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Elton John Biography

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Elton John
Elton John
(Sharon (given to him by Rod Stewart))
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Elton John Biography

Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (unsuccessfully) as lead singer for the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Gentle Giant. Dwight teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin and changed his name to Elton John (merging the names of saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry). The duo wrote songs for Lulu and Roger Cook. In the early 1970s, he recorded the concept album "Tumbleweed Connection." He became the most successful pop artist of the 1970s, and he has survived many different pop fads including punk, the New Romantics and Britpop to remain one of Britain's most internationally acclaimed musicians.

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 the 1970s and 1980s, he suffered from drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia but came through it. He is well known as a campaigner for AIDS research and he keeps his finger on the pulse of modern music, enjoying artists such as Eminem, Radiohead, Coldplay and Robbie Williams. He was knighted in 1997.


Elton John Trivia

John was the first Western rock star to perform in Israel and the USSR, in 1979.

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for contribution to music and fund-raising for AIDS charities. [24 February 1998]

Grammy award winning singer.

Performed a new version of "Candle in the Wind", in tribute to Princess Diana at her funeral, with new lyrics specially written by Bernie Taupin. (5 September 1997).

Changed his name legally to Elton Hercules John. He chose the middle name "Hercules" not after the hero of mythology, but after the horse named Hercules on the British sitcom "Steptoe and Son" (1962).

Awarded the Polar Music Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Award, in 1995.

[1992] Decided that all profits from his singles would be donated to AIDS charities and formed the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The foundation has become one of the world's largest nonprofit AIDS organisations.

At age 11, entered the Royal Academy of Music, but quit just before graduation to pursue a rock career.

Appointed a CBE in 1996 and knighted in 1998.

He was twice a former Chairman of Watford Football Club.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

He was a friend of the late rock singer Freddie Mercury and performed at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

Reformed drug addict, alcoholic and bulimic.

Christmas hits: "Step into Christmas" (1973) and "Cold as Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)" (1983).

Dusty Springfield' sang backing vocals on his song "The Bitch is Back".

Covered the The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" in 1974. John Lennon is featured in this recording.

His song "Philadelphia Freedom" was a tribute to tennis star Billie Jean King.

Covered the WHO's "Pinball Wizard" in 1976.

His hit "Song for Guy" was a tribute to Guy Burchett, Rocket Records messenger who was killed in a motorcycle accident.

His song "Empty Garden" is a tribute to John Lennon.

Stevie Wonder played Harmonica on his song "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues".

His song "Act of War" was a duet with Millie Jackson.

Sang a duet with Cliff Richard called "Slow Rivers".

Duet with Jennifer Rush: "Flames of Paradise".

Duet with Aretha Franklin: "Through the Storm".

Duet with Eric Clapton: "Runaway Train".

Had a UK number one in 1991 with his live duet with George Michael "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".

Has played the piano since he was four years old.

Once auditioned for the group King Crimson.

During one of his concerts at Madison Square Garden in 1974, John Lennon joined him on stage to perform three songs. This was part of a bet that if Lennon's song "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" went to number one, he would join Elton on stage. This proved to be Lennon's last on-stage performance.

Is the Godfather of John Lennon's son, Sean Lennon.

Often parodied on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) by Horatio Sanz.

Started wearing glasses to copy one of his idols, Buddy Holly. After a while, his eyes adjusted to the lenses and he's worn glasses ever since.

His partner, filmmaker David Furnish, made the documentary about Elton, Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras (1997) (TV).

Long-time collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin.

He has teamed up with lyricist Tim Rice on four projects. The songs for the films The Lion King (1994), The Road to El Dorado (2000) and the Broadway stage productions of "The Lion King" and "Aida".

Duets he sang with Kiki Dee are "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "True Love".

Is a co-owner of the chic Sunset Strip restaurant Le Dome in Hollywood.

Sang with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight on the song "That's What Friends Are For".

Re-recorded his 1976 hit "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1994, this time as a duet with RuPaul.

The song "You Can Make History (Young Again)" was a tribute to fashion designer Gianni Versace.

Sang the duet "Donner Pour Donner" in French with singer France Gall.

His parents, Sheila and Stanley Dwight, divorced when he was young. His mother then married Fred Farebrother, whom Elton affectionately dubbed 'Derf.'

Recorded the song "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" with John Lennon.

Covered the Kiki Dee song "Sugar on the Floor".

Covered the Queen song "The Show Must Go On".

Covered the John Lennon song "Give Peace a Chance" on his four-CD boxed set "To Be Continued...".

Gave friend Rod Stewart the nickname "Phyllis".

Likes Indian food.

Duet with Luciano Pavarotti: "Live Like Horses".

Attended the special dinner at Sony Studios in Los Angeles to honour the singer and activist Sting as MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. The evening celebrated Sting's contribution to popular music, honoured his charitable work with Amnesty International and the Rainforest Foundation. Other stars in attendance included Kylie Minogue and Dido. (6th February 2004).

Enjoys tennis.

His song "On Dark Street" features back-up vocals by Kiki Dee.

His song "All the Young Girls Love Alice" is a tribute to Alice Cooper.

Stated once in the 1970s that if he ever had a daughter, he would name her "Umbrella".

Auditioned for the lead vocalist spot in the band King Crimson but was turned down.

When Stevie Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group to form Traffic, he auditioned to take Stevie Winwood's place. Unfortunately, he was turned down.

He chose the middle name "Hercules" for himself, not after the hero of mythology, but after the horse named Hercules on the British sitcom "Steptoe and Son" (1962).

He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 (1999 season) for Best New Musical for "The Lion King" at the Lyceum Theatre.

Recipient of the Kennedy Center Honours in 2004, along with Joan Sutherland, John Williams, Warren Beatty, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

He was the 49th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone.

Has epilepsy.

Had a pacemaker fitted to correct an irregular heartbeat following an episode of angina on an airplane in July 1999.

Underwent laser surgery to remove nodules from his vocal chords in Australia in January 1987. This followed a televised concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in which his voice sounded noticeably rough. In 2004 Sir Elton admitted this problem had been caused by smoking too many drugs, including marijuana.

Godfather of Elizabeth Hurley's son Damian Charles.

In 2001 declared that "Songs from the West Coast" would be his final studio album, and thereafter he would concentrate on just live performances. In 2004 however he released a new album, "Peachtree Road" which despite some favorable reviews, flopped in every country it was released in.

1976 song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" was about his real life suicide attempt.

John is a close friend of David Beckham, Billy Connolly and Billy Joel.

He was voted the 49th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 (1999 season) for Best New Musical for "The Lion King" at the Lyceum Theatre, London.

Sang a duet with Luciano Pavarotti called "Live Like Horses".

Covered the John Lennon song "Give Peace a Chance" on his four-CD boxed set "To Be Continued...".

Covered the Queen song "The Show Must Go On" at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris on 17 January 1997, for the Gala opening night of "Le Presbytere n'a rien perdu de son charme ni le jardin de son eclat", a moving work inspired by the premature deaths of Freddie Mercury and the company's principal dancer Jorge Donn.

Covered the Kiki Dee song "Sugar on the Floor".

Recorded the song "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" with John Lennon.

His parents, Sheila and Stanley Dwight, divorced when he was young. His mother then married Fred Farebrother, whom Elton affectionately dubbed "Derf".

Sang the duet "Donner Pour Donner" in French with singer France Gall .

The song "You Can Make History (Young Again)" was a tribute to murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace .

Re-recorded his 1976 hit "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1994, this time as a duet with RuPaul.

Covered the Who's "Pinball Wizard" in 1974.

Had a UK number one in 1991 with his live duet with George Michael, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".

He has teamed up with lyricist Sir Tim Rice on four projects: The songs for the films "The Lion King" and "The Road to El Dorado", and the Broadway stage productions of "The Lion King" and "Aida".

Duets he sang with Kiki Dee are "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", and "True Love".

Sang with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight on the song "That's What Friends Are For".

Came up with the name Elton John from Soft Machine saxophone player Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.

One of his all-time favorite singers is Country Music Hall-Of-Fame legend "Gentleman" Jim Reeves (1923-1964). Reportedly Elton once considered recording Jim Reeves' mega-hit (on both Pop and Country Charts) "He'll Have To Go" (1960), but decided he couldn't possibly top Reeves' version.

Registered his civil partnership with long-term partner David Furnish at Windsor Town Hall on December 21, 2005, the first day that civil unions were legal in England and Wales. The ceremony was performed by Registrar Clair Williams, who also presided over the union between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Winner of the 1991 Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.

Winner of the 1986 British Phonographic Industry award for Outstanding Contribution.

Presented (along with musical partner Bernie Taupin) with the Music Industry Trusts' Award in 2002 for his outstanding contribution to the British music industry.

As of March 2006, he has 10 godchildren.

Godfather of Brooklyn Beckham & Romeo Beckham.

Estimated in 2006 to have sold 250 million albums during his career.

He considers The Beatles song "Yesterday" as the perfect song.

In the Independent of Sunday 2006 Pink List - a list of the most influential gay men and women - he came no. 2, down from no. 1.

Winner of the 1995 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution.

His 1994 album "The Lion King" sold 15 million copies in the United States.

Sang a song with TUPAC called "Ghetto Gospel"

Helped compose the single 'I Don't Like Dancin' with The Scissor Sisters.

Winner of the 2004 Q Classic Songwriter Award.

Is one of the few artists such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue with number one hits in both the eighties, nineties and noughties.

Started piano lessons at age four, and showed promise as a musician at an early age.

Performer Dusty Springfield sang backing vocals on his song "The Bitch is Back".

Sang in his first and only concert in Puerto Rico in the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot on April 28th 2007.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992.




 
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