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Elton John dedicates Beijing concert to Ai Weiwei

Sir Elton John has caused controversy in China by dedicating his own concert in Beijing to political critic Ai Weiwei.

The announcement, minutes into his performance, is said to have sent a murmur of shock throughout the audience as Ai remains a touchy subject for the Chinese government.

Elton John performs during his concert in Beijing, which he dedicated to Ai Weiwei. Credit: Press Association

The two men met before the gig and Ai tweeted: “I super like him.”

Audience members reported that Sir Elton told the crowd that the concert was dedicated "to the spirit and talent of Ai Weiwei".

The sculptor and installation artist, who has used his art to draw attention to social injustice, was detained for nearly three months last year and he remains barred from leaving China.