As previously announced, Elton was feted Monday night at Washington, D.C.'s National Building Museum.
He was recognised by the National Broadcasters Association for his efforts in the war against HIV/AIDS.
Although Elton attracted autograph hunters and reporters, his security warded them off. And valets at doorways admitted he exited through a back entrance to avoid the paparazzi who had gathered at the start of the evening.
Organisers also kept a close watch around the shallow pool in the center of the room, placing large potted plants on the perimeter. During past soirees, tipsy guests reportedly tumbled into the pool, evening gowns and all, despite the staffs efforts to guard the pools edges.
Deborah Norville, of Inside Edition, hosted the event, and jazz singer Oleta Adams, who covered Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me on the Two Rooms CD, saluting the Rocket Man and Bernie Taupin, performed. She did a medley, from Your Song to Can You Feel the Love Tonight, during which the honoree blew her a kiss.
Among the political attendees partaking of the meal, which included white wine and hazelnut-crusted halibut, were Senator Barbara Boxer and Rep. John Dingell.
As he spoke about his work raising money to fight HIV/AIDS, Elton told the audience, This is a chance to make up for behaviour I deeply regretted Im like the whore that goes around and rattles peoples wallets.