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Elton John Says He and ‘Cold Heart’ Duet Partner Dua Lipa ‘Get on Like a House on Fire’: ‘Adore Her’

Elton John and Dua Lipa made music magic with their hit “Cold Heart,” and it seems their chemistry in the studio extends to their real-life friendship!

The pair graced the cover of Variety‘s Hitmakers issue, and opened up about their close bond and the ways in which the stars aligned to get them into the studio together.

“I adore her. She is incredibly talented — absolutely brilliant — and so professional. It’s a pleasure to be around someone who is so young, has done so much already and is so humble,” John said of Lipa. “She is also great fun, and we get on like a house on fire.”

“Cold Heart (Pnau remix)” was released in August 2021 as the first single off John’s collaborative album The Lockdown Sessions, and hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, an updated take on John’s classic “Rocket Man,” hit No. 1 in their native England, giving John his first British chart-topper in 16 years.

The “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” singer, 75, and Lipa, 27, first met at an AIDS Foundation event, and John and his husband David Furnish later took the pop star out to dinner to present the idea of working together.

Elton John and Dua Lipa are Variety's Hitmakers of the Year

Elton John and Dua Lipa are Variety's Hitmakers of the Year

Peggy Sirota for Variety

“My first answer was, ‘Yes, absolutely,’ but they were like, ‘Well, listen to it before you agree to it,'” she recalled to Variety. “I was in Malibu writing for my new album, and they sent it to me very early one morning. We were on FaceTime — even though we’re friends, it’s still surreal being on FaceTime with Elton and David — and I remember I was in my bikini by the pool, wearing a cowboy hat for some reason.”

John suggested the “Pretty Please” singer listen to the track “loud” by the pool, and it took only a day or so for her to commit. They first sang the song live together at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, the final date of his farewell tour.

“When we recorded ‘Cold Heart,’ we had no idea the life it would have,” Lipa said. “I could have never imagined a night like this. It reminded me to never stop dreaming.”

Elton John and Dua Lipa are Variety's Hitmakers of the Year

Elton John and Dua Lipa are Variety's Hitmakers of the Year

Elton John and Dua Lipa.
Peggy Sirota for Variety

In recent years, John has become a mentor to other young artists like Lipa, including Ed Sheeran and Sam Fender. He told Variety that his desire to help up-and-coming stars can be traced back to when he first came to the U.S., and received well wishes from stars like Neil Diamond, Leon Russell, Brian Wilson and George Harrison.

“It was so kind for all of those people that I’d idolized growing up to take the time to say, ‘Well done,'” he said. “It kind of ratified what I was doing. I was so blown away by it and so touched, and it’s been in my DNA ever since, that you must always ring up someone if they are doing good work.”