Elton John and Ed Sheeran join forces for Christmas
Ed Sheeran and Elton John have announced their new Christmas collaboration, a song that will be released on Friday titled “Merry Christmas”.
They announced the collaboration in an adorable, Love Actually-themed video, featuring Ed appearing at Elton’s door, much like Andrew Lincoln’s character does to Keira Knightley in the 2003 Christmas classic. Elton, dressed in his festive best, opens the door to Ed dressed in a Christmas jumper and bearing note cards that contain an important message.
The cards Ed presents to Elton read, "Hello. Last Christmas I received a call from my mate Elton John and he told me we should do a 'Christmas Song,'" the cards read. "And I replied 'Yeah. Maybe in 2022.' But I actually wrote the chorus that day and here we are. Our Christmas song 'Merry Christmas' is out this Friday. Go pre-order or pre-save it now. It has sleigh bells. A lot of them…."
— Ed Sheeran HQ (@edsheeran) November 29, 2021
Art for the song features an illustration of Sheeran placing a ‘rocket man’ astronaut tree topper on his Christmas tree as a smiling Elton looks on, holding a giant candy cane. The ‘rocket man’ is, naturally, a reference to the classic 1972 Elton track of the same name, which also gave its name to the 2019 film about John’s life starring Taron Egerton.
All proceeds from the song will be going to the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John Aids Foundation. Sheeran established his foundation in 2019 to provide grants to young musicians in his hometown of Suffolk, while John founded his in 1992 as a means of helping end the AIDS epidemic.
Sheeran first announced the collaboration in October, telling the Dutch radio station NPO Radio 2, "Elton rung me on Christmas Day to say Merry Christmas," he said, adding that the pair speak “almost every day”.
"He rung me on Christmas Day and he said, '"Step Into Christmas' is No. 6 in the charts, and I'm 74, and I'm still having f—ing chart hits, this is great! I want to do another Christmas song, will you do it with me?'"
The singer later told Jimmy Fallon that he had some reservations, but eventually gave in. "I said to Elton, I was like, 'I don't really want to do a Christmas song unless we're going in. Unless it's like sleigh bells, ding-dong— yeah, it needs to be a proper Christmas song,'" he said. "I wrote a chorus, and then I went to go and stay with him, and we wrote three, and one of them was this one called 'Merry Christmas.'"