Sir Elton John CH CBE, British vocalist, pianist, and composer was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947. John has had a very successful career as a solo artist during the 1970s, having released 31 albums since 1969. He is known as the Rocket Man due to his 1972 hit single of the same name.
Elton John has been working with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967, and both musicians and reviewers praise him for his work in the 1970s and his enduring influence on the music business. The popular music industry has been greatly influenced by John’s music and stage presence. One of the most prosperous songwriting collaborations in history is between him and Taupin.
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Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex. He was Sheila Eileen’s only child and the oldest child of Stanley Dwight (1925-1991). His maternal grandparents reared him in a council home in Pinner. When the family relocated to a nearby semi-detached house in 1945, his parents got married. Prior to leaving Pinner County Grammar School at age 17 to pursue a career in music, he attended Pinner Wood Junior School, Reddiford School, and Pinner County Grammar School.
When John started to seriously think about a career in music, his father, who had served in the Royal Air Force (he had attained the rank of sergeant before being commissioned in May 1944 and had served as a squadron leader at RAF Basrah in Iraq in 1949), tried to steer him in the direction of a more traditional career, like banking.
After such a constrained childhood, John has claimed that his outrageous stage performances and costumes were a way for him to let loose. His father was a trumpet player with the Bob Millar Band, a semi-pro big band that performed at military events, and both of his parents had a passion for music.
John Dwight has recalled how his mother brought home albums by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley & His Comets in 1956 and how they quickly hooked him on rock and roll. The Dwights were avid record shoppers, introducing John to the prominent singers and musicians of the time.
Young John began practicing on his grandmother’s piano, and after a year, his mother noticed him performing “The Skater’s Waltz” by Waldteufel by ear. At age seven, he started taking official piano instruction after playing for friends and family at events. At school, he showed musical talent, including the capacity to write melodies, and he became somewhat famous for playing at school events in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis.
He was awarded a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 11. One of his teachers said that when John first heard a four-page work by George Frideric Handel, he immediately played it again like a “gramophone record.”
Elton John, then known as Reg Dwight, spent five years as a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
John took Saturday sessions at the Academy in central London for the following five years. He has stated that he enjoyed playing pieces by Frédéric Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach and singing in the choir during Saturday classes, but that he was not a conscientious classical student in general.
“I kind of resented going to the Academy,” he stated. “I was one of those children who could just about get away without practicing and still pass, scrape through the grades.”
He has admitted to occasionally skipping class to travel around on the London Underground. He was a “model student,” according to several teachers, and for the past few years, in addition to his classes at the Academy, he also received individual tutoring. He departed the Academy before the graduation tests were given.
Even though she was severe with her kid, John’s mother was more vibrant and of a free spirit than her husband. John was mostly nurtured by his mother and maternal grandmother as Stanley Dwight was disinterested in his son and frequently absent.
John was really upset by the acrimonious arguments the Dwights had while his father was home. They separated when he was fourteen. Thereafter, his mother wed local painter Fred Farebrother, a loving and devoted stepfather whom John called “Derf” (“Fred” backward).
They moved into flat No. 3A in Frome Court, an eight-unit apartment complex not far from both of their former residences. John lived there till he had four albums in the American Top 40 at the same time. It was there that he wrote the songs that started his career as a rock star.
Success In His Career
Empty Sky and Elton John, Elton John’s debut albums, were released in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Between 1972 and 1975, he had seven straight chart-topping records. In 1973, he established The Rocket Record Company, a record label that issued recordings by Neil Sedaka. It’s interesting to note that he decided to work with MCA instead of releasing his own music on his own label as part of an $8 million contract. After accounting for inflation, that is equivalent to about $40 million.
Throughout the 1980s, Elton released popular albums. In 1992, he and Taupin agreed to a $39 million, 12-year deal with Warner Bros. Records. Up until that point, it had been the biggest advance in music history. He composed the music for the Disney animated film The Lion King in 1994, which won the Grammy Award for Best Song and received the “diamond” certification in 1999 for selling fifteen million copies.
Following the passing of Princess Diana of Wales, John reissued his iconic 1973 song “Candle in the Wind” in 1997. John won his lone Grammy for Best Male Pop Recording for this rendition in 1997, which went on to become the best-selling single in music history. John continues to perform live, write music for the stage, and put out top-charting albums.
From 1984 to 1988, he was wed to German recording engineer Renata Blauel. He ultimately came out, and since 1993, he has been dating director David Furnish. In 2005, the two entered into a civil partnership.
Furnish and John have two sons. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, the elder, was born via surrogate in California on December 25, 2010. Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, the younger, was born on January 11, 2013, using the same surrogate. Sean Lennon, David and Victoria Beckham’s sons Brooklyn and Romeo, Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damian Hurley, and Seymour Stein’s daughter are among John’s ten godchildren.
After John depicted Jesus as a “compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems” in 2010, some Christian organizations in the US criticized him.
Elton John’s Net Worth
Elton John has a $500 million net worth. One of the all-time most commercially successful musicians is Elton John.
He has sold more than 300 million albums globally as of this writing. He now ranks behind Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles as the artist with the fifth-highest number of sales in music history.
Elton remains one of the world’s highest-paid artists. Elton John made $45 million between June 2017 and June 2018. Elton performed at The Million Dollar Piano, a Las Vegas residency, from 2011 to 2018. He arranged an arrangement in which he would get 88% of every show’s door money. For Elton, this meant earning about $500,000 per show.
The Sunday Times Rich List placed John as the 322nd richest person in Britain in April 2009, with an estimated net worth of £175 million (US$265 million). After ten years, John was one of the 10 richest persons in the British music industry, according to the 2019 Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated net worth of £320 million.
John has homes not only in Old Windsor, Berkshire, where his primary residence is located, but also in Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, Nice, and Venice. His property is on Mont Boron in Nice. One of the largest private photography collections in the world is thought to belong to John, an art collector.
John acknowledged spending £30 million in just under two years, or £1.5 million per month, in 2000. He spent more than £9.6 million on the real estate between January 1996 and September 1997, along with £293,000 on flowers.
John sold 20 of his automobiles at Christie’s in June 2001, claiming he never got a chance to drive them because he traveled so frequently. Nearly £2 million was raised from the sale, which featured multiple Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, and Bentleys in addition to the most costly vehicle, a 1993 Jaguar XJ220 priced at £234,750.
In order to update the interior design and display some of his collection of contemporary art, John sold the contents of his Holland Park home in 2003 for an estimated £800,000. Since 2004, John has created “Elton’s Closet,” a store where he sells his used clothing, every year.