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Elton is to be awarded France’s highest civilian honour this week as he passes through Paris as part of his farewell tour, the French presidency has reveailed.

The Legion d’Honneur award will be presented to the 72-year-old by President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in the French capital on Friday.

Macron’s office praised him as a “piano virtuoso, melodic genius and a true showman” who was also “one of the first gay artists to have the courage to say it and to give voice to the LGBT community in the media.”

Last year, Elton announced he would retire after a final global tour, saying he wanted to spend more time with his children.

His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour kicked off in Pennsylvania in September. Tonight it comes to Lille, France.

Elton and his band will also be performing in Paris, Bordeaux and Nimes.