152 Facts About Elton John


Sir Elton Hercules John was born on Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947 and is a British singer, pianist and composer.


Elton John formed the blues band Bluesology in 1962, but left it in 1967 to embark on a solo career.


Elton John met Taupin after they both answered an advert for songwriters.


For two years, they wrote songs for other artists, and Elton John worked as a session musician.


Elton John continued his success in the 1980s and 1990s, having several hit singles and albums in both decades, and has continued to record new music since then.


Elton John has had success in musical films and theatre, composing music for The Lion King, Aida, and Billy Elliot the Musical.


In 2018, Elton John began his ongoing farewell tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road, which was scheduled to conclude in 2023.


Elton John has more than fifty top-40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including nine number ones in the UK and US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US.


Elton John has sold over 300 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.


Elton John is the most successful solo artist in the history of the US Billboard charts.


Elton John was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and is a fellow of The Ivors Academy.


Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music and charitable services in 1998, and was appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by King Charles III in 2020.


Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, the eldest child of Stanley Dwight and only child of Sheila Eileen.


Elton John was raised in a council house in Pinner by his maternal grandparents.


Elton John's parents married in 1945, when the family moved to a nearby semi-detached house.


When Elton John began to consider a career in music seriously, his father, who served in the Royal Air Force, tried to steer him toward a more conventional career, such as banking.


Elton John has said that his wild stage costumes and performances were his way of letting go after such a restrictive childhood.


Elton John started playing his grandmother's piano as a young boy, and within a year his mother heard him picking out Waldteufel's "The Skater's Waltz" by ear.


Elton John showed musical aptitude at school, including the ability to compose melodies and gained some notoriety by playing like Jerry Lee Lewis at school functions.


Elton John left the Academy before taking the final exams.


At age 15, with his mother's and stepfather's help, Elton John was hired as a pianist at a nearby pub, the Northwood Hills Hotel, playing Thursday to Sunday nights.


In 1966, the band became Long Elton John Baldry's supporting band and played 16 times at the Marquee Club.


Elton John wrote music for the lyrics and then sent it to Taupin, beginning a partnership that still continues.


Elton John legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John on 7 January 1972.


In 1969, Elton John provided piano for Roger Hodgson on his first released single, "Mr Boyd" by Argosy, a quartet that was completed by Caleb Quaye and Nigel Olsson.


In 1969, with Quaye, drummer Roger Pope, and bassist Tony Murray, Elton John recorded another single, "Lady Samantha", and an album, Empty Sky.


The second, "Your Song", reached number seven in the UK Singles Chart and number eight in the US, becoming Elton John's first hit single as a singer.


In 1972 Elton John performed at the Royal Variety Performance, where he was upstaged by the dancing of "Legs" Larry Smith, the drummer with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.


In 1974, Elton John collaborated with Elton John Lennon on his cover of the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", the B-side of which was Lennon's "One Day at a Time".


In return, Elton John was featured on "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" on Lennon's album Walls and Bridges.


Elton John revealed his previously ambiguous personality on the album, with Taupin's lyrics describing their early days as struggling songwriters and musicians in London.


In June 1975 Elton John introduced the line-up at London's Wembley Stadium.


On 9 August 1975, Elton John was named the outstanding rock personality of the year at the first annual Rock Music Awards in Santa Monica, California.


In November 1977, Elton John announced he was retiring from performing; Taupin began collaborating with others.


Now producing only one album a year, Elton John issued A Single Man in 1978 with a new lyricist, Gary Osborne; the album produced no singles that made the top 20 in the US, but the two singles from the album released in the UK, "Part-Time Love" and "Song for Guy", both made the top 20 there, with the latter reaching the top 5.


In 1979, accompanied by Ray Cooper, Elton John became one of the first Western artists to tour the Soviet Union and Israel.


Elton John returned to the US top ten with "Mama Can't Buy You Love", a song MCA rejected in 1977, recorded with Philadelphia soul producer Thom Bell.


Elton John said Bell was the first person to give him voice lessons and encouraged him to sing in a lower register.


In May 1979, Elton John played eight concerts in the Soviet Union; four dates in Leningrad and four in Moscow.


