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Elton's South African Surprise

Wednesday 12 January 2005 @ 21:06 - GMT

On Monday, Elton visited Durban's McCord Hospital to learn about their AIDS clinic, the January 11, 2005 Star reported.

Little did he know that he'd also find an act for the 2005 White Tie and Tiara ball.

The Sinikithemba choir had come to perform at the hospital and impressed Elton with their ''beautiful singing, grace and passion.'' He also appreciated the fact that all 15 HIV-positive members are healthy and enjoying normal lives.

Likewise, group leader Phumulani Kunene was thrilled, and admitted being close to tears. Although they've been in front of people as famous as Bill Clinton, it was ''never anything like this.''