Elton John Pays Tribute to Casey Kasem at Bonnaroo - Rolling Stone
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Elton John Pays Tribute to Casey Kasem at Bonnaroo

Singer dedicates “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” to pop radio icon

Festivalgoers who didn’t leave Bonnaroo early on Sunday caught one of the weekend’s more touching moments: Elton John dedicating his performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to radio legend Casey Kasem, who had passed away earlier in the day. The tribute landed on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 45 Best Things We Saw at Bonnaroo, and now you can watch Elton’s dedication for yourself above beginning at 2:00.

Radio Legend Casey Kasem Dead at 82

“I’m a British guy who came to America in 1970 and just loved every second of it. And there was one guy on the radio I used to listen to all the time who passed away today,” Elton told a near-capacity crowd before launching into his soulful Caribou classic. “So I want to dedicate this song to Casey Kasem. Travel safely, my angel.” John’s many hit singles were a fixture on Kasem’s weekly Top 40 countdown show; in fact, Kasem and John both saw their careers rise together as Kasem’s America’s Top 40 show debuted in July 1970, two months before Elton released his first major single “Your Song.”

Kasem, a pop radio icon and well-known voice actor, passed away Sunday, Father’s Day morning, at the age of 82. Elton John wasn’t the only one who had words of remembrance for Kasem: Ryan Seacrest, who was handed the reins of America’s Top 40 after Kasem retired, said, “It’s a sad day for the broadcasting community and for radio listeners around the world. When I was a kid, I would listen to Casey Kasem’s AT40 show every weekend, and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ. So when decades later I took over his AT40 countdown show, it was a surreal moment. Casey had a distinctive friendly on-air voice, and he was just as affable and nice if you had the privilege to be in his company. He’ll be greatly missed by all of us.”


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