Elton John Pays Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

03/23/2011 at 11:05 AM EDT

Elton John Pays Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor
Elton John and Elizabeth Taylor, in 2005
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage
A close friend and a longtime partner in AIDS activism, Elton John is mourning the death of Elizabeth Taylor.

"We have just lost a Hollywood giant," the singer, 63, says. "More importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."

Hospitalized for more than a month with complications from congestive heart failure, Taylor died at age 79 early Wednesday morning surrounded by her children.

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