Elton John is thrilled that “Cold Heart,” his collaboration with U.K. pop star Dua Lipa and the electronic dance duo PNAU, is doing so well on the charts, but he says landing the “Levitating” singer for the record wasn’t a forgone conclusion, even though they’d collaborated in the past.
“The Dua record happened because PNAU gave me the track, which I loved, but I didn’t want to sing the ‘Rocket Man’ [part] there, because I’d sung it so many times,” Elton tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “Cold Heart” is based around samples of four Elton songs: “Rocket Man,” “Sacrifice,” “Kiss the Bride” and “Where’s the Shoorah?”
“I thought it would be great if someone else sang that,” he notes. “And I’ve gotten to know Dua because she did our Oscar party this year and we became friends. She was in L.A. in May, and [my husband David and I] took her to dinner…and David said to her, ‘Listen, think about it. I’ll send you the track. You got to play it loud by the pool.'”
Elton continues, “She phoned us up [and said,] ‘I’m in.’ And that was the icing on the cake. She is probably…one of the most successful artists in the world at the moment…And it just was a stroke of luck.”
While Elton has had dozens of hits in his 50-year career, he tells Zane that “Cold Heart” is special because, as he puts it, “I haven’t had a genuine hit for a long, long time because I haven’t made genuine hit records. I haven’t set out to make them.”
“Cold Heart” is Elton’s his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 since 2000, his first top 10 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart since 2005 and his first song to hit Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart since 1998.
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