Quick Facts about Elton John | cnn



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Here's a look at the life of Elton John, award-winning singer, songwriter and pianist.

Birthdate: March 25, 1947

Place of birth: Pinner, Middlesex, England

Birth name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight

Father: Stanley Dwight, a Royal Air Force officer

Mother: Sheila (Harris) Dwight

Marriages: David Provide (2014-present); Renate Blauel (1984-1988, divorced)

Children: Born via surrogate mother with Furnish: Elijah Joseph Daniel, Zachary Jackson Levon

He won a piano scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at age 11.

He officially changed his name to Elton John in 1967. The name was inspired by the members of his first band, Bluesology. The saxophonist was named Elton Dean and the lead singer was named Long John Baldry.

Nominated for four Academy Awards and has won twice.

Nominated for 35 Grammy Awards and won five, he also received a Grammy Legend Award.

Nominated for four Tony Awards and has won once.

Nominated for an Emmy Award and won.

Early in his career, he was known for his extravagant costumes and extravagant glasses. He has taken to the stage wearing a duck suit, a sequined baseball uniform and a Ronald McDonald suit. He wore colorful clothing to help create a spectacle and compensate for his shyness on stage.

He is ranked third on Billboard's list of the greatest artists of all time. Only the Beatles and the Rolling Stones rank higher.

John's tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Proceeds from record sales were donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which provided grants to a variety of charities.

1967 – He begins to work as a composer for Liberty Records. This is the beginning of his association as a composer with Bernie Taupin.

1970 – Launches his first world tour.

1973 – He reached the top of the Billboard singles chart for the first time with “Crocodile Rock.” He also releases the double album, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” which spawns a string of hits including the title track, “Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting,” and “Bennie and the Jets.” The album also includes “Candle in the Wind,” originally written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, and later adapted into a song for Princess Diana after her death.

1975 – He appears in a film based on the Who rock opera, “Tommy.” John performs the song “Pinball Wizard” in the film. That same year, John's album, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” becomes the first LP in Billboard history to debut at No. 1 on the charts.

1976 – John duets with Kiki Dee on the number one hit, “Don't Go Breaking My Heart.”

1979 – He becomes the first Western rock or pop star to perform in the Soviet Union.

July 13, 1985 – Performs at the Live Aid charity concert in London for famine relief. Other featured artists at the all-star extravaganza include Paul McCartney, Queen, David Bowie and U2.

February 24, 1987 – Wins the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal – “That's What Friends Are For” – with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder.

1990 – Seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

1992 – Establishes the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

February 25, 1992 – Wins the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for “Basque.”

January 19, 1994 – He is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

July 1994 – John teams up with Billy Joel for a series of concerts called “Face to Face.” The two piano experts toured together repeatedly over 16 years.

March 1, 1995 – He wins the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

March 27, 1995 – Wins the Academy Award for Best Music (Original Score) for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from Disney’s “The Lion King.”

September 6, 1997 – Performs “Candle in the Wind 1997” at Princess Diana's funeral.

February 24, 1998 – Queen Elizabeth II appoints John Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

February 25, 1998 – He wins the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Candle in the Wind 1997.”

February 23, 2000 – Receives the Grammy Legend Award.

June 4, 2000 – Wins the Tony Award for Best Original Score for “Aida.”

February 21, 2001 – Wins the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album for “Aida.”

2004-2009 – He performs a series of shows at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas called “Elton John and the Red Piano.”

December 21, 2005 – John and Furnish celebrate a civil union ceremony, after 12 years together.

November 13, 2008 – “Billy Elliot: The Musical,” with a score composed by John, opens on Broadway and wins 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

September 28, 2011 – John begins a second residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, with a concert series called “The Million Dollar Piano.”

May 2012 – During a performance of “Million Dollar Piano”, John becomes seriously ill. He is hospitalized in Los Angeles for a respiratory infection.

July 2013 – Cancels European tour dates due to upcoming appendicitis surgery.

November 10, 2016 – The Tate Modern museum in London opens an art exhibition called “The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection.” The exhibition features highlights from John's trove of 8,000 prints of vintage photographs dating back to the early 20th century.

January 24, 2018 – He announces that his next world tour will be his last. “I've been touring since I was 17 with various bands,” says John. “I thought it was the right time to thank all my fans and say goodbye.”

September 8, 2018 – He kicks off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

May 31, 2019 – The film “Rocketman”, which describes the life of John and stars Taron Egerton, debuts at the US box office. John is a producer.

June 2019 – “Diamonds,” a compilation of John's greatest hits, peaks at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, becoming his 20th top 10 album on the chart. John becomes the tenth musician to do this.

October 15, 2019 – His autobiography “Yo” is published.

February 9, 2020 – Wins the Academy Award for Best Music (Original Song) for “(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocket Man.”

February 16, 2020 – John announces that he has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia while on tour in Auckland, New Zealand.

March 16, 2020 – John postpones parts of his North American tour due to coronavirus concerns.

March 29, 2020 – John hosts a charity special, “Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” that pays tribute to frontline healthcare workers and first responders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

October 22, 2020 – Mattel launches a limited edition Barbie doll designed in John's likeness. The doll is being released to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the singer's record-breaking two-day performance at Dodgers Stadium in October 1975.

February 2021 – John and actor Michael Caine, supported by the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), publish a video encouraging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

September 16, 2021 – John announces that he will have hip surgery due to a fall over the summer. John undergoes surgery in October.

January 25, 2022 – According to a statement from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, John's concerts at the stadium are postponed after he tested positive for Covid-19. “Fortunately, Elton is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is only experiencing mild symptoms,” the venue writes in a statement.

September 23, 2022 – The president of the United States, Joe Biden, presents John with the National Humanities Medal, surprising the musician after a performance on the south lawn of the White House.

November 20, 2022 – Disney+ presents an exclusive live stream of John's final North American performance, “Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium.”

July 8, 2023 – John performs the last concert of the final tour of his career in Stockholm, Sweden.

January 15, 2024 – John wins an Emmy for his Disney+ special “Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium” and becomes an EGOT winner, the acronym reserved for those who win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

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