The October 6 edition of the Revew-Journal revealed that a tennis ace celebrated her 70th birthday last weekend at Caesars Palace, with Elton, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf among the 200 revelers.
The evening commemorated a number of recent 40th anniversaries, including the Battle of the Sexes, pitting Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs, her friendship with Sir Elton and her help in founding the Women’s Tennis Association.
The bash was held at Caesars’ Garden of the Gods pools after Elton’s show at the Colosseum. The vocalist, who dedicated Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to King during his performance, was among the speakers at the party.
He described his pal as a personal inspiration and “the sister I never had.” Elton and Bernie Taupin wrote Philadelphia Freedom in King’s honour: She played for the Philadelphia Freedoms tennis team.
A former world No. 1, King won 39 grand slam titles, including a record 20 at Wimbledon. Her first Wimbledon title was in doubles as a 17-year-old.
An estimated 50 million in 37 countries watched the Battle of the Sexes, which she won. King was 29; Riggs, a former Wimbledon champion, was 59.
Elton’s entire band attended the Vegas gathering, as did percussionist Ray Cooper, King’s partner Ilana Kloss, ABC’s Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, and tennis analysts Bud Collins and Mary Carillo.
The birthday celebration was held six weeks early. King’s birthday is actually November 22.