Elton John made his live comeback at a London gala held in his honor on Monday (02Sep13) and his return was made even sweeter when he was handed the first ever Brits Icon award.
Rod Stewart was on hand to present the prize to his pal during the star-studded concert at The London Palladium, jokingly describing Sir Elton as "the second-best rock singer ever".
The 66-year-old Rocket Man hitmaker told the crowd he was "flattered" to receive the trophy, and dedicated it to his writing partner Bernie Taupin and his fans, before admitting, "I can think of a couple of people who might have deserved it more than me".
Elton's two-and-a-half-hour concert marked the first time the Brit has performed since axing his summer shows after falling sick with appendicitis in July (13).
The star underwent an operation to remove his appendix on 1 August (13), and proved he has bounced back by playing a string of hits, including Your Song, Tiny Dancer, and Sad Songs (Say So Much) as a duet with Stewart.
He told the audience he can't wait to get back on the road "It's been a hell of a summer. I'm glad to be rid of the appendix - it was a pesky little bugger. (I'm) addicted to playing live. I've played 92 countries, and I want to play 100. That's just the way I'm programmed".
The gig, which will be broadcast on U.K. TV on 13 September (13), was attended by Sir Elton's famous pals including actress Elizabeth Hurley and music stars Gary Barlow, Lulu and James Blunt.
The new Brit Icon award will be presented to artists who have had a "lasting impact" on U.K. culture.