Elton John was born on March 25, 1947, and is one of the most prominent singers in the world. John earned the nickname “Rocketman” after his 1972 hit single of the same name. John has had large commercial success as a solo artist since the 1970s and has released 31 albums since 1969. Critics and musicians widely acclaim his music, and he has had a lasting impact on the music industry since he began his career in the ’70s.
Elton Hercules John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25th, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England. He is the son of Stanley Dwight, who served in the Royal Air Force as a sergeant and squadron leader, and Sheila Eileen, who has reportedly been described as a cold, uncaring woman — she died at the age of 92 in 2017. John was raised in a council house in Pinner by his mother’s grandparents until his parents’ marriage in 1945. He attended the Pinner Wood Junior School, Reddiford School, and Pinner County Grammar School until he was 17, when he decided to drop out of school just before his A-Level examinations to pursue his music career. His father was very unapproving of John, trying to steer him into a more conventional career such as banking. John has explained how his expressive costumes are his means of letting go of his restrictive childhood.
As a young boy, John would play his grandmother’s piano, and after performing at small parties and family gatherings, he began formal piano lessons at the age of seven. He showed musical aptitude at school and could perfectly compose melodies and repeat songs. At age 11, he won a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. In 1962 he formed the band Bluesology, where he was a member until 1967. He met his longtime musical partner, Bernard John Taupin, in 1967 after both responded to an advert for songwriters. For two years, they wrote songs for other artists, working as session musicians. In 1969 John released his debut album “Empty Sky,” and by 1970, he formed the Elton John Band and released his first hit single, ‘Your Song’ which reached the top ten in both the U.K. and U.S. charts. John has also composed music for various musical films and theater, composing music for “The Lion King” and its theatrical stage adaption. He also has a movie about him called “Rocketman.”
Outside of music, John is a passionate activist for H.I.V./AIDS and has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, establishing a foundation called the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. Since its beginning, the foundation has raised over £300 million. In 1988 John came out as openly gay and met his future husband in 2005, a Canadian filmmaker named David Furnish. Furnish and John married in England after same-sex marriage was legalized in 2014. John is one of the highest-selling artists of all time, having sold over 300 million records worldwide within six decades of his music career. In 2019, John was ranked as the top solo artist in U.S. chart history for the third time, and he has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, two Academy Awards, and a Tony Award. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
John releases his hit song ‘Your Song’ which rocks the charts in the U.K.
He ditches Reginald Kenneth Dwight and legally changes his name to Elton Hercules John.
John releases the album, which becomes the number one album in the U.S., igniting six consecutive chart-toppers.
John’s album “Empty Sky” is released in the U.K. and initially sells over 4,000 copies.
John breaks the music charts in the U.K. with his song ‘Candle in the Wind’ when he performs the song at the funeral of Princess Diana of Wales.
A biopic movie about John is released, outlining the singer's life.
Why We Love Elton John
He’s an advocate for the L.G.B.T.Q.+ community
John has his own H.I.V./AIDS campaign, inspired by Freddie Mercury, called the Eltron John AIDS Foundation. This gained him recognition from the late Queen Elizabeth II, who honored him twice.
He is a father to two children
John is the father of two sons, Zachary and Elijah, who were born to a surrogate mother in 2010 and 2013. He also has 10 godchildren.
‘Candle of the Wind’ was meant for Marilyn Monroe
John’s famous song was originally written for Monroe but was changed briefly to fit the funeral of Princess Diana of Wales.
5 Surprising Facts
He has names for his instruments
John has noted how he names all his instruments, including his pianos.
He does private shows
If you have $1 million, John will come to perform at your private event — he donates the proceeds to his AIDS foundation.
He had a drug addiction
In 1975 John was hospitalized for an overdose of cocaine — although he has since been free of his addiction.
He was Eminem’s mentor
Eminem reached out to the singer about his drug addiction and they collaborated on a few songs together.
He was married to a woman
Both marriages were originally believed to have been covers for his homosexuality — after his second divorce, he came out to “Rolling Stone” as gay.
Elton John FAQs
Who is with Elton John in the Uber eats commercial?
UberEats released a new commercial featuring legend John and pop star Lil Nas X under an umbrella campaign called Tonight I’ll Be Eating, playing on the artists’ love for camp.
Where is Elton John's house?
John owns four homes — one in Old Windsor, one in London, one in Atlanta, and one in Nice. Each is described as a sanctuary that offers him privacy with his partner David Furnish.
Who makes Elton John's glasses?
John collaborated very closely with Sam’s Club and Walmart to develop the Elton John Eyewear brand. Each pair of glasses are inspired by John’s style and he personally named each frame style.
Elton John’s birthday dates