BIRTH: March 25, 1947,
Pinner, Middlesex, England
Elton Hercules John is a British singer, pianist and composer. His 1997 single, Candle in the Wind”, sold millions of copies worldwide. It was first performed at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. In 1998, Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He has had seven consecutive U.S. number one albums. He has also had success in Broadway shows.
Elton John was born as Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25th March, 1947 at Pinner, Middle- sex, England. His father, Stanley Dwight, was a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force. His mother, Sheila Eileen, was a homemaker. She brought records and introduced him to rock music. At the age of four, he used to play the piano on his own. He got a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music at the age of eleven. In 1962, he joined a band named Bluesology with his friends. He changed his name to Elton John to honor two of
the band’s members. John added Hercules as his middle name later on.
In 1967, he collaborated with Bernie Taupin after answering an ad looking for a songwriter for Liberty Records. Their first song together was “Scarecrow”. Both of the artists switched to DJM label in 1968 where they wrote songs for other artists. John and Taupin released their first album in 1969 called ‘Empty Sky’ which failed to garner much interest. It was Elton John’s second album that gained him international success. Its single, “Your Song”, was number four in the US Billboard 200. His song “Crocodile Rock” was
the first one to reach the US Billboard Hot 100.
His other hit singles include “Daniel”, “Bennie and the Jets” and “Island Girl”. His top selling albums are ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ (1973) and ‘Rock of the Westies’ (1975).
In 1973, John founded The Rocket Record Company. In the 1970s, seven of his albums were number one in the music charts. John did a duetsingle, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, with Kiki Dee in 1976. His 1990 single, “Sacrifice”, was number one in the UK charts. It was his first solo UK hit. He wrote songs for the Disney movie The Lion King with Tim Rice in 1994. It was also adapted to Broadway in 1997. Elton John won his first Academy Award in 1995 for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the movie.
In 1997, he performed “Candle in the Wind” at the funeral of Princess Diana. This song sold over thirty million records all around the world. It is one of the World’s Best-Selling singles in Billboard history. It is Platinum certified in the United States. John and Tim Rice collaborated again to give music to the stage musical Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida (later, revised as Aida). It premiered on Broadway in 2000. It was awarded a Tony Award for Best Original Score.
Elton got his fifth UK number one with the song “Are You Ready for Love” in 2003. In 2016, he released
his 32nd and last album, ‘Wonderful Crazy.
John has won five Grammy Awards as well as Brit Awards. In 1994, he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted to Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992. He was honored with a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1975. In 2000, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Science credited John’s charity work by honoring him as Person of the Year. Rolling Stone magazine included John Elton in the 49th position in the list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time’. He received his first Brits
Icon Award in 2013.
In the 1980s, John Elton was involved in campaigns associated with AIDS awareness. All the profits from his 1986 single “That’s What Friends Are For” were donated to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. This song was a joint venture with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder. The song also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals’. John also founded his charitable foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. John also supports arts
organizations such as the Globe Theatre and the Royal Academy of Music.
John married Renate Blauel in 1984. They got a divorce four years later in 1988. He came out as
homosexual in 1988, and started dating David Furnish in 1993. The Civil Partnership Act was enforced in 2005. This couple was amongst the first to get a civil partnership in the UK. They had two children by surrogacy. On 21st December, 2014, John and Fisher got married, as gay marriage was announced to be lawful in Britain.