If you happen to be Sir Elton Hercules John, 2018 has been about as epic as your name. In addition to being honored during the 60th annual Grammys telecast — and taping a full-scale primetime tribute special set to air April 10 on CBS — he’s found time to executive produce the animated children’s feature Sherlock Gnomes and announce a 300-date global trek to mark his retirement from concert tours.
Now a star-studded group of today’s biggest musical stars have banded together to record their own versions of John’s classics in salute to the man and his longtime collaborate, Bernie Taupin. With too many hits to fit on just one disc, the result is a pair of albums: Revamp and Restoration, both out Friday.
The former features John’s music reimagined by contemporary pop, rock and R&B artists including Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith and Pink, while the country-flavored Restoration contains rustic reinterpretations by the likes of Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Dolly Parton.
Miley Cyrus, John’s friend and Grammy duet partner, makes an appearance on both discs, showing off two very different sides of her musical personality.
Elton John and Miley Cyrus at the 2018 Grammys.
“Elton John is more than a legend, he’s a pioneer who has inspired me on so many levels,” Cyrus tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I am honored to join him in his fight against AIDS through his amazing foundation and now to join his series of tribute albums is an honor! I’ve never wanted to be boxed in by anything, especially genre, and Elton gave me the freedom to participate in both the pop and country records.”
Contemporary pop artists paid tribute to the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin on Revamp.
Restoration finds the 25-year-old chanteuse delivering a soulful version of John’s 1974 ballad “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” while she lets loose on Revamp with a barnstorming rendition of the relentless classic “The Bitch Is Back” — the same track she performed at the CBS tribute.
The country-tinged Elton John tribute album, Restoration.
“‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ has always been special and I really think it’s so timely and appropriate,” Cyrus continues, “While ‘Bitch Is Back’ has so much attitude that I feel it really shows my personality and how I feel right now in my life.”
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The double-barreled collection is available now.