25 March 1947: Birthday of– Elton John, English singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor (Source)

Elton John attending the premiere of The Union at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2011. – Author: David Shankbone (Source)

Sir Elton Hercules John CH CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947)[2] is an English singer, pianist and composer. Collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967, John is one of the most successful artists of all time, having sold over 300 million records in a six decade career in music.[3][4][5][6] He is acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his work during the 1970s, and his lasting impact on the music industry. John’s music and showmanship have had a significant impact on popular music. His songwriting partnership with Taupin is one of the most successful in history.[7]

Raised in the Pinner area of Greater London, John learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology, a blues band with whom he played until 1967. He met his longtime musical partner Taupin in 1967, after they both answered an advert for songwriters. For two years, they wrote songs for other artists, and John worked as a session musician for artists.[8][9] In 1969, John’s debut album, Empty Sky, was released.[10] In 1970, he formed the Elton John Band and released his first hit single, “Your Song“, which became his first top ten in both the UK and the US. John’s critical success was at its peak in the 1970s, when he released a streak of chart-topping albums in the US and UK, which began with Honky Château (1972) and culminated with Rock of the Westies (1975).[11] John continued his success in the 1980s and 1990s, having several hit singles and albums in both decades, and has continued to record new music since then.[12][13][14][15] John began collaborating with other musicians in the 1970s and early 1980s, including John Lennon, Kiki Dee, Stevie Wonder and George Michael[16], and in recent years has collaborated with several younger artists like Pnau, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa.[17] John has also had success in musical films and theatre, composing music for The Lion King and its stage adaptation, The Road to El Dorado, Aida and Billy Elliot the Musical. In 2018, John began his ongoing farewell tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road. His life and music career was dramatised in the 2019 biopic Rocketman. While not appearing in his own biopic, John has made cameos in other films and television shows.[18][19]

Outside of music, John is an HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser, and has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s.[20][21][22] Following the deaths of Ryan White and Freddie Mercury, John established the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, and a year later he began hosting his annual Foundation Academy Awards Party, which has since become one of the biggest high-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over £300 million.[23] John owned Watford F.C. from 1976 to 1987 and again from 1997 to 2002, and is an honorary life president of the club.[24][25] John announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988. He entered into a civil partnership with Canadian filmmaker David Furnish in 2005; they married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014.[26]

John is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 300 million records worldwide. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including nine number ones in the UK and nine in the US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US.[27][28] His 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and his 1974 Greatest Hits compilation album are among the official best-selling albums worldwide.[29] His tribute single “Candle in the Wind 1997“, a rewritten version of his 1974 single in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling chart single of all time.[30][31][32] According to Billboard in 2019, John is the top solo artist in US chart history (third overall), and the top Adult Contemporary artist of all time.[33][34] In 2021, John became the first solo artist with UK Top 10 singles across six decades.[35][36][37]

John has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards; including for Outstanding Contribution to Music; two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 49th on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era.[38] He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music and charitable services in 1998.[39] French President Emmanuel Macron presented John with France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’honneur, in 2019, and called John a “melodic genius” and praised his work on behalf of the LGBT community. (Source)

Leave a Reply