Happy Birthday to Elton John, who turns 71 on today (March 25th)!!! Back in January, the “Rocket Man” announced he’ll embark on a three-year, five-continent final trek called the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” which will eventually play over 300 shows. In the press release announcing the farewell tour, Elton explained, “Performing live fuels me and I’m ecstatic and humbled to continue to play to audiences across the globe. I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour. After the tour finishes, I’m very much looking forward to closing off that chapter of my life by saying farewell to life on the road. I need to dedicate more time to raising my children.” Elton and David Furnish, who have been together since 1993, entered into a civil partnership in 2005 and married in 2014. They are the parents of two sons, seven-year-old Zachary and four-and-a-half-year-old Elijah.
Elton recently revealed that the upcoming remake of The Lion King will include four of the films classic songs, as well as a new track written with Beyonce and lyricist Tim Rice. Beyonce will voice the leading character, Nala with Danny Glover supplying the voice of a full-grown Simba. Recently released is Elton’s latest career-spanning compilation, called Diamonds. The set, which has been issued in single, double, and triple-disc editions, is also released as a limited-edition box set, double-LP heavy-weight gatefold vinyl, and on digital formats. Diamonds coincides with the 50th anniversary of Elton’s legendary songwriting partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Queens Of The Stone Age, The Killers, Coldplay and Mumford & Sons are among the acts are paying tribute to Elton John on a new collection called Revamp And Restoration. The two-disc set will be broken up between rock and pop artists on the Revamp half and country artists on the Restoration side. Others contributing Elton covers to the April 6th release include Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Q-Tip, Ed Sheeran, Willie Nelson, Don Henley and more.
Elton will publish his autobiography in 2019. The “no holds barred” account of his life and times will be published by Henry Holt & Company, a Macmillan imprint — which won the high bid auction for the rights to the “Rocket Man’s” still-unnamed memoir. Elton will co-write the tome with music journalist Alexis Petridis. Elton has also signed on to write the music for the Broadway adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada with playwright Paul Rudnick.
Elton released his most recent album, Wonderful Crazy Night, on February 5th, 2016. The set was co-produced by Elton and T-Bone Burnett and recorded at The Village in Los Angeles. The album, which features 12 new collaborations with lyricist Bernie Taupin, also includes Elton’s legendary bandmates — drummer Nigel Olson and guitarist Davey Johnstone, who although onstage with Elton every night, had not been featured on the “Rocket Man’s” studio sessions since 2006’s The Captain & The Kid. Also on board from the legendary ’70s Elton John Band lineup is beloved percussionist, Ray Cooper.
The upcoming Elton John biopic, titled, Rocketman, is shaping up to be a major cinematic spectacle, according to writer Lee Hall. Hall recently spoke about the film, which is still in pre-production, telling BBC radio that the movie would be an “absolutely huge, crazy Technicolor affair” with “all singing, all dancing.” Rocketman — which covers Elton’s life up through his 1990 stint in rehab — will star Tom Hardy, best known for his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and Max Rockatansky in the Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road.
Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex, a suburb of London. John was playing piano at age three, and by the age of 11 he was studying at London’s Royal Academy of Music. He later dropped out to work as a music publishing errand boy and play rock n’ roll at night. John recorded and gigged with his early band Bluesology, and went on to back such legendary acts as Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and the Isley Brothers.
In 1967 he hooked up with aspiring lyricist Bernie Taupin and went on to form one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in rock history. By early 1971, Elton had cracked the American charts with “Your Song,” which peaked at Number Eight, and became the first of his 25 Top 40 hits of the 1970s. In the ’70s, John and Taupin turned out hit after hit, placing 25 singles in the top 40, 16 in the Top Ten, and sending six to Number One.
Of the 19 albums Elton John released in the United States in that decade, 15 went gold or platinum. John’s album Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy holds the distinction of being the first album to debut at Number One in the charts. A month after its release, on June 21st, 1975, Elton performed the album in its entirety at London’s Wembley Stadium. Elton took the stage at the close of a mammoth outdoor rock concert, which featured the Beach Boys and the Eagles as the opening acts.
John’s classic singles include “Rocket Man,” “Honky Cat,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Bennie And The Jets,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “The Bitch Is Back,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “Daniel,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Island Girl,” the duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Kiki Dee, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” with John Lennon, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” “Little Jeannie,” “I’m Still Standing,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” “Sad Songs (Say So Much),” “Candle In The Wind,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” and many, many more.
Elton John told us that his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin has given him great strength and proved to be one of the strongest relationships in his life: “It’s been a remarkable partnership in the fact that we’ve never broken up — although it was rumored that we did break up — we didn’t, we just had a break from each other and wrote with other people. Y’know, you can’t suffocate each other. And the fact that we’re still writing, and loving writing with each other — we root for each other. And too often in this business, people get jealous, y’know, people break up a great thing over the most stupid thing. And he’s been my brother without the music, he’s been my brother with the music. He became the ‘Brown Dirt Cowboy,’ I became ‘Captain Fantastic’– we lived out. . . y’know, that album was very prophetic, that’s what we became”
Elton John performs on April 28th at Las Vegas’ Colosseum At Caesars Palace.
Photo Courtesy of MCA Records