Sir Elton John CBE (born Reginald Dwight, 25.3.1947) Elton John is an English singer and songwriter, who rose to fame in the 1970s and has continued his career over four decades.
Childhood: Elton John was born in Middlesex, in a house belonging to his mother's parents. Although his father tried to encourage him toward a conventional career, such as banking, Elton decided to pursue his musical career after leaving Pinner County Grammar School at 15.
Elton's parents were keen followers of popular music and were responsible for introducing him to the likes of Elvis Presley and Bill Haley in the 1950s.
Elton's piano playing began when he was three years old and lessons started when he was seven. Aged 11, Elton won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.
It wasn't until 1972 that he legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John.
His Musical Genesis: Aged 15, Elton (still known as Reginald Dwight) began playing piano at weekends in his local pub. He included his own compositions alongside covers of Jim Reeves as well as old pub standards such as 'Roll Out the Barrel.'
He went on to perform in hotel bars and formed a band in 1964, called Bluesology. Bluesology became a backing band for the likes of The Isley Brothers and Patti LaBelle
In 1967, Elton's relationship with Bernie Taupin began. They had both answered an ad placed in the New Musical Express, by the A&R manager of Liberty Records. Elton wrote the music to a number of Bernie's lyrics, posted them to him, and their long-lived partnership began there and then. For two years, they wrote songs for the likes of Lulu and Roger Cook as well as Britain's 1969 Eurovision entry, 'Can't Go On (Living Without You).
Eventually, the songwriting duo began writing songs for Elton to perform. In 1969, the single 'Lady Samantha' and an album, Empty Sky were released, to great reviews, but poor sales. However, the pair eventually found massive success on both sides of the Atlantic. Elton briefly retired from performing in 1976 but returned to the limelight, working again with Taupin as well as other lyricists such as Judy Tzuke and Tom Robinson.
Empty Sky (1969)
Elton John (1970)
Tumbleweed Connection (1970)
Madman Across The Water (1971)
Honky Château (1972)
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
Rock of The Westies (1975)
Blue Moves (1976)
A Single Man (1978)
Victim of Love (1979)
21 at 33 (1980)
The Fox (1981)
Jump Up! (1982)
Too Low For Zero (1983)
Breaking Hearts (1984)
Ice On Fire (1985)
Leather Jackets (1986)
Reg Strikes Back (1988)
Sleeping With The Past (1989)
The One (1992)
Duets (1993) [Featuring K.D. Lang, Kiki Dee, P.M. Dawn, Little Richard, Chris Rea, Leonard Cohen and George Michael, among others]
Made In England (1985)
The Big Picture (1997)
Songs From the West Coast (2001)
Peachtree Road (2004)
The Captain & The Kid (2006)
Personal Life: In 1976, Elton John announced, in a Rolling Stone interview that he was bisexual. On Valentine's Day, 1984, Elton married Renate Blauel, a German recording engineer, much to many people's surprise. They divorced four years later. Elton went on to renounce his bisexuality and came out as a homosexual. In 1993, Elton met David Furnish. Furnish was formerly an advertising executive, now a filmmaker. In 2005, the couple had a civil ceremony to legally bind their partnership. Their low-key wedding ceremony was followed by a lavish party at their mansion in Berkshire.
Elton John has ten godchildren, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono's son, Sean Ono Lennon, Elizabeth Hurley's son Damian Charles, Seymour Stein's daughter and David and Victoria Beckham's son, Brooklyn.
Elton has battled a number of addictions throughout his life. His rock n' roll lifestyle began to take its toll in the 1970s and he suffered a drug overdose during Los Angeles' 'Elton Week' in 1975. He is also known to have suffered from the eating disorder, bulimia. In 1999, Elton was fitted with a pacemaker. It has been reported that this was due to an irregular heartbeat.
In 2000, Elton John sued his former manager, John Reid and his accountants, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. During the case, he admitted having spent £30 million in just under two years. Evidence provided in court showed that he had spent $9.6 million on property and £293,000 on flowers between January 1996 and September 1997. Elton lost the case and was ordered to pay £8 million in legal fees.
