Elton John says he has undergone hip surgery but is "raring to go" and has been spurred on to make new music and raise Aids awareness, after receiving a prestigious UK award.
The global star walked with the aid of an ornate stick after being made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Britain's Prince of Wales during a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony.
He reflected on a glittering career that has seen him release a hit single in every decade since the 1970s, and notch up worldwide record sales of 300 million.
Elton said: "I’ve had an amazing life, music has been my life, and I got this for music and for work for charity.
"I may not look as if I’m 100% fit – but I’m not quite – but I’m still raring to go and I’ve got a lot more work to do as far as my life goes.
"So this is just a reminder that there’s more to do. More work to do for music, more work to do for charity and life is great – I’m so lucky."
Elton’s farewell tour has been pushed back and will kick off next year, but he insists he is full of energy despite the operation on his right hip.
He said: "I’ve had a hip replacement but I’m full of beans and I’m full of zest, but this is just a prompter to say ‘come on you’ve got more to do now’."
He is still passionate about music, describing himself as a "glorified fan who made good". He began his career in the late 1960s but enjoyed huge success the following decade once he began writing with musical partner Bernie Taupin.
A string of memorable singles followed, from Rocket Man to Bennie And The Jets and the poignant Marilyn Monroe tribute Candle In The Wind, reworked in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales for her funeral.
He also worked with John Lennon, and his double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road sold in its millions on both sides of the Atlantic with the hits continuing into the 1980s with I’m Still Standing.
Elton has notched up eight number one UK singles, from his first in 1976, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Kiki Dee, and his most recent – and first in 16 years – with Dua Lipa called Cold Heart released a few weeks ago.
The singer-songwriter has continued to work with new talent and has joined forces with Ed Sheeran to create three new Christmas songs, the first of which is being released at the beginning of December and is titled Merry Christmas.
He added: "I used to manage Ed for the first three albums and we’ve always been great friends, we’ve always been close – I give him advice and he gives me advice, it’s just a lovely friendship.
Source: Press Association