But Gary Barlow put the grief of losing his stillborn daughter Poppy to one side for the Olympics closing ceremony.
Surrounded by his Take That colleagues, the pop titan sung Rule the World ending the spectacular party to which the whole world had been invited in a majestic fashion.
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Wearing black suit with gold trimming, he sung his heart out like a true professional.
If there was any hint of the sadness that he and his wife Dawn are feeling, perhaps it was in the fact that his bandmates seemed slightly more protective of him than usual.
There was also a warm reception from fans who hailed him as "inspirational" and worthy of a knighthood.
Making his loss all the more poignant is that it comes amid a baby boom for the band.
Indeed, Robbie Williams was missing from the performance because his wife Ayda is expecting their first child any day now.
His other friend Mark Owen, announced the birth of a baby daughter two weeks ago.
Unfortunately for Gary and his family – he and his dancer wife have three children already – it was not to be.
Last week he released a statement telling fans: "Dawn and I are devastated to announce that we've lost our baby. Poppy Barlow was delivered stillborn on August 4th in London.
"Our focus now is giving her a beautiful funeral and loving our three children with all our hearts. We'd ask at this painful time that our privacy be respected."