Elton John's fortune has been estimated at £250 million, making him one of the entertainment industry's wealthiest figures, despite his excessive spending habits.
In 1976, Elton John became the chairman and director of Watford Football Club. He invested a great deal of money into the club and still holds shares in the organisation, though he is no longer the main shareholder.
Since the deaths of his friends, Freddie Mercury and Ryan White, from AIDS, Elton has been a long-time supporter of various AIDS charities. In 1986, he teamed up with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder to release 'That's What Friends Are For' (written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager). The single won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, as well as Song of The Year, for its writers.
In 1992, Elton created the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which funds research programmes seeking to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. Each year, since 2004, Elton has sold a number of his second hand clothes in a shop called 'Elton's Closet', to raise money for charity.
Elton John's ten best songs on his 74th birthday.
To celebrate his 74th birthday, we look at some of Elton John's most legendary numbers. Meanwhile, he has unveiled a few rare numbers of his own which are now on digital format for the first time: Scarecrow, Holiday Inn, Keep It a Mystery, Smokestack Children, Two of a Kind and Conquer the Sun.
Do they match up to the splendour of some of his more notable songs?
Elton John at the 2020 Oscars / Photo Credit: Anthony Behar/SIPA USA/PA Images
Continue reading: The Best Of Elton John: A Birthday Playlist For The Piano Man Himself
The 63rd Grammy Awards saw history made; not once, not twice but three times with wins for Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift setting new records.
On a night when barely anything was normal at the 63rd Grammy Awards, history was made as Beyoncé not only won four awards but also became the most decorated female artist of all time with a collective 28 awards. Beyoncé was reported to be a no show prior to the awards, much to the dismay of the organisers who had ideally wanted her to perform. However, as the evening got underway and the TV cameras panned across the room, it was something of a surprise to see both Beyoncé and Jay-Z seated at one of the socially distanced tables. Beyoncé was the big news, and the big winner on the night; her fourth award meant that she surpassed the total number of awards by a female artist, an honour previously held by Country singer Alison Krauss with 27. One of the biggest losers on the night, no doubt to the horror of Sir Elton John, was Phoebe Bridgers. Phoebe was up for four awards including Best New Artist and Best Rock Song, sadly she didn't win in any category. Elton, talking to Phoebe Bridgers on his Apple Music 1 'Rocket Hour' show ahead of the Grammy's, had said "If you don’t win at least one, I’m going to hit someone, OK?" We are yet to see whether he has! For now let's see who won what.
Put these British films about music at the top of your watch list.
There's going to be a lot of movie nights over the coming weeks as the majority of us find ourselves lawfully confined to our homes. But with lists like this, we doubt you'll find too much to complain about...
1. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Continue reading: Seven Greatest British Music Films Of All Time
What's new in the music world this week?
This week we heard Billie Eilish's Bond theme No Time To Die, pop lovers complain over Rage Against The Machine's inclusion in the Reading & Leeds line-up, and Katherine Ryan absolutely shutting down misogynistic comments from Slowthai at the NME Awards. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Hero of the Year.
Katherine Ryan at the NME Awards 2020 / Photo Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
The week's non-Spice Girls music news rounded up, including Elton John's farewell tour and the first All Points East 2019 announcements.
Aretha Franklin FILM TO BE RELEASED AFTER NEARLY 50 YEARS
A documentary film about Aretha Franklin, capturing the power of her live performances, is to see the light of day after nearly 50 years in the editing room.
Amazing Grace will premiere in New York City on Monday November 12th as part of the DOC NYC film festival. Shot by director Sydney Pollack over two nights in January 1972 at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles – the same performance that gave us the multi-million-selling live album Amazing Grace – the proposed project was beset by problems.
The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will take in 13 dates across the UK in late 2020.
Sir Elton John has finally revealed details of the UK leg of his massive Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour, announcing 13 dates around the country in November and December 2020.
