Sir Elton John always thought his homosexuality was ''Common knowledge''.

The 65-year-old singer - who said he was bisexual in 1976 and married Renate Blauel in 1984, before confirming he was gay in 1988 - says he was ''waiting'' to be asked about his sexual preferences as it was never something he kept secret.

Asked by 'Today' host Matt Lauer why he didn't come out until he was in his 40s, he said: ''Nobody asked me. When [journalist] Cliff Jahr asked me in Rolling Stone, 'I'm gonna ask you a question, but if you don't want to answer it, I'm gonna turn the tape recorder off.'

''And I said, 'You're gonna ask me if I'm gay or not.' And he said, 'How did you know that?'

''I said, 'I've been waiting for people to ask me this. It's not exactly a secret. I live with my manager. I'm openly gay outside. I don't have a girlfriend. And nobody's ever actually out - I just thought it was common knowledge.' ''

Elton - who has an 18-month-old son, Zachary, with partner David Furnish - insists he never hid his sexuality for the sake of his career because he didn't think it would affect it, though he found his belief was wrong.

He added: ''I honestly didn't [think it would hurt my career]. And, to be honest with you, it did a little bit. In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn't play me.''