamboyant singer. "When I met him, he always talked about how much he loved going home to his house," John said. "It's a feeling of being at peace and being yourself. Liberace left us 25 years ago – and what a difference those years have made to people like me, and people like me."
The emphasis on "people like me" was an obvious reference to John being openly gay, and the strides that have been made for gay rights since Liberace, who publicly denied being a homosexual, died of AIDS in 1987.
"Home Again" is the first single from John's latest studio album, The Diving Board, which comes out Tuesday.