Sam Fender opens up on close bond with Elton John but admits he turned down duet

Sam Fender has no doubt become one of the hottest rising stars with fans including Sir Elton John, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

Having released his debut album, Hypersonic Missiles in 2019, the North Sheilds star had been sharing music since as early as 2017 and working on mastering his talent from the age of 10.

However, aged 18 in 2013, Sam was spotted performing at his local boozer, the Low Lights Tavern by music manager Owain Davies who later took him on as a client.

Fast forward several years and Fender became an instantly recognisable voice with tracks including Play God and Poundshop Kardashians being loved by millions.

However, the 27-year-old never expected to find such huge success and admits having fans including Elton completely blows his mind.

When commenting on whether he ever believed he'd be friends with the rocker, he exclusively told Daily Star: "Definitely not, I never thought I'd be in this world.

"I still to this day have imposter syndrome, it's one of those things where it's quite unbelievable, some of the places we find ourselves in.

"When I think back to me living on the road with my mam."

However, Sam revealed he had to turn down the opportunity to collaborate with Elton, explaining: "It sounds awful to say, 'I was too busy to work with Elton', but I needed to finish my album.

"Me and Elton will definitely happen at some point. We just need to find time to get into the studio, we want to make something special together. I’d love us to make something stripped back, that sounds organic with a band."

Despite playing sold-out shows and winning two BRIT Awards, the most rewarding highlight for Sam has been performing to live audiences.

He explained: "The big arena shows are crazy, playing to all the people that's the most important thing to me but getting into the Top Five, getting a Number Three in the singles chart was insane."

Reflecting on his second album, Seventeen Going Under that charted at Number 1, Sam said: "It's insane, every single step of the way is a bit of an overwhelming moment.

"We put so much into this record and for it to be received the way it's been received is mental and to get three [BRIT] nominations is great.

"That one hasn't sunk in at all, there hasn't been a guitar band in the Top 10 since like 2013, it was the Arctic Monkeys last time, I don't even know if they got Top Three, it's actually insane."

The chart-topper is set to play Finsbury Park on July 15, a move he still can't get his head around, he added: "I can't wait, it hasn't quite sold out yet, I mean, it's miles off anyway.

"It's about three-quarters of the way there already, which is insane, that's like 40,000 people so to even think that's even happening is completely ludicrous."

Sam became one of the first artists to perform live after the easing of lockdown restrictions in the summer of 2021 with the world's "first socially distanced gigs".

Describing getting back on stage, he said: "It was lush, we were buzzing to be on the stage and seeing people, I shielded for the first three months of lockdown so it was quite miserable, I was very much on my own in the house and seeing people via Zoom.

"Then to go from that to actually playing a show, I was ecstatic."

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