Elton John: AIDS support, music and his kids on 'Live with Kelly and Michael'
"Live with Kelly and Michael" welcomed one of the show's biggest guests on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Elton John showed up to play music from his new album, "The Diving Board." The famous singer also talked about his AIDS activism, the place of music in his life and being a father to his two boys.
The level of awe that Kelly Ripa seemingly had for Elton John was a little undercut by her first words to the man being "You have the softest lips I've ever felt," right after the singer kissed her hello. That was good though -- it was a fairly formal interview with a serious John for most of the rest of the visit.
This was especially evident when the issue of AIDS activism came up. John had just been honored for his work but was humble about his role in the work. "I wasted a lot of my time," he explained. "In the early '80s, I wasn't really there for the AIDS movement. I was dependent on drugs and alcohol. I was self-absorbed. And I didn't step up to the plate early in the game.
It was only when Elton John moved away from his partying lifestyle that he focused on the AIDS epidemic. An event that happened around the same time inspired the direction of John's activism as well. " Ryan White, who was a huge influence on my life, the boy who died of AIDS and changed the face of AIDS in America," John told Michael and Kelly. "Until Ryan came along, the American government hadn't given a penny towards AIDS. It took a child to be sick through hemophilia. The government didn't take notice. And thank God, his family and Ryan had the biggest effect on my life. They changed my life for the better. Six months after Ryan died, I got sober and I was determined to make up for lost time."
Moving on to lighter subjects, Elton John talked proudly about his two little boys and segued this into a discussion of what music means to his life. "Music is a common denominator," John said. "Sport and music together are the only two things where people come together and they don't care who, what religion they are, what race they are, what color they are. They just come together."
Following this, Elton John performed some new music and his older hit, "Rocket Man," before heading out.