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George Michael & Elton John

Inspired by the showmanship of rock & roll musicians Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, young pianist Reginald Dwight (born on March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England) transformed himself into one of the most colorful and enduring rock stars of his era.

After studying at the Royal Academy of Music, he formed Bluesology with Long John Baldry and Elton Dean, merging their Christian names to create his own moniker Elton John. Meeting lyricist Bernie Taupin shaped his career. They became one of the world's most successful songwriting partnerships, Elton John using his adopted persona to create an outrageously camp stage personality and a thrilling live show.

His 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and number two on the UK Albums Chart. The hits came thick and fast from "Your Song" and "Rocket Man" in 1970 and 1972 to "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Kiki Dee in 1976 and "Nikita" in 1985. He earned his first solo number one in the UK in 1990 with "Sacrifice" and released a live version of his song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" which he performed with George Michael at Wembley Arena in 1991, topping the charts in the UK and US.

The death of Princess Diana in 1997 prompted him and Bernie Taupin to rewrite one of his biggest hits, "Candle in the Wind." Originally written about Marilyn Monroe, Elton John did his one and only live performance of this revised version at Princess Diana's funeral, later releasing it as a single under the title "Candle in the Wind 1997." It went on to become the fastest-selling single of all time, selling more than 33 million copies worldwide. The proceeds of the single were donated to several charities championed by the Princess.

In 2005, he composed the score for the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, he broke the record for the most performances at New York's Madison Square Garden, performing for the 60th time on his 60th birthday in 2007 and an unlikely collaboration came in 2009 when he accepted a request by Jerry Cantrell to record with Alice in Chains; he played piano on their song "Black Gives Way to Blue." In 2010 he collaborated with Leon Russell for "The Union," reaching number three on the Billboard 200 and number 12 in the UK. He returned to the theatre in 2017 to compose the score for the Broadway musical version of The Devil Wears Prada.

In January 2018, he announced that he would embark on a three-year farewell tour before retiring. Around the same time, it was revealed that Paramount Pictures were working on a biopic of John's life titled Rocketman. The film was released in 2019 starring Taron Egerton as Elton John. In 2021, Elton John released The Lockdown Sessions, his fifth collaborative album, primarily containing tracks recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic and during the Farewell Yellow Brick Road farewell tour stop. The album includes three singles, "Cold Heart (Pnau remix)" with Dua Lipa, "After All" with Charlie Puth, and "Finish Line" with Stevie Wonder.

©Copyright Music Story 2023


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