71 year old Elton first announced that he would be quitting performing live back in January this year – but not before a massive 300-date world tour that won’t wrap until 2021. The impressive run kicked off in Pennsylvania back in September, but the singer had remained quiet on when the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour – so named for his famous 1973 album – until now.
On Thursday (November 8th), Sir Elton revealed that the UK leg will be commencing in almost exactly two years’ time, starting with two dates at London’s O2 Arena and winding up at Leeds First Direct Arena on December 7th 2020.
Continue reading: Elton John Announces UK Dates For Farewell Tour
People "weren't told the truth" during the 2016 referendum, Sir Elton claims.
Sir Elton John has sounded off about the ongoing painful Brexit negotiations, saying that the Leave campaign made “completely ridiculous” promises and that voters didn’t know what they were getting.
The songwriting legend was speaking to Channel 4 News on Tuesday evening (July 24th) and said that the current state of negotiations, just over two years on from the referendum back in June 2016, is like “walking through Hampton Court maze blindfolded, being turned around 16 times and trying to find your way out.”
“I don’t think people in Britain were told the truth to start with,” Elton continued. “I don’t think they knew exactly what they were voting for. They were promised something that was completely ridiculous and wasn’t economically viable.”
Continue reading: Elton John Launches Tirade Against Brexit
Ed Sheeran's ubiquity and popularity will wane eventually, Sir Elton warned when talking on George Ezra's podcast.
Ed Sheeran may be the biggest male pop star in the world right now, but his friend and mentor Sir Elton John has warned the young British singer that his fame won’t last forever, and neither will his songs be so loved.
The 71 year old pop legend was speaking about the nature of massive worldwide fame on fellow singer George Ezra’s podcast this week, and said that 27 year old Ed’s music won’t be popular forever, and that he must be prepared for that eventual downturn.
“You have a heyday and you have a rest, and the heyday can never be replaced,” Sir Elton explained about his own experiences. “After that I had the common sense to know I’m not going to have a number one every time straight away. I knew someone else would take over. It’s cyclical.”
Continue reading: Sir Elton John Warns Ed Sheeran His "Heyday" Won't Last Forever
The star is the latest to join the 'CBeebies Bedtime Stories' elite.
Sir Elton John joins an elite group of celebrity storytellers as he is selected to read the next CBeebies bedtime story. It may not seem like such a big deal, but for a family man like this legendary musician, it's a wonderful opportunity to show a side of himself usually reserved for his children.
Elton John and David Furnish at a 'Sherlock Gnomes' screening
The 71-year-old unveils his fatherly persona for the public on 'CBeebies Bedtime Stories', for which he'll read 'The Dog Detectives: Lost in London' by Fin and Zoa, illustrated by Monika Suska, next month.
Continue reading: Elton John To Read A Bedtime Story For Children's TV
The rocker said his friend's retirement announcement was "dishonest"
International singing superstar, Elton John, thrilled and saddened fans in equal measure when he announced his retirement via a three year farewell tour but his friend and contemporary, Rod Stewart, has had an interesting reaction to the revelation - and said it stinks of selling tickets.
Rod Stewart has been critical of Elton John's retirement plans
The legendary Scottish rocker appeared on Watch What Happens Live with host Andy Cohen and Cyndi Lauper and revealed he had contacted Elton after the Tiny Dancer star provided fans with information on his 300-date Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
Continue reading: Rod Stewart Criticises Elton John's Farewell Tour
Elton John performing with his band live onstage at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Elton still has a handful of European dates to play before Christmas - Friday 2nd December 2016
Sir Elton John seen alone and with David Furnish and Diana Krall arriving at his 15th annual AIDS Foundation benefit held at Cipriani Wall Street, New York, United States - Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Sir Elton John performs live at the Apple Music Festival 2016 held at Camden's Roundhouse, - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 18th September 2016
Elton John making a live performance at BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom - Sunday 11th September 2016
Caroline Rush - Tateossian London and Elton John Aids Foundation Party held at Ronnie Scott's at Ronnie Scott's - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 14th June 2015
Date of birth
25th March, 1947
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