Elton John is giving fans an early Christmas gift, but, be warned, it’s a tearjerker. The superstar singer is front and center as he looks back at his incredible life in a new holiday ad for British department store chain John Lewis & Partners.
The heartwarming ad, which you can see in its entirety below, begins with Sir Elton, age 71, sitting quietly at a piano in his living room. Elton John then begins playing the opening to his 1970 hit, “Your Song,” as a montage of him performing the song begins playing in backward chronological order over the decades.
Elton John’s Las Vegas residency in the 2000s is represented, as is his pink-Mohawk era from the 1980s, his famous 1971 Top of the Pops performance, as well as an array of other glitzy costumes and oversized eyeglasses before viewers see him as a young man (played by actors) performing for an audience at a school recital and finally, as a small boy as he is given the gift of a piano for Christmas in the 1950s.
While the ad’s tagline”—Some gifts are more than just a gift”— promotes the fact that John Lewis is selling pianos for the first time in 70 years, it also holds special meaning for Elton John.
In a statement posted by John Lewis, Elton John said making the ad was “a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my Grandmother’s piano marks the moment when music came into my life.”
Craig Inglis, John Lewis customer director, told Marketing Week, the ad is about much more than just selling pianos.
“The ad tells the story of why Elton’s piano was more than just a gift and we hope to remind customers of that special moment when they’ve given a gift at Christmastime that they know will be treasured forever. … [The scenes] are based on the big moments in Elton’s career and we knew that was going to get us to that incredible end scene, which was all about what really matters at Christmas.”
Elton John’s John Lewis & Partners advertisement is the latest in a long line of highly anticipated Christmas commercials for the U.K. retailer. Last year’s ad starred a loveable monster, Moz, and past installments have also featured fantasy figures with Buster the Boxer, Man on the Moon, Monty the Penguin, and Bear and the Hare. Elton John’s ad, titled “The Boy & The Piano,” became the creative idea for the store’s 2018 Christmas ad after it was whittled down from more than 300 scripts.
You can see Elton John in the 2018 John Lewis & Partners holiday ad below.
Elton John is currently on his final stadium tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, and a biopic of his life, Rocketman, will be released in May 2019.