Sir Elton John blasts 'inequality' during World Economic Forum speech

British music star Sir Elton John addressed delegates at the World Economic Forum after receiving a Crystal Award.

British singer Sir Elton John delivers a speech after receiving a Crystal Award from the hands of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Chairperson and Co-Founder during a ceremony ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 annual meeting. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Sir Elton John hit out at "disgraceful" inequality as he collected an award at the World Economic Forum for raising awareness of human rights issues.

The 70-year-old music icon - who founded the Elton John Foundation, which funds programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention, in 1992 - joined actress Cate Blanchett and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan in receiving a Crystal Award at the annual meeting in Switzerland.

Addressing the delegates in Davos on Monday, Sir Elton said: "The world needs to be changed - the inequality in the world is, to be honest, disgraceful."

The chart-topping singer also admitted that his philanthropic work has actually given him more joy than his career achievements.

He told the conference - which is attended by executives, politicians and celebrities - that they should "never turn a blind eye to suffering".

He continued: "You've all made it, baby. But what are you making? What worth does it have if it does not strengthen the bonds of humanity? If we are not seeking to change the world for the better through our work, what is the point of coming here? Yes, there is glory perhaps, fame and prestige. There is wealth, too. But for what?

"Good work gives you something bigger than fame, richer than wealth, finer even than prizes."

Despite this, Sir Elton said that his fame ultimately led him to develop an interest in philanthropy.

He shared: "Passion led me into some very dark places. I wasn't a great person for a long time. I lost my humanity, my connection and my respect for myself."

But, the musician- who stages an annual fundraiser at his home in Windsor in England - added: "I wanted to reconnect, I wanted to be a decent person."