Sir Elton John was so surprised to receive an invitation to perform at controversial U.S. talk show host Rush Limbaugh's recent wedding he initially thought the offer was a joke. The openly-gay rocker was convinced the note was a prank or had been sent to him by mistake - because the Limbaugh is widely known for his right-wing, traditionalist views.
But when John discovered the invite was for real, he decided to embrace the opportunity to "build bridges" with the radio personality. John's partner, David Furnish, tells People, "To put it in Elton's exact words, when he got the invitation, he was 'a little surprised'."
"And then, when it turned out to be a genuinely sincere invitation, Elton said, 'Life is about building bridges, not walls. (It was an opportunity) to go where people wouldn't expect me to go. And maybe if I can make a great impression, people might change their perspectives on life.' "
The "Rocket Man" hitmaker was among the estimated 400 guests who attending Limbaugh's lavish wedding to Kathryn Rogers at the Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida on June 5, and he serenaded the crowd with a string of his most popular hits.
Furnish was unable to join John at the ceremony, but was told the performance went down well: "I wasn't there, but from everything Elton told me, he said Rush and his bride were incredibly charming and welcoming. Elton, during the performance, made a lot of cracks: 'I suppose you all wonder why I'm here tonight?' But ultimately, it's a bit like an olive branch, I guess."
And the newlyweds got along so well with the superstar, they've invited John and Furnish to join them for dinner the next time they're in the U.K. Furnish adds, "They have said they want to come and have dinner with us in England, if they pass through in their travels."
John was reportedly paid a cool $1 million (666,600 pound sterling) performance fee for attending the special event.