header print

Sir Elton John - a Full Profile

Is there a living soul on planet earth who hasn't heard an Elton John song at least once in their lives? We would find that hard to believe. After over 5 decades of a glorious international music career that started thanks to an advertisement, over 300 million album copies sold worldwide, 30 platinum albums, and 25 awards, what better time to explore Elton's biography than now, during Pride month?

Early career

Sir Elton Hercules John was born in 1947 in England, under the name Reginald Kenneth Dwight. He started playing the piano at the tender age of four (some resources even say it was three, and by ear, no less!) and had a natural talent that won him the Royal Music Academy scholarship at 11. He left the academy just before graduation to entertain his fascination with rock music. 
Elton's career is deeply intertwined with that of songwriter Bernie Taupin. They both met after replying to a magazine advertisement by Liberty Records looking for musical talents to form a new group. This led to the birth of the first single by Elton John, then still Reginald, "I’ve Been Loving You." At this time, in 1967, Elton was only 20 years old.
By 1969 he released his debut album "Empty Sky." But the event that led to a turn in his career, the event that really launched him to the stars, where he would remain forever, is the one hit song he composed at the end of that year- "Your Song." The musical masterpiece was released in 1970, starting a decade of success: 12 studio albums were released, his first show in the US, the release of "Rocket Man," and a show by John Lennon. In 1970, he also went on his first tour.
Our favorite hit from this decade is this absolute party banger:

Elton hosting a party in his private jet, 1974

Elton with Elton hosting a party in his private jet, 1974

Elton with Cher and Diana Ross, 1975

Sir Elton John and John Lennon

Elton John and Freddie Mercury

Elton John and George Michael meeting Princess Diana 

Elton with Elton John and George Michael meeting Princess Diana 


What you didn't know about Elton John

Elton is often referred to as pop music's greatest survivor, as this is often a genre of music that changes rapidly, leaving many stars and starlets behind. Since his rise to fame in the '70s, he remained active and popular, collaborating with many young pop singers, filling venues, and releasing new music. Among his collaborations, you'll find names like John Lennon, The Who, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Dionne Warwick, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, and Eddie Vedder.

Throughout his meandering career, he auditioned for the lead vocalist spot in the band King Crimson but was turned down, he composed the Broadway musical Billy Elliot and co-composed the hit "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" by the Scissor Sisters. He was inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the early 1990s.

Elton playing his song Crocodile Rock on The Muppet Show


Elton is decorated with many titles and awards. Apart from being knighted in 1998 for his attribution to music and fundraising for AIDS, he's also one of 64 people to hold the Companion of Honour title. This is a prestigious order awarding outstanding achievements in fields like art, literature, science, politics, and music. There can only be 65 other people in the order at all times. His star on the walk of fame was awarded to him in 1975.

But not all is feathers and glam in this singer's biography; Elton John is a survivor of drug and alcohol abuse and a bulimic episode. His song "Someone Saved my Life" is about a real suicide attempt that was prevented by his friend Long John Baldry, who stood by him at times of pain and conflict regarding his sexual orientation.

And maybe that's what made him such an active donor to many funds: the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Rainforest Foundation, and the Robin Hood Foundation. He also holds his own Elton John AIDS Foundation, which he established in 1992. All profits from his singles are donated to these foundations. 


Elton in numbers

-He is estimated to have sold over 300 million albums.
-He has won 27 awards, including 2 Oscars, 2 Golden Globes, and 6 Grammys.
-He is one of the few artists with #1 hits in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
-He has had at least one charted Billboard hit every year from 1970 to 2009.
-He owns over 1,000 pairs of glasses, but not even one single cell phone.
-He was honored by a set of 12 commemorative postage stamps issued by the Royal Mail.
-He has 1 diamond album and 32 platinum albums.
-His song "Candle in the Wind" from 1997 is the biggest selling single of all time, selling over 33 million copies.
-He's performed over 4000 shows in more than 80 countries.
-He's raised over 450 million dollars in total for charity.
-Together with Bernie Taupin, he has written 396 officially released songs.


Elton with Eric Clapton, 1974

Elton as the Pinball Wizard in The Who's rock opera, "Tommy" 1975

Performing Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral

Young Elton at the beginning of his career

Elton and Taupin

Live at Lisenberg, 1971

Sources: 1, 2, 3.
Next Post
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy