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Elton John - Biography

'Rocket Man' hitmaker Elton John shares two children with his husband David Furnish

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Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
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Who is Elton John?

A man who changes his name from Reginald Kenneth Dwight to Elton Hercules John cannot be anything but a showman. And Sir Elton John (the Queen granted him a knighthood in 1997) he of the flamboyant glasses, extreme shopping habits and multiple-platinum record sales - is certainly that.

Born in Pinner, Middlesex, on March 25, 1947, Reg signalled his intentions early on in life, winning a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music aged 11. Until he hooked up with lyricist Bernie Taupin, with whom he had some of the biggest hits of his career. 

His Career

Elton had a plethora of jobs: he ran errands for a London publishing house, played piano in a hotel, and re-recorded cover versions of pop singles to be sold in supermarkets. Although he released his first album in 1969, he did not taste success until the following year in America, where his eponymously-titled album picked up some airplay. Between 1972 and 1976 there was no stopping the Bernie and Elton double act. 

The year after he helped co-write John Lennon's comeback single, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, Elton's Captain Fantastic album became the first LP to go straight to the Number One slot in the US. Although his career seemed to decline at the tail-end of the Seventies, MTV helped propel the singles from his 1983 album Too Low For Zero back towards the top of the charts. 

With record sales of over 300 million worldwide, 50 Top 40 hits on the UK Singles Charts and five Brit Awards, Elton has made a mint from his mind boggling musical talent. His worldwide Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour has become the highest-grossing tour of all time, raking in £649.1 million from its eight legs and 278 concerts. The ongoing tour kicked off in September 2018 and will come to a close in July this year.  

He now has an estimated net worth of £450 million

His Personal Life

Some have said that by revealing his bisexuality - he later admitted that it was a compromise, because he was afraid to admit he was gay - Elton lost many of his fans. In 1984, amidst much turmoil in his personal life he was heading towards treatment for bulimia, cocaine addiction and alcoholism Elton married German sound engineer Renate Blauel, but the union was short-lived and the couple divorced in 1988. 

Elton later admitted that he knew he was gay even before he tied the knot. Fast forward a decade or so, and Elton is a changed man. He has been in a stable relationship for several years with film-maker David Furnish, whom he wed in 2014. On Christmas Day 2010 a surrogate mother gave birth to their son Zachary, who is a constant joy for them both. The couple are also doting parents to son Elijah whom they welcomed via surrogate in 2013. 

In 2016, he revealed that he will only be giving a small portion of his hard-earned cash to his children. Speaking to The Mirror, he said: "It's terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life.

"You have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work."

The couple are now fully paid-up members of the Establishment. Elton sang at Princess Diana's funeral: the song, Candle In The Wind 1997, sold over three million in its first week and is the charismatic singer-songwriter's biggest hit. He raises millions of pounds every year with his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, hosting an annual ball at his Windsor mansion that is attended by the great, the good, and the terminally glamorous.

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