As Elton John prepares to take his farewell tour to Australia and New Zealand in the New Year, fans of the English music legend are desperate to know all about his fascinating life.
The Grammy Award winner is about to take his final bow from the stage after a career spanning over 50 years.
Elton John's last ever North American concert, which took place in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 20, has been live-streamed on Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium. The Disney+ program even included a surprise message from Prince Harry and Meghan, who appeared outside their £14 million Santa Barbara mansion to pay tribute to the iconic singer-songwriter ahead of his farewell show.
As fans gear up for Elton's last hurray, we break down everything you need to know about his incredible rise to stardom.
Is Elton John the star’s real name?
Disappointing as this news may be, Elton John hasn't always been the moniker of the British superstar. His parents, Stanley Dwight and Sheila Eileen Harris, named him Reginald Kenneth Dwight shortly after his birth in March 1947. The heavily syllabic name didn't bode well with Elton, however, who has previously admitted that it carried many 'unhappy memories for him'.
He legally changed it to Elton Hercules John in 1972, revealing later that the switch gave him a 'new lease of life.'
"I didn't particularly like being Reg Dwight. It had too many unhappy memories," he said in a 1987 interview.
As for why he chose 'Elton', it seems he simply enjoyed the sound of the Old English name.
"I used to be in a band, and I wanted to become a singer in my own right, and I wanted to choose a name," he told Rowan Atkinson in 1991. "And the saxophone player in the band was called Elton, so I chose that name."
According to a Guardian article, John took his surname from his close friend, singer Long John Baldry. The Bluesology frontman was reportedly a crucial part of helping Elton turn his life around after the struggling performer survived a suicide attempt. John's 1975 song, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, is believed to be about Long John Baldry.
How many hits did Elton John have?
It's no secret that Elton John has been hugely successful in the charts, raking up an incredible 10 UK No-1 singles and 8 No-1 albums over the course of his impressive career. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Kiki Dee was his first single to reach the No 1 spot, while Candle In The Wind 97/Something About The Way You Look Tonight holds the golden status as the UK’s best-selling single of all time with nearly 5 million pure sales.
When did Elton John release his first single and how many albums does he have?
While Your Song (1970) is sometimes mistaken as Elton John's debut track, Border Song was actually the first ever single released by the talented musician. The Gospel-esque tune featured on his second album, Elton John, which dropped one year after his first album, Empty Sky (1969).
Today, Elton John has 31 studio albums, 5 live albums, and 9 soundtrack albums. If that wasn't impressive enough, the hitmaker has also produced 22 compilation albums, 4 extended plays, 3 tribute albums, 4 collaboration albums, and 2 holiday albums.
What is the Elton John movie about his life called?
The 2019 Elton John biographical drama, Rocketman, explores the life and career of the record-breaking musician. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and starring Taron Egerton as Elton, the film is a dramatization of the Grammy-winner's rise from childhood anonymity in Pinner to global fame.
Who is Elton John’s husband?
Elton John's husband is Canadian filmmaker, David James Furnish. The powerhouse couple was legally married in 2014, nine years after they entered a civil partnership in 2005. Their relationship dates back to 1993, when they were reportedly introduced to each other through a mutual friend.
What are Elton John’s son’s names and how old are they?
Elton John has two sons with husband David Furnish. Their eldest, Zachary, was born on Christmas Day in 2010, with their second child, Elijah, arriving two years later. Both boys, now aged 11 and 9, were born via the same surrogate mother.
How many times did Elton John meet the Queen?
It's unknown exactly how many times Elton John met Queen Elizabeth II, but there's no denying the pair shared a special relationship. The musician paid tribute to Her Majesty following her death on September 8, taking to social media to share the following message:
"Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's passing. She was an inspiring presence to be around, and led the country through some of our greatest, and darkest, moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth." He also dedicated a performance of his 1974 song, Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, to the Queen at his concert in Toronto on September 8.
"I’m 75, and she’s been with me all my life, and I feel very sad that she won’t be with me anymore," he told the audience, before adding, "I’m glad she’s at peace, and I’m glad she’s at rest, and she deserves it. She worked bloody hard."
John's relationship with the Queen reportedly dates back to the 1970s, when he was first invited by the monarch and her sister, Princess Margaret, to a dinner party at Buckingham Palace. The high-ranking royal duo were apparently huge fans of the singer and went on to host him at the London residence multiple times over the next couple of decades.
Which other members of the British Royal Family has Elton John met?
Elton John was also a close friend of Princess Diana, having first met the late royal at Prince Andrew's 21st birthday party in 1981. In his 2019 memoir, John wrote that he immediately "hit it off" with her, adding, "She was fabulous company... a real gossip: you could ask her anything and she’d tell you."
John has also been close to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for several years, with their relationship blossoming even more since the couple's move to the US in early 2020. The Duchess of Sussex has even partnered with John's husband, David, to work on the Netflix animated series, Pearl.
When is Elton John’s final tour and are tickets to Elton John's final concerts still available?
Elton John's final tour is called the Farewell Yellow Brick Road and is named after his 1973 album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Its first show kicked off in Pennsylvania in 2018, with its last date scheduled to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 8, 2023. Tickets (opens in new tab) to see the superstar perform live in the UK are still available, but move quickly - it looks like they're selling out fast.
Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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