Sir Elton John

Elton John live, 1975
Elton John live, 1975 (via Wikipedia) by tony morelli at

Sir Elton John (1947- ) is a British pop music star.

Elton John’s original name was Reginald Kenneth Dwight. Born in Pinner, Middlesex, Reginald played songs by ear on the piano at the age of 4 and took formal training at the Royal Academy of Music when 11.

As Elton John, his collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin flowered in the 1970’s with chart toppers like ‘Your Song’, ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Daniel’, ‘Honky Cat’, ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.’

With a keen interest in Rugby, Elton at one time owned a British Football Club, eventually selling his shares to become its Life President.

He apparently began life as a shy person. Most biographers say his glamorous 1970’s stage image compensated for his inherent sensitivity. Others suggest he was hiding behind various – at that time outlandish – costumes and wigs while fighting an inner battle with drug addiction.

Likely both factors came into play. Elton apparently came close to suicide, at which time the journeyman musician Long John Baldry convinced him to quit drugs (‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’).

After achieving international stardom, Elton publicly admitted to being bisexual, an admission that hurt his career for a while. But despite scathing comments from the press, he kept making albums. These didn’t do quite as well commercially until a comeback in 1992 with the album The One.

His remake of ‘Candle in the Wind’, performed with revised lyrics at Princess Diana‘s funeral, was the largest selling single in history one month after its release (The original 1973 song was about Marilyn Monroe).

He continues in the spotlight as an artist and icon for gay liberation, particularly since his much publicized same sex marriage to a long-time companion. Like Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, he was knighted by the Queen of England in 1998 for  “services to music and charitable services.” However, he’s shown marked distaste for organized religion.

More recently, Sir Elton John seems comfortable not having his new singles on the top 10 charts. He says his approach to making cds is more about an album concept instead of going for a hit. In other words, a slow burn instead of fireworks.


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