Elton John hosts a mega celebrity Zoom call to promote his lockdown album

The musician recruited 20 of the world's biggest musical artists with the help of AKQA

Published On
Dec 22, 2021

Editor's Pick

To promote his recent album “The Lockdown Sessions,” Elton John recruited 20 superstar musicians, who all collaborated with him on the album, for the ultimate celebrity Zoom call.

Originally released in late October and re-released this month with a Christmas addition, “The Lockdown Sessions” was recorded over the past year and a half, mostly remotely. The promotional call, created with agency AKQA, features artists Lil Nas X (a frequent collaborator of John’s lately), Eddie Vedder, Nicki Minaj, Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus, Rina Sawayama, Dua Lipa, SG Lewis, duo Surfaces, Olly Alexander of Years and Years, Stevie Nicks, Andrew Watt, Brandi Carlile, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, Jimmie Allen, PNAU, Charlie Puth and Young Thug.

Despite the star power on screen, the Zoom probably feels extremely familiar for many of us. As the celebrities’ boxes pop up, they chaotically talk over one another. Sometimes audio jumps or someone forgets to unmute themselves. Nicki Minaj’s lighting is immaculate and Miley Cyrus’s box features a black and white filter, but Lil Nas X speaks into his camera as he walks around a room and Brandi Carlile has to bend over to be at eye-level with hers. 

Regardless of the difficulties, including an homage to the cat-filter lawyer, the artists all sing one another’s praises and discuss the honor of collaborating with John on “The Lockdown Sessions.” After everyone logs off and each square disappears until only John’s remains, Ed Sheeran wanders into the same room as John wearing a Santa Claus hat.

“Did I miss it?” he asks.

“It was supposed to be on Zoom,” responds John. “Now you’re here, I suppose I could squeeze you in!” The scene is a reference to the two’s Christmas track, which was added to the album after its original release.

The idea for the star-studded video reportedly came from John’s husband, David Furnish, and will air on Elton John’s YouTube channel as well as in shorter variants across his social media.

"Collaborating with Sir Elton John, and some of the biggest names in the music industry was a dream brief,” said Sam Kelly, chief marketing officer at AKQA, in a statement. “These last two years have been challenging, and those challenges force new ways of thinking.  I've never seen so much energy and creativity on one video call."


Dec 22, 2021
Client :
Rocket Entertainment Group
Agency :
Chief Executive Officer :
David Furnish
Marketing and Promotions Director / Artist Manager :
Rachal Paley
Head of Digital :
Rory Newton Dunn
Associate Creative Director :
Deborah Vasques
Chief Marketing Officer :
Sam Kelly
Chief Creative Officer :
Diego Machado
Operations Manager :
Lucas Araque
Development & Production Executive :
Miranda Sherman
Director :
Luis Guilherme Chagas
Executive Producer :
Luccas Oliveira
Executive Producer :
Gustavo Almeida
Project Manager :
Leticia Cacace
Post-production Coordinator :
Luccas Oliveira
Editor :
Luis Guilherme Chagas
Art Director :
Teidy Nakao
Motion Designer :
Rafael Matheus
Motion Designer :
Gustavo Leite
Motion Designer :
Luccas Oliveira
Audio Company :
Arcade Audio

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