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.
With sales revenue of $685,000 per show it's not only Adele's fans that are devastated that they're no longer going ahead
Adele was an emotional wreck when she recently announced the cancellation of her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace just hours before it was due to begin. The three month long stint at the world famous Caesars Palace would have been one of the biggest shows to take place there in recent years. Adele, still dominating the charts with her fourth album - 30, was clearly distraught when she told fans that the shows would not go ahead as planned because her 'Weekends With...' event simply, "just wasn't ready".
Taking the Rolling In The Deep singers's place at very short notice will be Country star Keith Urban. Following Urban on stage will be former Police frontman Sting and then aging rocker Rod Stewart leaving some to speculate that Adele has missed her opportunity. The stage set for Weekends With... has already been taken down and dismantled and although there is speculation that the event is merely postponed there is also just as much speculation that Adele will never return.
Continue reading: Casino Residencies: From Liberace To J.Lo Or Aerosmith To Adele, They're An Odds-on Money Spinning Certainty
As the summer ended and Fall arrived, some great new releases dropped
In a month that saw 18 year old qualifier Emma Raducanu win the coveted U.S Women's Open Tennis Championship without even dropping a set, Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United and got off to a flying start as he netted five precious goals. Boris Johnson and his cabinet dropped the ball altogether over Afghanistan, failed to predict fuel shortages at forecourts and did little to allay fears that everything would be fine by Christmas as he desperately reshuffled his cabinet. As he continued his long running spat with Kanye West, Drake released his sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy and Lana Del Rey quite all social media platforms citing other "jobs", "privacy and transparency". Global Citizen put on a spectacular 24 hour show - 'A Recovery Plan for the World', with the aim of ending CoVID19, curbing the hunger crisis, resumption of learning for everyone, advancing equity for all and protecting the planet. Amongst those who performed on the five world stages was Sir Elton, who, as it happens, appears in two of the five releases we have selected for September.
Lil Nas X - Montero.
Continue reading: September 2021 Favourites: A Stunning Array Of More Than 60 Artists Feature In Our Pick Of The Top 5 New Releases From September
The 2021 BRIT's was a spectacular event that delivered some great performances and saw some very worthy winners.
With a great deal of excitement, a lot of relief and some anxiousness, the biggest night on the UK's musical calendar went ahead as the BRIT's 2021 celebrated the stars and artists that have made the biggest impact in music over the last year. As part of the Government's pilot scheme to get events back up and running safely the O2 once again hosted the BRIT's, not in front of the usual 20,000 fans and invited guests, but in front of an audience made up of 2,500 care workers and 1,500 music industry related others, with each of them having had to provide a negative CoVID test.
Taylor Swift at the 2021 BRIT AWARDS - Photo Credit, Ian West, PA Images.
Jack Whitehall was back again, hosting the first major event at the O2 since March 2020. After a brief Line Of Fire themed intro, Foreplay, aka Coldplay, were first up performing their brand new track, Higher Power, on a floating barge in the Thames opposite the arena. With holograms and pyrotechnics galore Chris and his band lit up the night sky to get the show off to a suitably stellar start.
Continue reading: The BRIT Awards 2021: In No Particular Order, The Winners Are.....
We remember the iconic songs that came before Fight for You.
The 93rd Academy Awards night saw some well-deserved movies winning gongs including Nomadland for Best Picture and Best Director, and The Father for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as Fight for You from Judas and the Black Messiah winning Best Original Song.
Performed by H.E.R., Fight for You is a poweful song reflecting the importance of the themes within the Fred Hampton biopic; those of systemic racism, and an injustice at the hands of cops that survives more than 50 years on from when the movie is set.
Continue reading: A Look Back At Some Of The Greatest Best Original Song Oscar Winners
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.
Continue reading: The Grammy Awards 2021: Beyoncé Wins Four But Sir Elton John Might Still Hit Someone
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
Continue reading: Weekly Music Highlights: Billie Eilish Slays With Bond Theme, Katherine Ryan Rocks The NME Awards And There's Rage Against RATM
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.
Continue reading: Music News Round-Up: Elton John UK Tour Dates, Long-Lost Aretha Franklin Film And Vampire Weekend Album Four
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
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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