Elton John played part of the set dressed as Donald Duck.


In October 1983, Elton John caused controversy when he broke the United Nations' cultural boycott on apartheid-era South Africa by performing at Sun City.


Elton John married his close friend and sound engineer, Renate Blauel, on Valentine's Day 1984; the marriage lasted three years.


In 1985, Elton John was one of the many performers at Live Aid, held at Wembley Stadium.


Towards the end of the year, Elton John released "Nikita" from the album Ice on Fire, which had a music video directed by Ken Russell.


Elton John's highest-charting single of the decade was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder called "That's What Friends Are For".


Elton John released "I Don't Wanna Go On with You Like That" from the album Reg Strikes Back, the single reaching number two in the US in 1988.


Elton John's albums continued to sell, but of those released in the latter half of the 1980s, only Reg Strikes Back placed in the top 20 in the US.


At the 1991 Brit Awards in London, Elton John won Best British Male.


In September, Elton John performed "The One" at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards and closed the ceremony performing "November Rain" with Guns N' Roses.


Also tonight I think that Elton John should be honoured for his great work and contribution in the fight against AIDS.


Elton John won the award for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight".


In 1994, Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Guns N' Roses' frontman Axl Rose.


Elton John performed "Believe" at the 1995 Brit Awards and won the Outstanding Contribution to Music prize.


Early in 1997, Elton John held a 50th birthday party, costumed as Louis XIV of France, with 500 friends.


Elton John performed with the surviving members of Queen in Paris at the opening night of Le Presbytere N'a Rien Perdu De Son Charme Ni Le Jardin De Son Eclat, a work by French ballet legend Maurice Bejart that draws upon the AIDS crisis and the deaths of Freddie Mercury and the company's principal dancer, Jorge Donn.


In early September, Elton John asked Taupin to revise the lyrics of their 1973 song "Candle in the Wind" to honour Diana, and Taupin agreed.


On 6 September 1997, Elton John performed "Candle in the Wind 1997" live for the only time at Diana's funeral in Westminster Abbey.


On 15 September 1997, Elton John appeared at the Music for Montserrat charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, performing three songs solo before finishing with "Hey Jude" alongside Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler and Sting.


Elton John appeared as himself in the Spice Girls film Spice World, released in December 1997.


At the 2001 Grammy Awards, Elton John performed "Stan" with Eminem.


Elton John had been moved to write the musical after seeing the 2000 British coming-of-age film Billy Elliot, saying of the titular character, "he's like me".


Elton John featured on rapper Tupac Shakur's posthumous single "Ghetto Gospel", which topped the UK charts in July 2005.


In October 2003, Elton John announced that he had signed an exclusive agreement to perform 75 shows over three years at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.


On 1 July 2007, Elton John appeared at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales on what would have been her 46th birthday, with the concert's proceeds going to Diana's charities as well as to charities of which her sons Prince William and Prince Harry are patrons.


On 21 June 2008, Elton John performed his 200th show at Caesars Palace.


In 2009, Elton John accepted Jerry Cantrell's invitation to collaborate with his band Alice in Chains.


Elton John played the piano in the song "Black Gives Way to Blue", a tribute to the band's late lead singer, Layne Staley, which was the title track and closing song of the album Black Gives Way to Blue, released in September 2009.


Elton John performed a piano duet with Lady Gaga at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, which consisted of two songs of Gaga's, before culminating in "Your Song".


Elton John performed his 3000th concert on 8 October 2011 at Caesars.


Also in 2011, Elton John performed vocals on "Snowed in at Wheeler Street" with Kate Bush for her album 50 Words for Snow.


On 4 June 2012, Elton John performed at Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, playing a three-song set.


In February 2013, Elton John performed a duet with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.


Elton John said he was a fan of frontman Josh Homme's side project, Them Crooked Vultures, and had phoned Homme to ask if he could perform on the album.


In September 2013, Elton John received the first Brits Icon Award for his "lasting impact" on the culture of the United Kingdom.


Elton John had a major role, as himself, in the action movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which was released in September 2017.


