Elton John is a British singer-songwriter known for songs such as “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song.” First coming to prominence in the 1970s, John has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967, collaborating on over 30 albums.
Raised in the Pinner area of London, John learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967. John famously was able to recreate any melody he heard by ear on the piano. He attended the Royal Academy of Music on a scholarship for six years, starting at age 11, but dropped out shortly before graduation to pursue a career in rock music.
In 1969, John's debut album, Empty Sky, was released. In 1970, his first hit single, "Your Song", from his second album, Elton John, reached the top ten in the UK and the US. John has also had success in musical films and theatre, composing for The Lion King and its stage adaptation, Aida and “Billy Elliot the Musical.”
John has received multiple Grammy Awards and Brit Awards, as well as a Disney Legends Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 49th on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era. In 2013, Billboard ranked him the most successful male solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists, and third overall, behind the Beatles and Madonna. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. He was knighted by Elizabeth II for "services to music and charitable services" in 1998. John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.
John has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a year later he began hosting his annual Academy Awards Party, which has since become one of the highest-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over £300 million. John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005; they married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014.
In 2018, John embarked on his farewell tour, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” The tour, which began in Allentown, Pennsylvania, included more than 300 stops all over the world. A biopic about John's life from his childhood through the 1980s, Rocketman, was produced by Paramount Pictures and released in May 2019. It was directed by Dexter Fletcher, who directed Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about John's close friend Freddie Mercury, and stars Taron Egerton as John. John and Egerton performed a new song written for Rocketman, "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," which premiered on BBC Radio 2 in 2019. In October 2019, John released his first official autobiography, “Me.” As part of his farewell tour, in June 2019, John was presented with France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'honneur, by President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Macron called John a "melodic genius" and praised him for being one of the first gay artists to give a voice to the LGBT community.
John won an Oscar Award for Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) for "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from Rocketman.
John has had epilepsy since the 1980s. It is thought that his severe drug use at the time, particularly of cocaine, triggered the seizures.
In his younger years, John battled bulimia, as well as an eating disorder which consisted of chewing and spitting. He checked himself into a rehabilitation center for cocaine addiction and bulimia in 1990.
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