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Pop, country singers remake Elton John hits

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – More than two dozen Elton John songs have been reinterpreted by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga and Willie Nelson on two albums of past hits released on Friday.

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The pop-focused “Revamp” and country-inspired “Restoration” highlight the British singer’s long collaboration with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, which includes enduring hits such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man” and “Candle in the Wind.”

“Bernie and myself are thrilled when singers we admire and respect as much as those on ‘Revamp’ choose to add their own unique twist in the process,” John, 71, said in a statement. “It means that our music is still relevant and ultimately that our songs continue to reach new audiences.”

“Revamp” features a hip hop rendition of “Bennie and the Jets” with John, pop singer P!nk and rapper Logic; British indie rockers Florence and the Machine perform the soaring “Tiny Dancer;” and Sheeran does a folk version of mourning song “Candle in the Wind.”

“The first time I heard ‘Candle in the Wind’ would have been (Princess) Diana’s funeral,” the 27-year-old Sheeran said in a statement.

“I was six at the time, I remember my dad bringing me in and sitting me in front of the TV and being like this is really important – you have to watch this and you have to remember this,” Sheeran added.

Cyrus, who has roots in country music as the daughter of singer Billy Ray Cyrus, performs on both albums as John handed songs on “Restoration” over to country artists Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Dolly Parton and others.