The fête also served as a de facto birthday bash for Bernie Taupin, who turned 67 on Monday, and for whom a cake with sparklers was brought out in front of guests such as Paramount‘s Jim Gianopulos, hotelier and restaurateur André Balazs, and supermarket magnate Ron Burkle.
Entries were received from over 50 countries worldwide, before being whittled down by selected Youtube mentors. Eventually, these mentors joined with an all-star judging panel – including Elton and Bernie – who selected the three winners in February 2017. Once chosen, the winners were given the opportunity to realise their music videos and granted $10,000 for future creative endeavours.
Adhering to three specific visual mediums, the recently-announced winners were Majid Adin for Rocket Man, which had an animation brief; Jack Whiteley and Laura Brownhill for Bennie And The Jets, featuring choreography; and Max Weiland for Tiny Dancer, which contained a live-action creative concept.
Elton said of the project, “I wanted to expose my music to the young, and I wanted to be inspired by the young.”
He spoke of the importance of shining a light on younger artists, noting that ”it’s always great to see new things from someone you’ve never heard of. It fills you with passion.”
The musician laughed, adding that it was ”like giving the songs Botox.”
Elton also said that his and Bernie’s compositions are ”very cinematic.” They tell a story, and he never gets tired of singing them.