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Elton John talks life in wake of Vegas shooting and what he wants for America now

Elton John has a strong connection to Las Vegas. He spoke to TODAY about being deeply shaken by the mass shooting there on Oct. 1.
/ Source: TODAY

Elton John has homes all over the world, but thanks to more than one extended residency at Caesars Palace, his roots in run deep in Las Vegas.

The superstar singer-songwriter was away from the entertainment capital on Oct. 1, when the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place at a music festival on the strip.

He's since returned Vegas, and now in an interview with TODAY's Matt Lauer, John is opening up about the tragedy — and life in the wake of it.

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"The footage was just ... I just went cold," he said of the reports he saw following the shooting that left 58 people dead and more than 500 others injured. "It was like a war."

But when he returned to the city, he was inspired by what saw.

"I find the human spirit incredibly moving," the 70-year-old said. "As a performer that's what you get. You know, there was a feeling of unity."

It's a feeling he wishes would endure — in Vegas and beyond.

"If only the feeling of unity when something bad happens can transfer to the feeling of unity period in America at the moment, it would be wonderful," the music icon continued. "I mean, I've been coming here since 1970 and I love this country. It's my second home. ... This country's given me everything I could possibly want, and it was the first place I became successful. The fact that people don't communicate with each other anymore, and that people are so hateful to each other upsets me so much."

Now his hope is that, in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas, a polarized population can find a way to peacefully coexist — and possibly even connect.

"I pray every night that it's going to get better, and they forget who they are, or who they vote for; they just come, because the love in their body shines through," he said, adding, "That's what I want for America right at this moment."