Elton John Honored by Fans, Citi’s O’Neill, Rockefellers

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Photographer: Paul Morigi/WireImage via Bloomberg

Elton John, rock star and creator of a foundation to fight AIDS, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and David Rockefeller Jr., chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation.

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Photographer: Paul Morigi/WireImage via Bloomberg

Elton John, rock star and creator of a foundation to fight AIDS, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and David Rockefeller Jr., chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation. Close

Elton John, rock star and creator of a foundation to fight AIDS, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller... Read More

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Trish O'Neill and Michael O'Neill, chairman of Citigroup Inc. Close

Trish O'Neill and Michael O'Neill, chairman of Citigroup Inc.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Thomas Perez, secretary of labor. Close

Thomas Perez, secretary of labor.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Richard Reed, senior vice president of disaster cycle services for the American Red Cross, and Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development. Close

Richard Reed, senior vice president of disaster cycle services for the American Red Cross, and Shaun Donovan,... Read More

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty

Roger Daltrey of The Who at the unveiling of a bust of Winston Churchill at the U.S. Capitol. Close

Roger Daltrey of The Who at the unveiling of a bust of Winston Churchill at the U.S. Capitol.

Elton John last night said that he had not been a very nice person for a long time.

“I was a self-absorbed, alcoholic drug addict for 16 years,” he said. “I’m OK now.”

John was at the Rockefeller Foundation’s “Celebration of American Philanthropy,” where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for the work of his AIDS-focused foundation.

The musician sat opposite Michael O’Neill, the chairman of Citigroup Inc. (C), a fan of “Candle in the Wind,” and Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development, who said he preferred “Rocket Man.”

“I always cried when I heard it as a kid,” Donovan said.

Thomas Perez, secretary of labor, said he likes John’s song “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

The event drew the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Judith Rodin, and Rockefellers including Senator Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia Democrat, and David Rockefeller Jr., the foundation’s chairman.

“This organization has a long association with people named John,” David Rockefeller Jr.,told the guest of honor, referring to his great-grandfather,John D. Rockefeller, and grandfather, John Rockefeller Jr.

John said he was inspired by the Rockefeller Foundation’s historic campaign to eradicate hookworm and other diseases.

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor also attended the event.

Earlier in the day at the U.S. Capitol, the Who’s singer Roger Daltrey performed for an audience that included Speaker of the House John Boehner, Secretary of State John Kerry, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The occasion was a dedication of the new bust of Winston Churchill, the former U.K. prime minister whose mother was American.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Mark Beech on rock music, Frederik Balfour on Hong Kong art, Greg Evans on U.S. television, James Russell on architecture and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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