Elton John

Rock Musician / Composer

Born: 25 March 1947
Birthplace: Middlesex, England
Best known as: The singer of "Candle in the Wind"

Name at birth: Reginald Kenneth Dwight

A prolific songwriter and a flamboyant performer, Elton John had 30 different hits on the top 40 charts between 1970 and 1982. His super-theatrical stage appearances, with Elton John changing into a succession of elaborate costumes and outlandish spectacles, helped make him a pop megastar. His hit tunes included "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road," "Your Song," "Bennie and the Jets," and "Rocket Man." All were written with his longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin. Although John lost a bit of his shine during the '80s, he re-emerged as a force in the 1990s, touring and recording and cementing his spot among the pop music aristocracy. Elton John performed his song "Candle in the Wind" at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and the song went on to become an international best-seller. John (like Paul McCartney) was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997. In the 21st century he has continued to perform widely, doing a long series of tours with fellow 1970s pop star Billy Joel and taking up a semi-permanent residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Extra credit: Elton John joined in a civil partnership with his longtime companion, filmmaker David Furnish, on 21 December 2005, shortly after such partnerships became legal in England. They have a son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, who was born to a surrogate mother on 25 December 2010. The mother has not been identified, but John's representatives said the baby was born in California... According to a 2004 BBC profile, Elton John "has the rare accolade of charting a Top 40 single every year from 1970 to 1996"... "Candle in the Wind" originally was written about actress Marilyn Monroe... Elton John earned a reported fee of one million dollars to perform at Rush Limbaugh's wedding to Kathryn Rogers on 5 June 2010; it was Limbaugh's fourth marriage... Elton John caused a mild flap in the year 2000 when he performed a duet at the Grammy awards with controversial rapper Eminem.

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