Elton John
Mini Biography
    The flamboyant rock pianist we know today as Elton John has shaped himself into a rock/pop artist of legendary proportions.  From the oversized glasses of the 70's to the glittery outfits of the 80's, Elton John is indeed "still standing" in the in the 90's and has passed the test of time.
      Reginald Kennith Dwight was born in Pinner, Middlesex, England on March 25, 1947.  This is where it all started.  He was the son of a British military seargent and a homemaker, and he soon began taking piano lessons at the tender age of 4.  His father despised of him listening to that "God forsaken Rock-N-Roll", but mother would regularly smuggle him Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard records.  The marriage between his parents did not last long, but that did not slow down any kids named Reginald. 
      Reg won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at age 11, but he continued his schooling until he was 15.   Here, he started his first group called Bluesology.  Bluesology only lasted him a year, but gave him the name that has stuck since; his stage name; Elton John which was taken from the names of Bluesology members "Long" John Baldry and Elton Dean.
      Elton had lost a band, but soon found Bernie Taupin, a poet from Lincolnshire who was interested in providing lyrics for a songwriter, from an ad in the local newspaper.  Bernie and Elton got along great together and the beginning of a song writing partnership that would last much longer than they thought had began.  What followed was a solid and fruitful career ahead.
      After a few years of unsuccessful singles, Elton and Bernie's time came in 1970 with the everlasting balad and hit, Your Song.  The years that followed were only more and more successful.  Between the years of 1972 and 1975, the Elton John/Bernie Taupin partnership had produced 7 consecutive Numer 1 albums.  It was now practically impossible to turn on the radio without hearing classics like Rocket Man, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Goodbye Yellowbrick Road, Daniel, or Candle In The Wind.
      While Bernie strictly decided to stay in the background, Elton's flamboyant stage personality put him front and center rocking the music world of the 70's.  His live performances all over the world were packed with over the top extravaganzas, crowd pleasing music, and unexpected and wild costume changes full of color while he danced around, underneath, and on top of his piano.  Elton John was the new guy that made and played awesome music, dressed in outrageous outfits, and wore large silly glasses.  He was found on the cover of magazines all over the world.  For every rocker like Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, and The Bitch Is Back, there were simple heart-tugging ballads like Daniel, and Tiny Dancer.  There truly was nothing like him before.
      In 1978, Elton started to feel the burn of the hectic schedule, and he announced his retirement.  Bernie subsequently moved to Los Angles, and their remarkable song writing partnership which had produced 23 Top 40 Hits had temporarily came to a halt.  His retirement; however, was short lived when he was asked to tour the Soviet Union, and Elton was back at it again.
      For Elton, the 80's were more of a mellow time.  His songs still packed punch, but they were now delivered with velvet gloves.  His outfits were now less colorful and more taylored, and his eyewear, though still colorful, was no longer the size of a billboard.
      After a failed 4 year marriage with Renate Blaul in 1984, he befriended a young hemophiliac by the name of Ryan White who was infected with AIDS.  When Ryan died in 1990, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the world's largest nonprofit AIDS awareness and relief organization.  Elton also chose at this time to seek help for his drug, alcohol, and bulimia problems.  He went public once and for all about his homosexuality and began to move forward in his personal life.
      People excepted and embraced the now clean and sober Elton with open arms, not only for the songs he continued to produce, but also for the social life he was leading.  His career took another remarkable turn when Disney came knocking and asked him to write the songs for the soundtrack to the new Disney movie, The Lion King.  The songs he wrote for this movie not only brought him Grammy and Academy awards and nominations, but also touched the hearts of millions of American children children who were singing along with him.
      In 1997, Elton endured personal losses of two close friends: Gianni Versace, and Princess Diana, which happened within six weeks of each other.  Diana's death brought Elton and Bernie together again to re-write the 1975 classic Candle In The Wind for Diana's funeral.  This new song was beautifully performed during Diana's funeral at Westminster Abbey while the whole world watched an Elton John full of tears.  The new single, Candle In The Wind 1997 became the biggest selling single of all time with proceeds going to Diana, Princess Of Whales Memorial Fund.  Elton further impacted the British Isles when he was knighted Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight (Sir Elton John).
      The new title certainly did not send Elton retiring into his mansion, he in fact preferred spending time in his apartment in Atlanta.  Elton hit the road again touring and promoting for his latest album, and let his humor shine through on an episode of South Park in 1998.  He then began a solo tour throughout the world in 1999 and 2000, and as of now, he is touring the U.S. with Billy Joel, and promoting his new album, Songs From the West Coast.  Elton John continues to entertain and delight adults and children alike with his pop, rock, and show tunes.  Captain Fantastic indeed.
Copyright CLQ 2002