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Elton John
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Elton John

Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born March 25, 1947), is a British pop singer, composer and musician, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex. He was educated at the Royal Academy of Music, to which he won a scholarship at the age of 11.

Working in a band called Bluesology throughout the mid to late 1960s, Dwight changed his name by deed poll in homage to his fellow "Bluesologists" Elton Dean (saxophonist) and singer Long John Baldry. He scored his first international hits in 1971 with his eponymous second album, which included one of his best-loved songs, "Your Song". The lyrics, then and (for the most part) since, were written by chief collaborator Bernie Taupin.

He went on to become one of the most successful recording artists of the 1970s, with globally-successful singles including "Rocket Man", "Crocodile Rock", "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and "Bennie And The Jets".

His biggest 1980s hits included, among others, "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues", "I'm Still Standing", and a 1987 live recording of "Candle In The Wind" which he recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The song, which was a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, was orginally recorded in 1974 on his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album.

In 1992 he performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Show Must Go On" with Queen at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert, an AIDS charity event held at Wembley Stadium, London.

In 1997, he updated the lyrics of "Candle In The Wind" for a special version mourning the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and this became the fastest selling single of all time.

He has also done work both for and in films. In 1971, he wrote original songs for the movie Friends. In 1975, he appeared as the Pinball Wizard in the movie version of the rock opera Tommy. Then, in 1994, he (along with Tim Rice) wrote the songs for the Disney animated film The Lion King (John and Rice subsequently won a Best Original Song Oscar for "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"). Five years later, he wrote the score for The Muse, and a year later composed songs for another animated film, Dreamworks' The Road To El Dorado. In 2001, his 1970s hit, "Tiny Dancer" was featured on the Almost Famous soundtrack, and his most recent movie song was "The Heart Of Every Girl" (the end title song from 2003's Mona Lisa Smile).

In 2003, he reached number one in the United Kingdom with a rerelease of the single "Are You Ready For Love" which had been only a minor hit when first released in 1979.

He continues to release new material to commercial success, and tours extensively, despite being fitted with a pacemaker. His face-to-face tours with fellow pianist Billy Joel have been a fan favourite throughout the world since the mid-1990s.

John has had a complicated personal history. Coming out first as bisexual in 1976, he married (1984) and quickly divorced (1988) Renate Blauel. He subsequently stated that he was gay and has lived with his partner David Furnish for a number of years. He has occasionally battled addictions to cocaine and financial difficulties caused by his profligate spending.

John has long been associated with AIDS charities after the death of his friend Ryan White, raising large amounts of money and using his public profile to raise awareness of the disease. For example, in 1985 he joined with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder to record the single "That's What Friends Are For", with all profits being donated to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The song won Grammy awards for "Song of the Year" and for "Best Pop Performance, by a Duo or Group".

In 2004, John expanded his musical theatre repertoire by composing songs for the musical adaptation of Billy Elliot.

Table of contents
1 Discography
2 See also
3 External links


See also

External links