Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (unsuccessfully) as lead singer for the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Gentle Giant. Dwight teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin and changed his name to Elton John (merging the names of saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry). The duo wrote songs for Lulu and Roger Cook. In the early 1970s, he recorded the concept album "Tumbleweed Connection." He became the most successful pop artist of the 1970s, and he has survived many different pop fads including punk, the New Romantics and Britpop to remain one of Britain's most internationally acclaimed musicians.
Elton John announced he was a bisexual in 1976, and in 1984, he married Renate Blauel. The marriage lasted four years before he finally came to terms with the fact that he was actually homosexual. In the 1970s and 1980s, he suffered from drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia but came through it. He is well known as a campaigner for AIDS research and he keeps his finger on the pulse of modern music, enjoying artists such as Eminem, Radiohead, Coldplay and Robbie Williams. He was knighted in 1997.
|David Furnish||(21 December 2005 - present) 1 child|
|Renate Blauel||(14 February 1984 - 18 November 1988) (divorced)|
Outrageous costumes and spectacles
Earring on right ear
Rich Falsetto Voice
Gap between His teeth
1979: He was the first Western rock star to perform in Israel and the USSR.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1996 and awarded Knighthood of the British Empire in the 1998 Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to music and fund-raising for AIDS charities.
Grammy award winning singer.
Changed his name legally to Elton Hercules John. He chose the middle name "Hercules" not after the hero of mythology, but after the horse named Hercules on the British sitcom "Steptoe and Son" (1962).
1995: Awarded the Polar Music Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Award.
1992: Decided that all profits from his singles would be donated to AIDS charities and formed the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The foundation has become one of the world's largest nonprofit AIDS organizations.
At age 11, entered the Royal Academy of Music, but quit just before graduation to pursue a rock career.
He was twice a former Chairman of Watford Football Club.
1994: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He was a friend of the late rock singer Freddie Mercury and performed at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.
Reformed drug addict, alcoholic and bulimic.
Christmas hits: "Step into Christmas" (1973) and "Cold as Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)" (1983).
Dusty Springfield sang backing vocals on his song "The Bitch is Back".
His song "Philadelphia Freedom" was a tribute to tennis star Billie Jean King.
1976: Covered The Who's "Pinball Wizard", for the film Tommy (1975); in the film, he is shown performing the song while playing a pinball machine integrated with a miniature piano keyboard. To date (2010), this is the only cover of a Who song to break the top 10. As a tongue-in-cheek "revenge", on the 1991 Elton John/Bernie Taupin tribute album "Two Rooms", The Who contributed a cover of the song "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting", performed as if it were a Who composition.
His hit "Song for Guy" was a tribute to Guy Burchett, Rocket Records messenger who was killed in a motorcycle accident.
His song "Empty Garden" is a tribute to John Lennon.
Stevie Wonder played harmonica on his song "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues".
His song "Act of War" was a duet with Millie Jackson.
Sang a duet with Cliff Richard called "Slow Rivers".
Duet with Jennifer Rush: "Flames of Paradise".
Duet with Aretha Franklin: "Through the Storm".
Duet with Eric Clapton: "Runaway Train".
1991: Had a UK #1 with his live duet with George Michael, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".
Has played the piano since he was four years old.
1974: During one of his concerts at Madison Square Garden, John Lennon joined him on stage to perform three songs. This was part of a bet that if Lennon's song "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" went to #1, he would join Elton on stage. This proved to be Lennon's last on-stage performance.
Started wearing glasses to copy one of his idols, Buddy Holly. After a while, his eyes adjusted to the lenses and he's worn glasses ever since.
Long-time collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Duets he sang with Kiki Dee are "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "True Love".
Is a co-owner of the chic Sunset Strip restaurant Le Dome in Hollywood.
1994: Re-recorded his 1976 hit "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", this time as a duet with RuPaul.
The song "You Can Make History (Young Again)" was a tribute to fashion designer Gianni Versace.
Sang the duet "Donner Pour Donner" in French with singer France Gall.
His parents, Sheila and Stanley Dwight, divorced when he was young. His mother then married Fred Farebrother, whom Elton affectionately dubbed 'Derf.'