On 26 January 2017, it was announced that Elton John would compose the score for the Broadway musical version of the novel The Devil Wears Prada and its film adaptation, with Kevin McCollum as producer and Paul Rudnick writing the lyrics and story.


In June 2017, Elton John appeared in the award-winning documentary The American Epic Sessions, directed by Bernard MacMahon.


Elton John composed and arranged a lyric by Taupin, "Two Fingers of Whiskey", written specially for the film, live on camera with the help of Burnett and Jack White.


On 24 January 2018, it was announced that Elton John was retiring from touring and would soon embark on a three-year farewell tour.


In September 2018, Elton John reportedly signed an agreement with Universal Music Group to represent his new music "for the rest of his career" in addition to his work from the last 50 years.


In October 2019, Elton John released what he described as his "first and only autobiography", Me.


The audiobook of Me was narrated by Egerton, with Elton John reading the Prologue and Epilogue.


Elton John had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia, and lost his voice during the show.


In early 2020, Elton John played piano on Ozzy Osbourne's rock ballad "Ordinary Man", released in Osbourne's album of the same name.


On 1 September 2021, Elton John announced his new collaboration album The Lockdown Sessions which he made during the first COVID-19 lockdown, which was released on 22 October 2021.


At 74 years, 7 months and 14 days, Elton John became the oldest artist to hit the top of the ARIA Singles Chart.


Elton John contributed to the charity tribute album The Metallica Blacklist, released in September 2021, by backing Miley Cyrus on a cover of the Metallica song "Nothing Else Matters".


In January 2022, Elton John continued his farewell tour for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with his first show back taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Elton John had to temporarily postpone two shows in Dallas after testing positive for COVID-19 and experiencing mild symptoms, and resumed the tour again after making a full recovery.


Elton John has tour dates across the UK for 2022 and 2023, when the tour will wrap up.


Elton John performed "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" at the memorial service for Australian cricketer Shane Warne on 30 March 2022.


On 4 June 2022, Elton John was projected on to the facade of Buckingham Palace playing "Your Song" at the Platinum Party at the Palace to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.


Elton John is among the people interviewed for the documentary film If These Walls Could Sing directed by Mary McCartney about the recording studios at Abbey Road which premiered in November 2022.


Elton John ended the relationship two weeks before their intended wedding, after being advised by Taupin and Long Elton John Baldry.


In 2020, Elton John helped pay for Woodrow's medical fees upon her request, despite having lost contact with her 50 years previously.


Elton John married German recording engineer Renate Blauel on 14 February 1984, in an extravagant wedding ceremony at Darling Point, New South Wales, Australia.


Blauel said she attempted suicide during their honeymoon in St-Tropez after Elton John told her that he wanted to end the union.


Elton John had come out as bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, and in 1992 he told Rolling Stone in another interview that he was "quite comfortable about being gay".


In 1993, Elton John began a relationship with David Furnish, a former advertising executive and now filmmaker originally from Toronto.


On 21 December 2005, Elton John and Furnish were among the first couples to form a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, which was held at the Windsor Guildhall.


The elder, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-Elton John, was born via surrogacy on 25 December 2010 in California.


The younger, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-Elton John, was born on 11 January 2013 via the same surrogate.


Elton John has 10 godchildren, including Sean Lennon, David and Victoria Beckham's sons Brooklyn and Romeo, Elizabeth Hurley's son Damian Hurley, and Seymour Stein's daughter.


In 2008, Elton John said he preferred civil partnerships to marriage for gay people, but by 2012 he had changed his position and become a supporter of same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom.


Elton John is an art collector and is believed to have one of the largest private photography collections in the world.


In June 2001, Elton John sold 20 of his cars at Christie's, saying he never had the chance to drive them because he was out of the country so often.


Every year since 2004, John has opened a shop called "Elton's Closet", in which he sells his secondhand clothes.


In October 2021, Elton John was named in the Pandora Papers which allege a secret financial deal of politicians and celebrities using tax havens in an effort to avoid the payment of owed taxes.


At a 2022 concert in Indianapolis, Elton John said he cleaned himself up after spending time with the family of Ryan White.


