Elton John Details
A pianist at the age of four and a student at the Royal Academy of Music throughout his adolescence, Elton John seemed destined for a career in music from a young age. Of course, he got a whole lot more than that—a singer/songwriter, a rock star, a composer and an activist, Elton John has been one of the most important figures of modern pop and rock music of the last 50 years.
The story of John cannot be told without mention of Bernie Taupin, the musician with whom he first linked up in the late ’60s. John and Taupin wrote songs for other artists at a blistering pace, while also writing and recording music for John. His debut album Empty Sky didn’t make much of a splash, but his self-titled follow-up became a hit off of the strength of his first big single, “Your Song.” in 1970.
From there, his career quickly took off. Released in 1972, the success of his album Honky Château became his first No. 1 album in the U.S., and each of his next six albums repeated the achievement. A look back at the 1970s reveals a decade whose sound was shaped wholly by John and his many timeless tunes, including “Tiny Dancer,” “Benny and the Jets” and “Philadelphia Freedom.”
After a decade in which he struggled with addiction and declining (but still significant) record sales, John returned to superstardom in the 1990s. In 1992, he both established the Elton John AIDS Foundation and released The Lion King, winning a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” After Princess Diana’s tragic death, John’s tribute “Candle in the Wind 1997” became the fastest-selling single in the history of both the U.K. and the U.S.
John still tours today, remarkably staging the same flamboyant stage show that made him one of the most popular touring acts of the 20th century. Concert attendees can expect to see the legend bust out both his grooviest upbeat jams (“Crocodile Rock,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”) as well as his most heartbreaking ballads (“Rocket Man,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”).