Sir Elton John has taken a staggering $120 million financial hit after coronavirus forced him to cancel his farewell tour.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the singer and partner David Furnish have been left "bereft" as they had anticipated the cash would see him into his retirement.
It is understood that Elton, 73, is unlikely to receive any insurance payout for the losses.
The cancellation of the tour has even resulted in his long-serving band – including guitarist Davey Johnstone and drummer Nigel Olsson – being laid off until it becomes clear if concerts scheduled for later this year will take place.
A number of the domestic staff at the star's $39m home in the US city of Atlanta have also been told they are not needed.
Elton and Furnish, 58, last week flew back to Britain from Los Angeles on a private jet. Despite being worth an estimated $716m, according to the recent Sunday Times Rich List, Elton is now thought to be assessing if he will need to make further savings and, if so, where.
Thirty-four US dates of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour have so far been cancelled or postponed, and it is increasingly likely that some or all of the 48 gigs scheduled from September to December will also be affected.
The financial impact meant Elton considered using the Government's furlough scheme to pay staff at his London-based company, Rocket Entertainment.
Employees were initially told they would receive 80 per cent of their salaries from the scheme set up by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, but the singer then decided he would meet the cost from his own pocket.
"The tour was forecast to make over $120m this year. That revenue has literally disappeared overnight," said a source close to the veteran entertainer. "Nobody expected this."
The touring concert business has literally ground to a halt and will be one of the very last businesses to return to operations.
With no vaccine or effective treatment on the horizon, the worst-case scenario is that it could be 2021 before the tour is up and running again.
Elton is famous for his lavish spending. In 2000, it was claimed that he had splashed out $79m in just 20 months, including $583,000 on flowers.
He has properties in the US, France and Britain and also owns a $42 million yacht – Wabi Sabi – which sleeps up to 18 guests in eight plush rooms, each with its own en suite. It also has room for 18 crew.
Last summer Elton and Furnish entertained the Beckham family while the yacht was docked in the South of France.
The effect of Covid-19 on Elton's tour is likely to hit his ranking in next year's Sunday Times Rich List, which this year saw him rise from equal 399th to equal 363rd in the list of the UK's wealthiest people.
According to compilers, his fortune rose by $79 million – from $636 million to $716 million.