Covered the Kiki Dee song "Sugar on the Floor".
Covered the Queen song "The Show Must Go On".
Covered the John Lennon song "Give Peace a Chance" on his four-CD boxed set "To Be Continued...".
Gave friend Rod Stewart the nickname "Phyllis".
Likes Indian food.
Duet with Luciano Pavarotti: "Live Like Horses".
2/6/04: Attended the special dinner at Sony Studios in Los Angeles to honor singer and activist Sting as MusiCares 2004's Person of the Year. The evening celebrated Sting's contribution to popular music, honored his charitable work with Amnesty International and the Rainforest Foundation. Other stars in attendance included Kylie Minogue and Dido.
His song "On Dark Street" features back-up vocals by Kiki Dee.
His song "All the Young Girls Love Alice" is a tribute to Alice Cooper.
Stated once in the 1970s that if he ever had a daughter, he would name her "Umbrella".
Auditioned for the lead vocalist spot in the band King Crimson but was turned down.
2000: Nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award (1999 season) for Best New Musical for "The Lion King" at the Lyceum Theatre.
7/99: Had a pacemaker fitted to correct an irregular heartbeat following an episode of angina on an airplane.
1/87: Underwent laser surgery to remove nodules from his vocal chords in Australia. This followed a televised concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in which his voice sounded noticeably rough. In 2004 he admitted this problem had been caused by smoking too many drugs, including marijuana.
2001: Declared that "Songs from the West Coast" would be his final studio album, and thereafter he would concentrate on just live performances. In 2004, however, he released a new album, "Peachtree Road", which despite some favorable reviews flopped in every country it was released in.
1976 song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" was about his real life suicide attempt.
He was voted the 49th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Sang a duet with Luciano Pavarotti called "Live Like Horses".
Covered the John Lennon song "Give Peace a Chance" on his four-CD boxed set "To Be Continued...".
1/17/97: Covered the Queen song "The Show Must Go On" at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris, for the gala opening night of "Le Presbytere n'a rien perdu de son charme ni le jardin de son eclat", a moving work inspired by the premature deaths of Freddie Mercury and the company's principal dancer Jorge Donn.
1991: Had a UK #1 hit with his live duet with George Michael, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".
One of his all-time favorite singers is Country Music Hall-Of-Fame legend "Gentleman" Jim Reeves (1923-1964). Reportedly he once considered recording Reeves' mega-hit (on both Pop and Country Charts) "He'll Have To Go" (1960), but decided he couldn't possibly top Reeves' version.
Registered his civil partnership with long-term partner David Furnish at Windsor Town Hall on December 21, 2005, the first day that civil unions were legal in England and Wales. The ceremony was performed by Registrar Clair Williams, who also presided over the union between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.
1991: Winner of the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
1986: Winner of the British Phonographic Industry award for Outstanding Contribution.
2002: Presented (along with musical partner Bernie Taupin) with the Music Industry Trusts' Award for his outstanding contribution to the British music industry.
As of March 2006, he has 10 godchildren.
Estimated in 2006 to have sold 250 million albums during his career.
In the Independent of Sunday 2006 Pink List - a list of the most influential gay men and women - he came no. 2, down from no. 1.
1995: Winner of the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution. Having previously won the award in 1986, he became the first person to win the award twice as a solo artist, a record which still stands in 2008.
His 1994 album "The Lion King" sold 15 million copies in the United States.
Sang a song with Tupac Shakur called "Ghetto Gospel".
Helped compose the single 'I Don't Like Dancin' with The Scissor Sisters.
2004: Winner of the Q Classic Songwriter Award.
Started piano lessons at age four, and showed promise as a musician at an early age.
Sang in his first and only concert in Puerto Rico in the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot on April 28th 2007.
1992: Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Plays Yamaha concert grand pianos. Yamaha have also produced the Elton John Limited Edition Signature Series Red Piano, based on his Vegas show, The Red Piano.
Names The Beatles as a major musical inspiration and became friends with all the members of the band.
Ranked #17 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine reported his earnings to be approximately $53 million for the year.
Raised $2.5m for Hillary Rodham Clinton's US presidential campaign with a concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Won Broadway's Tony Award for Best Musical "Billy Elliot" for which he composed the music and Lee Hall wrote the Book and Lyrics.
Won a Tony for Original Musical Score in 2000 alongside Tim Rice for their work on "Aida". He was also nominated in the same category in 1998 for the musical version of The Lion King (1994) (alongside Tim Rice, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer) and in 2009 for the musical version of Billy Elliot (2000) alongside Lee Hall.
Collaborated with Kiki Dee at Cherokee Studios for a duet "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1976. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" was also his first No. 1 single in the UK, topping the chart for six weeks in mid 1976. It also became his sixth No. 1 single in the US, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.
The Sunday Times List estimated his net worth at $287 million. 
He has had at least one charted Billboard hit every year from 1970-2009.
Lives in London, United Kingdom, Nice, France and Atlanta, Georgia.
Merited a position in Time magazine's - The 100 Most Influential People in the World ("Artists" category) - with an homage penned by Stephen Daldry. [May 10, 2010]
His son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, with partner David Furnish, was born via surrogate on 25 December 2010.
A guest at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert.
Elton and his partner David Furnish welcomed their second son Elijah Joseph Daniel on Friday January 11, 2013.
When he was still a session musician, Elton played piano on British band The Hollies' 1969 smash hit, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", for which he was paid £12.
I haven't made a good album in a long while. Not since 1976 and Blue Moves.
[After being asked about his sexuality in the 1970s]: I think people should be free to engage in any sexual practices they choose; they should draw the line at goats, though.
Nowadays, record companies want the quick buck from the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, S Club 7, Steps. They've always been around, I'm not knocking the music perhaps, but it's like packets of cereal. There are too many of them, too many of them are just mediocre. And I think it damages real people's chance, real talent, of getting airplay. It's just fodder.
There's so much you're expected to do and you follow a pattern. You make a record, you do a video. I like to break the rules a little bit more and I did in the 1970s, I should try a little bit more now.
[About Madonna]: Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay £75 to see them should be shot. That's me off her Christmas card list. But do I give a toss? No.
[After breaking his fingernails by playing so hard]: If I had one finger left, I'd play for you.
[About Live 8 (2005) (TV)]: I thought it was a bit of an anti-climax, to be honest. The thought behind it was fantastic, but Hyde Park is a charisma-free zone. There was no sense of occasion and from a musical point, I didn't think there were too many highlights. I was very pleased to be a part of it, but I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the first one. How could it be?
[on his unsuccessful 2004 studio album, "Peachtree Road"]: It is probably one of my lowest-selling albums of all time. It was disappointing everywhere in the world, so I have to hold my hands up and accept that the songs just didn't connect. I'm proud of "Peachtree", but, if I think about it logically, people may have ten or twelve Elton John albums in their collection already. Do they need another one?
I had a hell of a time last year  and this is the end of it. I haven't spoken to Madonna since. She's been in Kabbalah meetings ever since. I don't think I'll ever be forgiven for that one. Then I had the George Michael-thing and the Victoria Beckham-thing. I will keep my mouth shut now.
[on performing at the Colosseum in 2005]: I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life, I love the food, I love the people, I love the attitudes of Italians.
[About his marriage to Renate Blauel]: I regret it to this day because I was not honest with Renate. I married her while I knew that my truth was different. I find her a beautiful woman, she could have ruined me financially but she hasn't done that. That is what I call true friendship.
I've always wanted to smash a guitar over someone's head. You just can't do that with a piano.
The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star.
My voice has gotten deeper and it's all down to when I was living in Australia. I could speak and only barely sing. Deep down I knew that something was chronically wrong with my voice. It was polyps. The first thing the doctor said to me, "You smoke a lot of dope, don't you?" I gasped and said, "How do you know?" The doctor said, "I can tell by the way you're talking. If you're a singer, the worse thing you can do is smoke dope." We did the operation in Australia and it lowered the timbre of my voice. It's deeper, has more resonance and it's stronger. I used to be a piano player who sang and now I'm a singer who plays piano.
