Sir Elton John has to look straight out at the audience when he performs his John Lennon tribute tune Empty Garden live because he fears he would burst into tears if he caught a glimpse of images of the late Beatle that flash up onscreen behind him.

The Rocket Man hitmaker plans to perform the tune nightly during his upcoming residency at Las Vegas' Colosseum at Caesars Palace and special shots of Lennon have been selected for the show.

He tells Entertainment Weekly, "I don't look back when I'm playing that song - if I see the footage of John, I get choked up and it's too hard to get through the song.

"I miss him so much. He was a force of nature, and you don't get many of those. And you sure as hell miss them when they leave."