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John, Sir Elton

 

Sir Elton John was born 25 March 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England. His given name was Reginald Dwight. Elton became the biggest pop star of the 1970’s because of his talent as a pianist / vocalist / composer. During the 1970s, recorded such hits as “Bennie & The Jets”, “Daniel”, “Candle In The Wind”, “Rocket Man”, and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. His extreme popularity has continued to the present day.

Elton began playing piano at age 4 and starting at age 11, studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London for six years. In 1961, he joined his first band, Bluesology. In 1966, Bluesology became the supporting band for Long John Baldry. Disatisfied with the direction his career was taking, he responded to an advertisement by Liberty Records. He didn’t pass the audition, but was given a stack of lyrics left with the label by Bernie Taupin. The two corresponded through the mail for several months before meeting. By that time, Reggie Dwight had changed his name to Elton John. In the ensuing decades, the two men forged one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in music history.

Elton recorded his first album, Empty Sky, in 1969. His self-titled album was released in 1970 and he followed it up with ground-breaking performances at the Troubador Club in Los Angeles in August. He experienced his first chart success during this time with “Your Song.”

In later years, Elton has moved into scoring films (The Lion King) and has seen its transference to the Broadway stage. His second Broadway endeavor, Aida, has been a hit not only in New York City, but around the world.

Over the years, Elton has worked on a number of projects with Eric Clapton. They have known each other since the early 1970s. On 7 December 1978, Eric was joined by Elton, George Harrison and Pinetop Perkins at the Guildford Civic Hall for “Further On Up The Road”. Elton toured as part of Eric’s band for six dates in Japan in 1988. Elton and Eric also appeared at several Prince’s Trust benefit concerts during the 1980s, as part of the “superstar” band at Knebworth 1990, and both worked with George Harrison on his 1989 album, Cloud Nine. Eric and Elton recorded the hit single, “Runaway Train” (which appeared on Elton’s album, The One and on the Lethal Weapon 3 soundtrack). The men co-headlined a series of stadium dates in Europe and America in 1992.