[November 2004] I've never lived in a time so vexing. I just want to scream. It's a nightmare. Bush [George W. Bush] and this administration are the worst thing that's ever happened to America. I'm just as angry at Tony Blair. You lied to us, Tony. It was like - these idiots think they can get away with anything! I voted for Tony. He's basically a nice guy. What happened? Is it because power does that thing to you, that you isolate yourself? It enrages me that people can just smirk their way through it.
If I was to say what I am, I'd be a Labour man. I like Tony Blair a lot, I think he's a good man. And in America I'd definitely be a Democrat; I'd never be a Republican. One government all the time isn't great for a country. I think it's very hard to be in power for a long time, I think you lose touch. If Cameron [David Cameron] can bring a strong opposition to the Labour Party, then I think it's healthy and I'm all for it.
Every artist who makes it goes through a period where it seems they're invincible. We've seen it with Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Prince. It just seems like they can't fail. And then suddenly everything levels off. I knew it when it started happening to me. I was really tired, I knew I was peaking. I knew it was time for someone else to take over. You have to be realistic about these things.
I want to bring my songs and melodies to hip-hop beats. It may be a disaster, it could be fantastic, but you don't know until you try.
I've dodged so many bullets. Not just because of unsafe sex, but because of the amount of drugs I did, the amount of alcohol, the amount of work I was doing. I started the Elton John AIDS Foundation because I got so lucky.
I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays. But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion. From my point of view I would ban religion completely. Organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate ... The world is near escalating to World War Three and where are the leaders of each religion? Why aren't they having a conclave? Why aren't they coming together? I said this after 9/11 and people thought I was nuts. Instead of more violence why isn't there a meeting of religious leaders? It's like the peace movement in the Sixties. Musicians got through to people by getting out there and doing peace concerts but we don't seem to do them any more. If John Lennon were alive today he'd be leading it with a vengeance. They seem to do their protesting on-line and that's not good enough. You have to get out there and be seen to be vocal, and you've got to do it time and time again. There was a big march in London when Britain decided to join the war against Iraq and Tony Blair is on the record as saying 'the people who march today will have blood on their hands'. That's returned to bite him on the ass. People come to me and I'm a bit like the Queen Mother. I never get those problems. I don't know what it is with me, people treat me very reverently. It was the same when Dave and I had our civil union - I was expecting the odd flour bomb and there wasn't. Dave and I as a couple seem to be the acceptable face of gayness, and that's great. I'm going to fight for them whether I do it silently behind the scenes or so vocally that I get locked up. I can't just sit back - it's not in my nature any more. I'm nearly sixty years old after all. I can't sit back and blindly ignore it and I won't.
[about Dusty Springfield] Hers was the first fan club I belonged to. I had pictures of Dusty all over my walls.
I have no one to leave the money to. I'm a single man. I like spending my money.
[after it was revealed he had spent £293,000 on flowers in less than two years] Yes, I like flowers.
[in 2007] In the early '70s there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. Now you're lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality. And there are more albums released each week now than there were then.
I am such a Luddite when it comes to making music. All I can do is write at the piano.
[in 2007] The Internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff. Instead, they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn't bode well for long-term artistic vision. It's just a means to an end. We're talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that's not going to happen with people blogging on the Internet. I mean, get out there - communicate. Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the Internet. Let's get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging. I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole Internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span. There's too much technology available. I'm sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today.
I didn't have sex until I was 23 and that was with a man. I made up for lost time after that in a hurry. I wish I could have had sex when I was, like, 14, 15 or 16 because that's such an exciting age to have sex.
There's a lot of Liberace in me and as a gay artist as such, but I am an openly gay man. A lot of my audience is the same kind of audience that Liberace would have had and they didn't seem to give a shit. I think that's so great.
There is no-one more qualified to lead America. I'm amazed by the misogynistic attitudes of some of the people in this country, and I say to hell with them. I love you Hillary, I'll be there for you. (On Hillary Rodham Clinton)
Some people don't get hyped enough, people like David Ackles, who could well be hyped as much as I've been. But once you're successful, they're going to try to get as much hype going as possible.
