Record Breaking or Not, Trump Crowds Get Elton John on Repeat


Elton John with Ivana and Donald J. Trump, circa 1988. Mr. Trump and Mr. John have appeared together at a few charity events.

President Trump does not express much affection for celebrities, which is unsurprising considering how many of them have vocally, even profanely, repudiated his policies.

But one entertainer he cannot seem to stop admiring is Elton John.

He has repeatedly praised Mr. John in his books. He plays “Tiny Dancer” to warm up his rally crowds and blasted Mr. John’s music at deafening levels on his campaign plane. And when the president decided to pick an insulting nickname for Kim Jong-un, the missile-happy leader of North Korea, the title of one of Mr. John’s hits fit the bill nicely.

I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017

At a rally in Montana on Thursday, the president found yet another role for Mr. John: as a foil for one of his exaggerated boasts. Alongside comments about immigration enforcement, mockery of #MeToo and the “fake news” media, Mr. Trump bragged about his crowds, saying he had “broken Elton John records.”

“And I don’t have a musical instrument,” he added, saying the only instrument had was his “mouth.”

It was unclear exactly what type of records he was referring to — the attendance of 6,500 fell far short of many Elton John concerts. But what was clear was that Mr. John, who has voiced discomfort with Mr. Trump’s use of his music, remains very much on the president’s mind.

Read on for a short history of Mr. Trump’s mostly-nonmutual admiration of the British megastar.

Think Like a Pop Star

Mr. Trump has name-dropped Mr. John several times in his books. In his 2004 title “Think Like a Billionaire,” Mr. Trump wrote about his love for a variety of musical legends. “There’s so much great music,” he writes. “For me, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Elton John.” (“And besides that, Tony lives in one of my buildings,” he added.)

“I never get tired of listening to them and probably never will,” he wrote.

He sure didn’t.

In 2009, he wrote about Mr. John again in “Think Like a Champion,” as an example of how to use one’s own talent. He brooded on the potential that would be…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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