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Tom Odell grew up listening to Elton’s music. So he was thrilled when the rock legend personally chose him as his opening act at last month’s iTunes festival.


The 22-year-old told the Toronto Sun:

“He called me and asked me to support him in London out of the blue – it was crazy. And he said, ‘I’m a big fan of your music,’ which was just crazy ’cause I’m a huge fan of his. It’s difficult for me really to find the words to explain this whole situation because it’s never happened to me before. Honestly, when I first started songwriting, he made such an impression on me that to then be writing songs and releasing them and for him to even know my name is very, very overwhelming. And I have a few friends who are artists and he’s done the same thing … and to see someone who’s had such a long career, he’s been around since the late ’60s, to be still so enthusiastic and still encouraging it, it’s truly incredible.”
Asked how close the pair have gotten, the younger pianist replied:  

”We saw him at a festival, ’cause we were both performing at another festival, and we got into his dressing room and we had a chat about music, it was me and the band. It was f—ing just amazing. I’m still flying high from this … It fills me with a lot of confidence as well.”

When the interviewer wondered if it was destiny that they met, Tom said:

”It’s weird isn’t it? I mean I talk about him a lot in interviews … I mean he even said that to me, he said, ‘Thank you for mentioning me!’ It’s very strange, very surreal.”

The singer-songwriter also talked about winning the Brit’s Critics’ Choice award, saying he appreciated the honour ”because it came at a time when I was almost completely unknown . . .

”And to win the Critics’ Choice at that stage, it definitely turned my life from one thing to another very quickly in terms of what I was doing every day. Which was, actually, quite overwhelming to start with, so nine months on I feel a bit more accustomed to it.”