"The X Factor" (2004) is a cruise ship show. I've got nothing against the people who go on - good luck to them. But I hate how they're treated. They're given an awful sense of stardom and pressure straight away but they're only successful until the next series. The record companies sell a lot of records and those people are gone. It's cruel. Will Young is the best thing that's ever come out of those shows. He has proved himself. But it's no way to find talent. I want to hear new songwriters, people who are creating their own stuff, not just singing my songs every week.
An overview of my career is usually ... glasses ... homosexuality ... Watford Football Club ... tantrums ... flowers. But the music was pretty phenomenal, y'know.
Fame attracts lunatics. Princess Diana, Gianni Versace, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, all dead. Two of them shot outside their houses. None of this would have happened if they hadn't been famous. I never had a bodyguard, ever, until Gianni died.
Look, I'm 63, I don't want to be on VH1 or MTV. I'm not going to compete with JLS or Lady Gaga. I'm at that stage where I don't think I can write pop music any more. I can't sit down and do a proper rock song. It was OK when I was 25 or 26, but not any more. I like to do my little side projects like Scissor Sisters and have fun, but I don't think Elton John will be putting any pop singles out.
They influenced me just from the songwriting point of view. Lennon (John Lennon) and McCartney (Paul McCartney) - there's no question of it, no one will ever equal the quality of the songs they wrote. Forget Rodgers (Richard Rodgers) and Hammerstein ('Oscar Hammerstein (II)'), people will probably say 'Well, come on', but for the amount of songs they wrote, those two people were the finest songwriters of this century by far. (On The Beatles)
Everyone makes all the money off "The X Factor" (2004) and sells the records but it's the cart before the horse. What's the psychological damage going to be when you've humped and dumped them, and the next one comes along? They're a bit like products, to be honest with you. They're products, and the record comes out at Christmas, and it's always No.1, and then what happens next year? Why aren't they touring? Who's managing these people?
I've had the privilege to hear it as she played it to me last year. It's phenomenal and will be absolutely huge. You can't stop her - she's a freight train, she's a great writer and a great performer. (On "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga)
Bar none, Rod's the best singer I've heard in rock'n'roll. (On Rod Stewart)
I'm so sad. This woman was the queen of disco and so much more. Her records sound as good today as they ever did. That she has never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace, especially when I see the second-rate talent that has been inducted. She is a great friend to me and to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will miss her greatly. (On Donna Summer)
By all rights, I shouldn't be here. I should be dead, six feet under, in a wooden box. I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddie Mercury, Rock Hudson and many friends and loved ones. (In 2012)
[on Freddie Mercury] One of my very closest friends, a man whom I loved dearly, and a man who was loved by millions of people around the world. Freddie told me he had AIDS soon after he was diagnosed in 1987. I was devastated. I'd seen what the disease had done to so many of my other friends. I knew exactly what it was going to do to Freddie. As did he. He knew death, agonizing death, was coming. But Freddie was incredibly courageous. He kept up appearances, he kept performing with Queen, and he kept being the funny, outrageous, and profoundly generous person he had always been.
(On "How Deep Is Your Love" by The Bee Gees) It's a great kick to see a song stay silent for a while and then a new generation of people pick up on it and think it's great. That happened with the Take That cover and will happen to the Bee Gees again and again. They have written some of the greatest pop songs ever.
There was no question: I was going to change, or I was going to die. And I desperately wanted to change. I remember many days when I would sit alone in my room, drinking, using, binging, listening to Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush sing "Don't Give Up" over and over, weeping at the chorus. I was falling further down the rabbit hole with every gram of cocaine. But I couldn't - or, I should say, wouldn't - ask for help. Many people in my life suffered through my rage, my denial, my refusal to listen. I was an asshole and knew I had a problem.
(February 2004) Is at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas performing 75 shows over the next three years. His show is called, "The Red Piano" and was directed and created by photographer David LaChapelle.
(April 2007) In Puerto Rico for his 1st concert there!!
(December 2007) Has just performed his Rocket Man solo tour in Launceston, Tasmania - Australia
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