Elton John and Stevie Wonder have reunited for “Finish Line,” a piano and harmonica-laden duet that is the latest single off John’s upcoming album, “The Lockdown Sessions.”
The two music superstars collaborated in 1985 for a charity single, “That’s What Friends Are For,” and in the 1983 hit, “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues,” where Wonder played harmonica, Rolling Stone reported. But this is the first true duet for the two singers.
For John’s latest star-studded album project, the “Rocket Man” recruited Kanye West’s Sunday Service choir and producer Andrew Watt for the single, the magazine reported.
“I couldn’t be more proud of ‘Finish Line’ -- I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the best records I’ve ever made,” John, 74, said in a statement. “Stevie’s voice is as good as I can ever remember hearing him -- he sounds like a 17-year-old again, he’s singing with a sheer joy and exuberance in his vocals. Andrew Watt has done an unbelievable job on the production. It was a magical process. I’ve always loved collaborating with Stevie, and I’m delighted that after 50 years of friendship we finally get to do a full-blown duet. He has always been so kind and sweet to me, and his talent is beyond ridiculous. When you listen to what he does vocally and instrumentally on ‘Finish Line’ you think, this is a true genius here.’”
Wonder, 71, was equally effusive in his praise for John.
“It is both a joy and honor to sing, play piano and harmonica for Elton! He has truly been one of the great spirits of music, life, friendship and love, who I’ve met on this journey! True artistry and music like love equals a forever commitment lasting many lifetimes,” Wonder said in a statement. “Elton, anyone who hears your voice singing ‘Finish Line’ will hear and feel your wisdom, your pain, your soul, your love, but also your resilience ... I love it! Congratulations to you and our forever and never, never-ending friendship, life-song! Long live Sir Elton John!”
John said the song was created through a “very unusual way of writing,” as he wrote the melody before the lyrics, which he doesn’t typically do, according to People. He said Wonder was originally content with contributing harmonica, but decided to lend his voice to the track after West’s choir was added.
“I think for me, it’s one of the greatest records I’ve ever made,” John said. “Because A, it’s Stevie Wonder, and you made Stevie sound like a 17-year-old again. And the sheer joy in his voice, it was a magical, magical, the way this thing came together was a series of accidents in a way. I’m so proud of this record because I love him so much. He’s always been so kind to me and so sweet to me, the talent is beyond ridiculous.”
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