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Elton John Receives Brits Icon Award; Duets with Rod Stewart John is officially back in action.  In his first major public performance since his appendicitis operation earlier this summer, he appeared onstage to receive the first-ever Brits Icon award during a special event at the London Palladium on Monday.

According to the British paper The Independent, Elton received his award from Rod Stewart, and then the two performed their first-ever live duet, singing Elton's hit "Sad Songs (Say So Much)."  Friends and admirers like Annie Lennox, Mumford & Sons, British pop stars Ed Sheeran and Emilie Sandé, tennis legend Billie Jean King, Ringo Starr and Elton's longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin all sent video messages in praise of the star.

At the event, Elton played a greatest hits set that included "Rocket Man," "Your Song" and "I'm Still Standing."  In a statement before the show, he said, "It’s a tremendous honor and a real thrill for me to have my work acknowledged in this way, and I'm really looking forward to participating in what promises to be a very special occasion.”

The Brits Icon Award is presented by the same folks who give out the Brits, which are the British equivalent of the Grammys.  It's meant to honor "iconic artists whose writing, recording and performances set them apart as having made a lasting impact on the nation’s culture."

The event will air on British TV on September 13. No word on plans to air it in the U.S.

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