John and King remain friends and co-host an annual pro-am event to benefit AIDS charities, most notably the Elton John AIDS Foundation, of which King is a chairperson.


Elton John, who maintains a part-time residence in Atlanta, Georgia, became a fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball team when he moved there in 1991.


At the 2nd Empire Awards in 1997 Elton John presented the comedy group the Empire Inspiration Award.


On 22 April 2017, Elton John was discharged from hospital after two nights of intensive care for contracting "a harmful and unusual" bacterial infection during his return flight home from a South American tour in Santiago, Chile, and was forced to cancel all his shows scheduled for April and May 2017.


In October 2021, Elton John required hip surgery after "falling awkwardly on a hard surface".


Elton John became the chairman and director of Watford FC in 1976, after supporting the team since his youth.


Elton John appointed Graham Taylor as manager and invested large sums of money as the club rose three divisions into the English First Division.


Elton John sold the club to Jack Petchey in 1987, but remained president.


Ten years later, Elton John repurchased the club from Petchey and became chairman.


Elton John stepped down in 2002 when the club needed a full-time chairman, but continued as president.


In 2005 and 2010, Elton John held a concert at Watford's home stadium, Vicarage Road, and donated proceeds to the club.


Elton John has remained friends with a number of high-profile players in football, including Pele and David Beckham.


From late 1975 to 1976, Elton John was a part-owner of the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League.


Elton John called the occasion "one of the greatest days of my life".


Elton John's paternal cousin Roy Dwight was a professional footballer, who scored for Nottingham Forest in the 1959 FA Cup Final before breaking his leg later in the same match.


Elton John has performed at a number of events involving the British royal family, such as the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.


On 4 June 2022, Elton John was projected on to the facade of Buckingham Palace playing "Your Song" at the Platinum Party at the Palace to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.


In 2013, Elton John resisted calls to boycott Russia in protest at the Russian gay propaganda law, but told fans at a Moscow concert that the laws were "inhumane and isolating", and he was "deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation".


On 24 September 2015, the Associated Press reported that Putin called Elton John and invited him to meet in the future to discuss LGBT rights in Russia.


Elton John claimed to have given Kim a CD of the song "Rocket Man" that was signed by John.


In October 2020, Elton John called attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Elton John is well known for his philanthropic efforts, being involved in charity fundraising events since 1986.


Elton John was recognised for his services to charity twice, receiving a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 and being appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Prince Charles in 2020.


Elton John became more closely associated with AIDS charities following the deaths of his friends Ryan White in 1990 and Freddie Mercury in 1991, raising large amounts of money and using his public profile to raise awareness of the disease.


Later Elton John sang "Delilah" with Tom Jones and "Big Spender" with Shirley Bassey.


Elton John performed "I'm Still Standing" during the One World: Together At Home television special, a benefit concert curated by Lady Gaga for Global Citizen to raise funds for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.


Elton John does come out socially sometimes and she came to my civil partnership occasion with her husband.


Elton John has often expressed a great appreciation for the accomplishments of young artists from the 21st century, collaborating with several of them on the 2021 collaborative album The Lockdown Sessions and interviewing them on his Apple Music radio show Rocket Hour.


In 1992, along with Taupin, Elton John was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.


Elton John is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.


Elton John's voice was once classed as a tenor; it is a baritone.


Elton John's piano playing is influenced by classical music and gospel music.


Elton John used Paul Buckmaster to arrange the music on his studio albums during the 1970s.


Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1994.


Elton John was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1995.


In October 1975, Elton John received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Elton John was awarded Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.


Elton John received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2004 and a Disney Legends Award in 2006.


In 2010, he received the PRS for Music Heritage Award, which was erected on The Namaste Lounge Pub in Northwood, London, where Elton John performed his first gig.


In 2019, Elton John featured on a series of UK postage stamps issued by the Royal Mail.


In 2022, after Elton John performed at the White House, President Joe Biden surprised him by presenting him with the National Humanities Medal.


Elton John has received five Brit Awards, including the 1991 award for Best British Male, and awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 1986 and 1995.


In 2013, Elton John received the first Brits Icon award in recognition of his "lasting impact" on UK culture, which was presented to him by Rod Stewart.