“I’m gonna love me again/Check in on my very best friend,” John sang, sitting at a red piano in a violet suit with his signature pink sunglasses. He accepted the Oscar later in the evening with long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin, telling the crowd, “This is a dream for us, we’ve never been nominated for anything like this.”
Taupin gave an acceptance speech as well: “Well, this didn’t suck,” he noted. “This is justification for 53 years of hammering it out and doing what we do.”
This is John’s fourth Oscar nomination, but first with Taupin. John previously received nods for Best Original Song for 1995’s The Lion King, for “The Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” the latter winning the award.
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” also received a nod at the Golden Globes, while the biopic was nominated for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), for Taron Egerton’s portrayal of John.
For the studio version of “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” John teamed with Rocketman star Taron Egerton, who also re-recorded all of John’s hits for the movie. John explained why that choice was so important, saying, “I wanted his interpretation of me, through Bernie’s lyrics [and] my music — not just acting. I left Taron in the hands of [producer] Giles Martin, who I trusted implicitly because he’s brilliant. I didn’t want to be in Taron’s shadows, watching over the process, I trusted them to do what they needed to do, artistically, and listening back I’ve been astonished with the results.”