Elton John was a big fan of Jay-Z before, but now he has all the respect in the world for the rapper after the emcee stated publicly that he was pro-gay marriage.

John, who has been making the rounds promoting his latest book, told MSNBC (via Contact Music), that he called the rapper personally to thank him for making the statement.

John explained, "Jay-Z, who's probably the most respected African-American artist, came out and said not only is it wrong to not have gay marriage, but any discrimination in life is wrong. It was an incredibly moving statement."

The vocalist added, "I phoned him up in England and said, 'You have no idea what you've just said, how powerful this is.' The African-American society were a little apprehensive about this all along and when you get someone who is a role model like Jay-Z to come out and say this … I take my hat off to him and I respect him so much for doing that. When I next see him, I'm going to give him the biggest hug."

Jay-Z's statement came back in May while he was endorsing President Obama's stance on the legalization of same-sex unions. At the time, he stated, "What people do in their own homes is their business … It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple."