Sir Elton Hercules John , CH , CBE , (* 25. March 1947 as Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner , Middlesex , England ) is a British singer , composer , pianist and two-time Oscar winner . With 300 million records sold, he is one of the five performers with the highest number of records sold worldwide (alongside the Beatles , Elvis Presley , Michael Jackson and Madonna). His repertoire ranges from ballads to rock and rock 'n' roll songs to gospel-like blues and boogie numbers. Elton John celebrated his first successes in the 1960s. His big breakthrough came in 1970 with the album Elton John and the decoupled single Your Song , which became a world hit. His early trademarks include extravagant stage outfits and glasses.
Childhood and beginnings
His father, the soldier Stanley Dwight (1925–1991) had no interest in his son, his mother Sheila (1925–2017) had little time. Reginald Kenneth Dwight was therefore raised mainly by his grandmother Ivy, who motivated him to play the piano. He did not have a good relationship with his father; This relationship, which is characterized by lack of interest in his son, he processed in 1995 in the autobiographical title Made in England (" I had a quit-me father, had a love-me mother "). After a few years of piano lessons, at the age of eleven he won a scholarship for young talents at the Royal Academy of Music in London , where he learned piano for five years.
In 1965 he founded the band Bluesology with fellow students . The group accompanied US soul artists and later became the backing band of Long John Baldry . This inspired Dwight to his stage name by combining the first names of the saxophonist Elton Dean and the singer John Baldry to the name Elton John . The name was also officially changed. In 1969 he was able to place a first composition on an album of the Three Dog Night while he was working on his first solo album.
Elton John has been writing almost all of his songs since 1969 with the songwriter Bernie Taupin , whom he met in 1967 when he was advertised for the post of composer at a newly founded record label called Liberty Records. The sound engineer Caleb Quaye made over 30 test recordings in the London DJM recording studios between June and December 1967, of which his boss, the music publisher Dick James , initially knew nothing. When he found out about it, he gave the talented Elton John on November 7, 1967, together with Bernie Taupin, a publishing contract with his music publisher DJM Music . The establishment of DJM Records followed on February 28, 1969, on which from then on the Elton John records appeared until September 1976 in the distribution of Pye Records . In 1969 his first album Empty Sky was released . The album received positive reviews, but it sold poorly. Dick James had to decide whether to invest in Elton John again. Finally he decided to give him one more chance. He engaged Gus Dudgeon , one of the most respected producers of the time , for the new album .
Breakthrough and the 70s
The second album Elton John , recorded with a string orchestra, was a great success. The first single Border Song only reached number 92 in the USA in 1970, but with the second release Your Song Elton John landed his first top ten hit in England and the USA. On August 25, 1970 Elton John performed for the first time in the United States at the Troubadour Club. There were several reporters among the guests who covered the concert. This gig got John tons of positive reviews in the newspapers. In 1971, John Reid became his lover and music manager. Their love affair ended after five years, but Reid remained Elton John's manager until 1998.
In 1973 Elton John founded the Rocket Records label . With hits such as Rocket Man , Crocodile Rock , Daniel , Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) , Goodbye Yellow Brick Road , Bennie and the Jets , the Marilyn Monroe dedicated piece of Candle in the Wind and Do not Let the Sun Go Down on Me was Elton John became one of the most successful pop stars of the 1970s. During this time his band consisted of guitarist Davey Johnstone , bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson . The band sang the backing vocals on many songs , for example in the autobiographical Someone Saved My Life Tonight (# 4 in the USA) from the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy , the first album to go straight to number in the USA 1 came on the charts. Johnstone and Olsson are still members of Elton John's band today; Murray died of a stroke in 1992. With the Beatles cover Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds , on which John Lennon played the reggae guitar, and the title Philadelphia Freedom , Elton John had two more number one hits in the USA after Benny And The Jets . In the film adaptation of the rock opera Tommy by the Who , he played the pinball wizard and the Who, which reached number 7 in England. Elton John also achieved a nightclub hit in 1976 with Don't Go Breaking My Heart , sung in a duet with singer Kiki Dee . After 1976, Elton John's success faded with the advent of punk and disco music, particularly in the United States. The attempt to swim with the wave with the disco album Victim Of Love (1979) failed miserably. With the title Mama Can't Buy You Love from the mini-album The Thom Bell Sessions , he achieved another top ten hit in the USA in 1979. In the same year he also made music history when he was the first western pop musician to go on a concert tour in what was then the Soviet Union .
From 1980 he turned back to ballads with titles like Little Jeannie , Blue Eyes and I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues . Until the mid-1980s, other of his singles such as I'm Still Standing , Sad Songs and Nikita reached high chart positions.
Often he also got involved in charity projects. In 1985 he recorded the charity single That's What Friends Are For with Dionne Warwick , Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder as Dionne & Friends for the benefit of AIDS projects. In the same year he also performed at the Live Aid concert in London.
Because of his drug use, John had to undergo a larynx operation in 1987 that caused him to lose his falsetto and relearn how to sing.
In 1988, he played as a guest star on some of Eric Clapton initiated and organized charity Crossroads - concerts and had with the single I Do not Wanna Go On With You Like That again a top hit in the US.
With the album Sleeping with the Past and the single Sacrifice he achieved another solo success in 1989, his first number one hit without duet participation in his British homeland. Due to his health condition, Elton John disappeared from the stage in late 1989. In 1990 he underwent drug withdrawal that overcame his 16+ year addiction. Elton John himself says that this measure saved his life. Elton John then withdrew completely from the public for almost two years and did not appear on stage except for a single appearance with George Michael in 1991. The recorded duet with George Michael Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me was even more successful than the first release in 1974. During this break, Elton John founded his AIDS Foundation. Elton John cites his friends Freddie Mercury and Ryan White, who died of AIDS, as the motivation .
In 1992 the album The One was released , which marked his comeback. The album was very successful worldwide and sold more than 16 million times. The subsequent world tour was also a great success. Elton John played over 100 concerts in front of over 3.6 million people worldwide. Also in that year Elton John decided to donate the proceeds of his singles sold in America to the AIDS Foundation he founded.
For a 1993 record of duets, John worked with George Michael , Kiki Dee , Leonard Cohen , PM Dawn , Marcella Detroit , Little Richard , Don Henley , Chris Rea , Tammy Wynette , Nik Kershaw , Gladys Knight , Paul Young , Bonnie Raitt and the Drag queen RuPaul together. The latter sang the new recording of Don't Go Breaking My Heart with John .
In 1994 John composed part of the music for the Disney film The Lion King and received the Oscar for best movie song for Can You Feel the Love Tonight . In 1994 Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame .
In 1994 he started a tour together with Billy Joel under the title "Face to Face". In 1998 and 2001 there were continuations of the tour.
In 1997, John rewritten a version of Candle in the Wind entitled Goodbye, England's Rose , mourning the death of Princess Diana . At the funeral on September 6, 1997, he played and sang it live. The single Something About the Way You Look Tonight , which featured Candle in the Wind '97 on its B-side , became the most successful single of all time with 45 million copies sold . All royalties and proceeds were donated to the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
Alessandro Safina sang Your Song again in 2002, accompanied by John, and in the same year he supported the boy group Blue , which covered his old hit Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word . Together they landed at number one in Great Britain. John can also be heard in the chorus of the posthumously released 2Pac hit Ghetto Gospel with a sample of his piece Indian Sunset (heard on the album Madman Across the Water ), which also topped the charts in Great Britain, but also in Australia. At the Grammy Awards 2001 Elton John appeared together with rapper Eminem, although this had previously expressed anti-gay rights. Both have been friends since then. John helped the rapper with drug withdrawal therapy.
After the 2001 album Songs from the West Coast , the album Peachtree Road was released in 2004 . The critics praised this album and declared that John had finally found his way back to his roots and to high compositional quality.
In 2003, the single Are You Ready for Love (recorded during the Thom Bell Session in 1979) reached number one on the UK charts. In addition, Elton John (music) and Bernie Taupin (text) were for the song The Heart of Every Girl , which they wrote for the film Mona Lisa's smile , for the BFCA Award and the Golden Globe in the "Best Song" category. nominated. There was also a Golden Satellite Awards nomination for the same song for Elton John.
In September 2006 the album The Captain and the Kid was released , which was again created in collaboration with Bernie Taupin.
Elton John celebrated his 60th birthday on March 25, 2007 with a concert in New York's Madison Square Garden . It was also his 60th concert in this arena - a record. A day later, the compilation CD Rocket Man - The Definitive Hits came on the market. On 13 September 2007, John has performed at Prince 'tour called " 21 Nights in London: The Earth Tour " in The O2 -Arena live on stage and sang the song The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles . In 2007 John was also involved in the Scissor Sisters ' biggest success to date : he contributed the piano passages to their European hit I Don't Feel Like Dancing .
In winter 2009 and spring 2010 Elton John and Leon Russell were in the studio to record a new album with the well-known producer T-Bone Burnett . The album is titled The Union and was released worldwide in October 2010. The first single If It Wasn't for Bad from the album was released on August 24, 2010 as an e-single in the USA.
At the beginning of July 2011 Elton John founded a new music company: the "Rocket Music Entertainment Group". In addition to Elton John himself, the company also takes care of the marketing of James Blunt , Lily Allen and Leon Russell. With Rocket Records and Rocket Music Publishing, the company also has its own record label and publishing company.
In an interview with Music Week magazine , Elton John revealed that he will start recording another album with lyricist Bernie Taupin and producer T-Bone Burnett in January 2012 . The album should be called The Diving Board . A book was also published, written by Elton John himself, in which he reports on his experiences with AIDS and wants to make people aware of this disease.
The album Wonderful Crazy Night was released in February 2016 .
In September 2017, Elton John starred in a supporting role in the British agent film Kingsman: The Golden Circle by Matthew Vaughn , in which he plays himself and is held hostage by the insane drug baroness Poppy Adams, played by Julianne Moore . Taron Egerton , who plays the youthful hero in the Kingsman film franchise, embodies Elton John in Dexter Fletcher 's biography Rocketman from 2019.
On January 24, 2018, Elton John announced that he would be leaving the stage after a final three-year world tour. The tour is called "Farewell - Yellow Brick Road". The tour began in September 2018 and is expected to include over 300 concerts worldwide. When sales started on February 2, 2018, concert tickets for the first 60 shows were sold out within a few hours.
Elton John also worked on the CGI-based real-life filming of Disney's The Lion King, which was released in summer 2019 .
The Elton John Band
Since 1970 Elton John's band, of which he is the lead singer and pianist, has been known as the Elton John Band. There have been a number of line-up changes in the band since then, but Nigel Olsson , Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper have been with the band since 1969 (Olsson) and 1972 (Johnstone and Cooper), albeit intermittently. Olsson left the band in 1984, but returned in 2000.
However, Ray Cooper is not a permanent member of the Elton John Band, as he also takes on engagements as a studio or tour musician with other musicians.
Current band members:
- Elton John - lead singer, piano
- Nigel Olsson - drums, vocals
- Davey Johnstone - guitar, vocals, musical direction
- John Mahon - percussion, vocals
- Kim Bullard - keyboard
- Matt Bissonette - bass
- Ray Cooper - percussion
Former band members:
- Guy Babylon - keyboard
- Bob Birch - bass guitar, vocals
- Jack Bruno - drums
- Tom Costello - drums
- David Hentschel - synthesizer
- John Jorgenson - guitar, saxophone, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, vocals
- Fred Mandel - keyboard, guitar
- Charlie Morgan - drums
- Dee Murray - bass guitar, vocals
- Tony Murray - bass
- James Newton Howard - conductor, keyboard, orchestration
- Kenny Passarelli - bass, backing part
- David Paton - bass guitar, vocals
- Roger Pope - drums, percussion
- Caleb Quaye - guitar, drums, percussion
- Tata Vega - accompaniment part
- Rose Stone - backing part
- Lisa Stone - accompanying voice
- Jean Witherspoon - accompaniment voice
Other and well-known guest musicians:
- Leonard Cohen - vocals
- PM Dawn - vocals
- Don Henley - vocals
- Gladys Knight - vocals
- kd lang - singing
- George Michael - vocals
- Bonnie Raitt - vocals
- Chris Rea - vocals
- Little Richard - vocals
- Luther Vandross - Singing
- Tammy Wynette - vocals
- Paul Young - vocals
- David Crosby - vocals, accompanying part
- Kiki Dee - vocals, accompanying voice
- Bruce Johnston - vocals, accompaniment
- Labelle - vocals, accompanying voice
- Graham Nash - vocals, accompaniment
- Toni Tennille - vocals, accompanying voice
- Carl Wilson - vocals, accompaniment
- Dusty Springfield - backing part
- Eric Clapton - guitar
- David Gilmour - guitar
- John Lennon (mentioned as Dr. Winston O'Boogie) - guitar
- Pete Townshend - guitar
- Lesley Duncan - acoustic guitar, vocals, backing voice
- Nik Kershaw - electric guitar
- Jean-Luc Ponty - electric violin
- Stevie Wonder - harmonica
- Leon Russell - piano, vocals
- Paul Carrack - organ
- David Paich - organ
- Rick Wakeman - Organ
- David Sanborn - saxophone
- Freddie Hubbard - trumpet, flugelhorn
- Tower of Power Fanfare
- John Deacon - bass
- Deon Estus - bass
- Jeff Porcaro - drums
- Ricky Molina - drums, percussion
- Paul Buckmaster - orchestration
- London Philharmonic Orchestra
- London Symphony Orchestra
- Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Gus Dudgeon - production
In 1976 he came out in the music magazine Rolling Stone as bisexual ; In 1984 he married the German sound engineer Renate Blauel in Australia and divorced her in 1988. He later professed homosexuality . On December 21, 2005, the first day, following a change in the law in Great Britain, homosexual couples were allowed to enter into a civil partnership , he became a partner with his long-time partner, David Furnish . The ceremony was held in Windsor , presided over by the same registrar who married Prince Charles and Camilla . In December 2014, John and Furnish got married.
In December 2010, a surrogate mother gave birth to a son of John and Furnish in a California clinic. Both come into question as biological fathers; they don't even know who it is. In January 2013, another son was born in California by the same surrogate mother. The godmother of both children is the close friend of the Lady Gaga family .
Elton John has been wearing a pacemaker since 1999 . He has four younger half-brothers on his father's side.
Under the impact of the death of at AIDS died young Ryan White In 1992, Elton John, the Elton John AIDS Foundation in the United States and 1993 in the UK. The foundation, which supports information, education and research in particular, was initially financed by Elton John through his sales, concerts and private auctions. To date, the foundation has raised around $ 275 million that has benefited projects in over 50 countries. Elton John still hosts major charity concerts where he donates the fee to his foundation.
In 1995 Elton John was inducted into the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II as Commander (CBE) . On February 24, 1998, he was also elevated to the personal British nobility as a Knight Bachelor and has been using the title "Sir" ever since. In 2002, Sir Elton John was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music in London, in 2006 he became a Disney Legend (Disney Legend) explained. He is also an honorary member of the English football club Watford FC . In 2013, John received the first Brits Icon Award. In 2014, a grandstand was named after him at Watford Stadium.
In 2012, John announced the start of a biopic production for the following year, penned by Billy Elliot screenwriter Lee Hall . The director was Dexter Fletcher , who also co-directed the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody . The leading role of the adult Elton John took on Taron Egerton (who received the Golden Globe for best actor ); Jamie Bell plays Elton John's lifelong friend and writing partner, Bernie Taupin .
In the summer of 2019, the lavishly produced music film entitled Rocketman was released in cinemas worldwide after it had premiered on May 16 of that year at the Cannes International Film Festival . Furnish and John were involved in the creation of the film as consultants and business partners. The end credits of the film are complemented by photos from the family's private collection and a few associated lines of text. For the film song (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again , Elton John won his second Oscar (for the first time together with Taupin) for the best song at the 2020 Academy Awards .
For the full chart discography (UK, USA, German-speaking countries) see
Compilations and rarities
- 1979: To Russia with Elton (VHS; 2003 as DVD)
- 1981: The Fox (VHS)
- 1984: The Afternoon Concert and The Nighttime Concert (Live at Wembley) (VHS)
- 1986: Live in Australia (VHS with two concert recordings in Australia)
- 1990: The Very Best of ( VHS ; 2000 as DVD)
- 1992: Live in Barcelona (VHS; 2000 as DVD)
- 2000: One Night Only ( DVD )
- 2001: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (DVD, genesis of the album of the same name)
- 2004: Dream Ticket (4 DVDs)
- 2005: Peachtree Road Live in Atlanta (CD + DVD)
- 2007: Rocket Man - The Definitive Hits (CD + DVD)
- 2007: Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden (DVD + Blu-ray Disc)
- 2008: The Red Piano (2 DVDs + CD / Blu-ray Disc)
- 2014: Elton John - The Million Dollar Piano (DVD + Blu-ray Disc)
- Roy Dwight, Elton John's cousin, was a professional footballer with Fulham FC and Nottingham Forest . He played for the London city selection in the trade fair cup and was a goal scorer for Forest in the cup final of 1959, then suffered a broken leg in the same game.
- Elton John himself was active as President and Director of Watford FC from 1976 to 1987 and again from 1997 to 2002 in the football scene. At times he owned the majority of the shares in the club. Watford players sing along on the album A Single Man (see discography).
- A concert in Aalen planned for 2008 was canceled due to fears of the municipal green space office that the lawn in the Aalen stadium could be damaged.
- Elton John was the musician with the third highest annual income in 2012 with the equivalent of 80 million US dollars.
- The Rolling Stone listed John is ranked 49 of the 100 greatest players and ranked 38 of the 100 best singers and together with Bernie Taupin 48th of the 100 best songwriters of all time .
- Mark Bego: Elton John - The Story . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2009, ISBN 978-3-85445-298-0 (Original edition: Elton John: The Biography )
- Philip Norman: Sir Elton: the definitive biography of Elton John. Pan Books, London 2001, ISBN 0-330-37734-5 .
- Me: Die Autobiografie Heyne Verlag, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-45320292-4 .
- Ich: Die Autobiografie (Audiobook) John Verlag, 2019, ISBN 978-3-96384128-6 .
- Works by and about Elton John in the catalog of the German National Library
- Official website (English)
- Elton John on MusicBrainz (English)
- Elton John at the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Report about Elton John's wedding on faz.net
- Elton John - contemporary documents at musicanddance.de
- Elton John AIDS Foundation
- Sir Elton changed his name by deed poll : patrishka.files.wordpress.com
- Edna Gundersen: Elton still standing for gay rights, home, Tammy Faye. Retrieved November 3, 2019 (American English).
- Russian Imam Calls Elton John 'The Devil's Work,' Urges Concert Boycott. Retrieved November 3, 2019 .
- Will Isern: Young and old flock to Pensacola arena to see music legend Elton John. Retrieved November 3, 2019 .
- Will Isern: Young and old flock to Pensacola arena to see music legend Elton John . In: Pensacola News Journal , March 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- Katerina Azarova: Sir Elton John in Town in Weekend Full of Music . In: The Moscow Times , December 5, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
- Dpa: Text by Elton John's Your Song will be auctioned. November 2, 2018, accessed February 27, 2019 .
- SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg Germany: photo gallery - picture 5 - meeting with Elton John. Retrieved March 22, 2019 .
- telegraph.co.uk: Family detective: Elton John
- Interview with Bernie Holland
- Elton John's American debut: Aug. 25, 1970 at the Troubadour. August 25, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2019 (American English).
- Stefan Zednik: "Well-kept beat music" in Leningrad . Deutschlandradio Kultur, May 20, 2009.
- Elton John in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Eminem on his drug withdrawal: "Elton John has helped me a lot" | hiphopholic.de. In: hiphopholic.de Hip Hop Portal. January 4, 2010, accessed February 17, 2019 .
- Interview with Music Week Online published on July 16, 2011
- Elton John writes book about AIDS . Go feminine . January 10, 2012. Accessed on July 31, 2012. ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Elton John: Wonderful Crazy Night. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
- After Bohemian Rhapsody: Everything about the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Retrieved February 16, 2019 .
- Film starts: After “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes “Rocketman”: New trailer for the Elton John biopic. Retrieved February 24, 2019 .
- Elton John ends live career: One more world tour, then it's over. In: Spiegel Online . January 24, 2018, accessed January 26, 2018 .
- 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour announced - Elton John. Retrieved January 26, 2018 .
- Jake Nevins: Elton John retires from touring ... with 300-date world tour. January 24, 2018, accessed February 22, 2018 .
- First 60 shows of Elton John's retirement tour sold out . February 3, 2018 ( rte.ie [accessed February 20, 2019]).
- Anna Matheson: Sir Elton John confirms he's working on the soundtrack of The Lion King live-action remake with Tim Rice. February 10, 2018, Retrieved February 17, 2019 (American English).
- The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll . Fireside, 2001, p. 501.
- Nigel Olsson Biography . ALLMUSIC. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Private ceremony, Elton John now officially married . queer.de
- Yes word after decades of partnership . Sueddeutsche.de
- Happy Father's Day for Elton John and David Furnish ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in: stern.de from December 28, 2010
- Elton John: "The birth of Zachary was dramatic" in: glanz & gloria from January 18, 2011
- Artists: Elton John . Hamburger Abendblatt . Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- Lady Gaga Named Godmother to Elton John's New Son Elijah . Pop singer is also godmother to John's boy Zachary. In: Rolling Stone . Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Spiegel Online, July 10, 1999
- Elton John AIDS Foundation: EltonJohn.com. Retrieved May 10, 2017 (American English).
- Knights and Dames at Leigh Rayment's Peerage
- Erin Coulehan, Erin Coulehan: Elton John Receives Brits Icon Award. In: Rolling Stone. September 3, 2013, Retrieved March 2, 2019 (American English).
- Elton John dreams of a miracle à la Leicester - derStandard.de. Retrieved March 2, 2019 .
- YouTube : Elton John opens up to Molly Meldrum. Uploaded August 19, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
- Aalen renounces the Elton John concert. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 5, 2008 ; Retrieved October 15, 2009 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- The world's highest paid musicians 2012
- 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 7, 2017 .
- 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 7, 2017 .
- The 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. Rolling Stone , August 2015, accessed August 7, 2017 .
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||John, Elton Hercules (full name); Dwight, Reginald Kenneth (maiden name); Dwight, Reggie (nickname)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||British singer, composer and pianist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 25, 1947|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Pinner , Middlesex , Greater London , England , United Kingdom|