, a musical based on the British film about a ballet-mad coalminer's son, received a rapturous reception when it opened in New York no one was more proud than Elton John, the creator of the uplifting score.
Now the musician has even more reason to celebrate. The feel-good tale is leading the way at this year's Tony awards, which recognise the best of Broadway. The production's scooped 15 nominations, tying with The Producers for the most nods ever garnered by one production.
One of these is for Sir Elton's score. "It's been an amazing experience," enthused the singer and composer. "It's made an incredible impact on my life."
The show will battle it out against Next To Normal, Shrek The Musical and Rock Of Ages in the coveted Best Musical category at the June 6 ceremony.
Whatever the outcome, the event is likely to be a big night for British talent. Stephen Daldry is also up for his direction of Billy – months after his Academy Award nomination for Kate Winslet movie The Reader. And another six UK actors and actresses have received nominations.