Elton John has broken his silence, sort of, about taking the job as Rush Limbaugh’s wedding singer, telling PEOPLE (via partner David Furnish) it was an opportunity “to go where people wouldn’t expect me to go.”
Furnish said John was “a little surprised” to get the invitation, but accepted the job — which netted him a reported $1 million — after deciding “Life is about building bridges, not walls.”
John told Furnish, who was unable to attend the June 5 event, that Limbaugh and his bride, Kathryn Rogers, “were incredibly gracious and very welcoming and very sweet and very appreciative.”
He joked during his performance, “I suppose you all wonder why I’m here tonight?”
In the end, the singer saw taking Limbaugh’s money as “an olive branch” to the radio commentator, who strongly opposes gay marriage and has a history of negative comments about homosexuality. He calls openly gay Congressman Barney Frank a “banking Queen,” and said Democrats will “bend over, grab their ankles, and say, ‘Have your way with me” in order to ensure the support of gay voters.
But John isn’t taking any of that rhetoric personal and the couple has accepted an offer from Limbaugh to have dinner the next time the newlyweds are in England.
“We have to bring the world together, not apart,” said Furnish.
But before he brings warring nations together, John may have to mend some fences with the gay community. Immediately following the wedding, incensed readers and editors of The Advocate and Out Magazine, not to mention gay-centric blogs, began unleashing on the singer.
“I’m flabbergasted,” Aaron Hicklin, Editor-in-Chief of Out, told PopEater. “It betrays either ignorance or self-interest or both, and jeopardizes his admirable record on gay rights.”
Readers have been equally critical of John. “What a pathetic excuse for a human being, and I’m talking about Elton John,” sniped an Advocate reader named Liam. “SHAME ON YOU ELTON.”