Photo: Gregg Kemp

Elton John has announced an album of collaborations made remotely with some of today’s biggest stars at the height of the UK’s lockdown.

After being forced to pause his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour when the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold last year, Elton began to focus on new projects.

His efforts resulted in The Lockdown Sessions, a brand new album featuring an array of A-List celebrities.

“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album,” Elton explained. “But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up.”

Elton said that the last two years made him realise he is “a session musician” who can adapt to the changing world and industry.

He added: “Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist, but separated by glass screens.

“But all the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory.”

The new album is made up of 16 songs and includes features from Dua Lipa, Years & Years and Lil Nas X.

Elton has also used the album as an opportunity to showcase up-and-coming talent such as Rina Sawayama, SG Lewis and Jimmie Allen.

The album’s first single, Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) with Dua Lipa, was released last month and gives listeners a taste of what they can expect from the new record.

“And I realised there was something weirdly familiar about working like this” Elton said of working during COVID-19 restrictions.

“At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”

Elton has had seven number one singles and seven number one albums in the UK and his upcoming release will mark his fourth collaborative album.

The Lockdown Sessions is scheduled to be released on 22 October via EMI Universal and is available for pre-order now.