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Rina Sawayama and Elton John join forces on LGBTQ anthem ‘Chosen Family’

Pansexual pop star Rina has tapped an all-time gay great for the new version of her empowering track.

By Will Stroude

Words: Will Stroude

Rina Sawayama has enlisted one of music’s all-time greats for a new version of her powerful LGBTQ anthem ‘Chosen Family’.

30-year-old Rina – the recipient of Attitude’s Breakthrough Award in 2020 – has tapped Sir Elton John himself for an all-queer remix of the track, which featured on the pansexual pop star’s acclaimed debut album Sawayama.

Announcing the duet on Twitter ahead of the song’s release this Wednesday (14 April), Rina wrote that she was “living in a dream” after collaborating with Sir Elton, 74.

“It was such a joy and honour to rework ‘Chosen Family’ with the legendary Elton John,” Rina added in a statement.

“The song means so much to both of us, and recording it together was such a special experience I will never forget. I got shivers when I heard his voice through the monitor and became emotional when he added the piano parts.”

The Elton-featuring remix of ‘Chosen Family’ is set to premiere on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music radio show at 5pm BST on Wednesday, with a video set to be released at 6pm.

Rina touched on ‘Chosen Family’s message of acceptance and solidarity after performing the track live at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar last December.

“I’ve been saved by the LGBTQ+ community, quite literally” she said at the time.  “I was bullied quite badly in school and at university. Both times it was the community who saved my life.

“I have a song called ‘Chosen Family’ on the latest record and that is my honest, most loving song that I wanted to give to the community, who are not just my friends, but now I consider my family.”