Sir Elton Hercules John CBE, better known simply as Elton John, is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He was one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century. He fused as many strands of popular music and stylistic showmanship as Elvis Presley in a concert and recording career that included the sale of hundreds of millions of records.
Elton John started his music career immediately after leaving school. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. Along with selling more than 250 million records, he has found success on Broadway, composing the music score for the Tony award-winning hit Billy Elliot (2008). Elton John was the biggest music star in the 1970s.
Singer, songwriter, composer, and icon Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, in Pinner, Middlesex, England, the eldest child of Stanley Dwight (1925–1991) and only child of Sheila Eileen (née Harris; 1925–2017). He was raised in a council house by his maternal grandparents, in Pinner. His parents married in 1945 when the family moved to a nearby semi-detached house.
He was educated at Pinner Wood Junior School, Reddiford School and Pinner County Grammar School, until the age of 17, when he left just prior to his A-Level examinations to pursue a career in the music industry. He worked for a music publishing company and also played the piano in bars, later joining a band called Bluesology.
He discovered his passion for music at an early age. He taught himself how to play the piano when he was only four years old. John soon proved to be a great talent, winning a scholarship to a youth program at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He attended classes there on the weekends.
John became famous in the early 1970s when he and songwriter Bernie Taupin wrote several songs which he performed and recorded. John became a huge star, not only for his musical abilities but for his flamboyant stage personality. He composed several musicals and also composed the music for the animated movies The Lion King (1994) and The Road to El Dorado (2000).
In 1997, in honor of Diana, Princess of Wales, John released a version of his hit Candle in the Wind. That became the world’s biggest selling single of all time. It sold 37 million copies within two months. In 1998 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Elton has achieved 38 gold and 31 platinum or multi-platinum albums, has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time, Candle In The Wind 1997. Since launching his first tour in 1970, Elton has over 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries to his credit.
John has had treatment for alcoholism, drug abuse, and bulimia nervosa.
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 2005, John entered a civil partnership with David Furnish. They had been together for 12 years. On 21 December 2014, John and Furnish married. Guests at their wedding included English former footballer David Beckham along with his wife Victoria Beckham and their younger sons and their daughter. Their eldest son, who is also John’s godson, was not present.
- Full Name: Sir Elton Hercules John
- Originally: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
- Other Names: Elton John, Sharon, The Rocket Man, The Pinball Wizard
- Occupation: Songwriter, Singer
- Birth Date: March 25, 1947
- Place of Birth: Pinner, Middlesex, England
- Zodiac Sign: Aries
- Height: 5 feet 7¾ inches (1.72 m)
- Father: Stanley Dwight
- Mother: Sheila Eileen Dwight
- Spouse: David Furnish (m. 2014), David Furnish (m. 2005–2014), Renate Blauel (m. 1984–1988)
- Children: Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John
- Siblings: Geoff Dwight, Robert Dwight, Simon Dwight, Stan Dwight