Elton John has canceled all performances of his “Million Dollar Piano” shows at the Coliseum in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, for the next two months after succumbing to a potentially deadly “harmful and unusual bacterial infection.”
The 70-year-old star contracted the unnamed infection during a tour of South America, becoming “violently ill” on a flight from Santiago, Chile, to his home in the UK.
On arrival, he was admitted to hospital where he spent two nights in intensive care, according to his publicist, Rogers and Cowan. He was released from hospital on Saturday and is now “comfortably resting at home per doctor’s advice.”
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
“Infections of this nature are rare and potentially deadly,” read a statement from Rogers and Cowan. “Thankfully, Elton’s medical team identified this quickly and treated it successfully. He is expected to make a full and complete recovery.”
While Las Vegas casinos now derive way over half of their revenues from their non-gaming amenities, the lion’s share of that comes from hotel rooms, drinks and food, rather than ticket sales for shows, so it’s difficult to quantify the financial hit Caesars might take from the cancellation of its star attraction.
It will certainly lose revenue from all those Elton fans who would have bought food and drinks and paid for hotel rooms, but possibly not as much as Elton himself.
The singer is raking in around $500,000 per show, according to entertainment news site TMZ, and gets 88 percent of the door receipts, which TMZ assures us is more than Britney gets.
That means Elton’s mystery illness is likely to cost him around $4 million through the cancellation of eight Vegas shows.
I’m Still Standing
Elton has been performing the Million Dollar Piano at Caesars since 2011 on a piano that is indeed valued at $1 million. The piano in question was designed by the singer and Yamaha Entertainment and is described as a 3,200-pound “engineering marvel” featuring more than 68 LED video screens, which display imagery to complement each of the show’s songs.
“I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologise for disappointing them. I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well,” John said in a statement on Tuesday.
Those with tickets to the canceled shows will be refunded, and meanwhile the singer is expected to make a full recovery and will be back on stage at London’s Twickenham Stadium on June 3.