Elton John To Bid Farewell To Wembley

Elton John will be among the luminaries saying good-bye to Wembley Stadium next month before the legendary London venue is demolished to pave the way for its new incarnation.

According to the performer's official Web site (at eltonjohn.com), Sir Elton will perform at a farewell dinner at the venue on November 2, shortly before it is torn down and work begins on what will be the new Wembley Stadium. Elton will join a cast of music and sports stars who flourished on the Wembley grounds for the event, and he will perform a 30-minute set to kick off the dinner.

The farewell event will bring together some 2000 people on Wembley's famed pitch, and proceeds from the charity dinner will reportedly benefit the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign, an anti-child-abuse initiative.

Elton is expected to take time away from an ongoing legal battle against his former accountants to make the event. He has also been busying

himself in recent weeks in a Los Angeles studio, where he is writing new material with longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin.

Wembley Stadium was unveiled in 1923 and has since played host to numerous musical milestones, including the U.K. portion of the historic 1985 global benefit concert Live Aid. In England, the stadium is considered hallowed sports ground; it hosted the 1948 Olympics, the annual Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, and European football's annual FA Cup Final.

After Wembley is demolished in November, a two-year project is expected to yield a new, state-of-the-art Wembley Stadium in 2003.