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Genre: pop

Quotable: “one of the most successful purveyors of hit songs and records in the history of the music industry” – Songwriters Hall of Fame

Born: Reginald Kenneth Dwight

When: March 25, 1947

Where: Pinner, Middlesex, England

The Studio Albums:

Hover over an album cover for the name and year of release. Click on album to see album’s DMDB page.

Empty Sky (1969) Elton John (1970) Tumbleweed Connection (1970) Madman Across the Water (1971) Honky Château (1972) Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player (1973) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) Caribou (1974) Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975) Rock of the Westies (1975) Blue Moves (1976) A Single Man (1978) Victim of Love (1979) 21 at 33 (1980) The Fox (1981) Jump Up! (1982) Too Low for Zero (1983) Breaking Hearts (1984) Ice on Fire (1985) Leather Jackets (1986) Reg Strikes Back (1988) Sleeping with the Past (1989) The One (1992) Duets (1993) The Lion King Soundtrack (1994) Made in England (1995) The Big Picture (1997) Aida Cast Album (1999) Songs from the West Coast (2001) Peachtree Road (2004) The Captain and the Kid (2006) The Union (w/ Leon Russell, 2010)


(Organized by dates of recording, not release)

Greatest Hits (1970-1974) Greatest Hits Vol. II (1971-1977) Greatest Hits 1976-1986 (1976-1986) Greatest Hits Volume III (1979-1987) The Very Best of (1970-1990) Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (1970-2002) Rocket Man: The Definitive Collection (1970-2007)

Key Tracks: *

  • Your Song (1970). Airplay: 6 million
  • Levon (1971)
  • Tiny Dancer (1972) sales: ½ million
  • Rocket Man (1972) airplay: 2 million
  • Honky Cat (1972)
  • Crocodile Rock (1972) #1, sales: 1 million, airplay: 3 million
  • Daniel (1973). sales: ½ million, airplay: 4 million
  • Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (1973) airplay: 2 million
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) sales: 1 million, airplay: 4 million
  • Bennie and the Jets (1974) #1, sales: 1 million, airplay: 3 million
  • Candle in the Wind (1974) airplay: 2 million
  • Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (1974) sales: ½ million, airplay: 5 million
  • The Bitch Is Back (1974) sales: ½ million
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1974) sales: ½ million, airplay: 2 million
  • Philadelphia Freedom (1975) #1, sales: 1 million
  • Someone Saved My Life Tonight (1975) sales: ½ million
  • Island Girl (1975) #1, sales: 1 million
  • Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee: 1976) #1, sales: ½ million
  • Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (1976) sales: ½ million, airplay: 2 million
  • Mama Can’t Buy You Love (1979) sales: ½ million
  • Little Jeannie (1980) sales: ½ million
  • Empty Garden (1982)
  • I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues (1983) airplay: 4 million
  • I’m Still Standing (1983)
  • Sad Songs Say So Much (1984)
  • Nikita (1985)
  • I Don’t Wanna Go on with You Like That (1988)
  • Healing Hands (1989)
  • Sacrifice (1989)
  • Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (live with George Michael: 1991) #1, sales: ½ million
  • The One (1992)
  • Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (1994) sales: ½ million
  • Blessed (1995) airplay: 2 million
  • Candle in the Wind 1997 (1997) #1, sales: 11 million, airplay: 2 million
  • Something about the Way You Look Tonight (1997) airplay: 2 million
  • Written in the Stars (with LeAnn Rimes: 1999) sales: ½ million
* Included in this list are all #1 US pop hits, songs selling ½ million or more, and songs with 1 million + airplay. You can also check out Elton John’s discography page for detailed chart figures, sales figures, and airplay.

Album Sales:

sales in U.S. only 69.5 million
sales worldwide - estimated 250 million

Singles Sales:

sales in U.S. only 22.5 million
sales worldwide - estimated 36 million



Rated one of the top 100 acts of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of my personal top 100 acts of all time. Click to learn more. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee

“In a career spanning five decades,” WK “English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist” WK Elton John has been “one of the most successful purveyors of hit songs and records in the history of the music industry.” SH “A multifaceted talent, John excels as both a ballad-oriented singer/songwriter and a flamboyant rock and roll star.” RH “He and lyric writer, Bernie Taupin, comprise one of the longest-running and most successful songwriting teams of all time.” SH “In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early ‘70s.” STE His “output was as critical to this decade as the Beatles were to the Sixties and Presley to the Fifties.” RH “Moreover, his longevity as an active recording artist surpasses both of them.” RH

“Unlike many pop stars, John was able to sustain his popularity, charting a Top 40 single every single year from 1970 to 1996. During that time, he had temporary slumps in creativity and sales, as he fell out of favor with critics, had fights with…Taupin, and battled various addictions and public scandals. But through it all, John remained a remarkably popular artist and many of his songs…became contemporary pop standards.” STE

Elton John has “23 gold albums and 13 gold single records” SH and “has sold over 250 million records and has over 50 Top 40 hits,” WK “16 Top 10 ones, and six #1 hits.” WK In addition, he had “a string of seven consecutive #1 records.” WK

He “contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll” WK as he made “his piano the lead instrument in his records, at a time that was dominated by the guitar.” SH “Elton owed much of his success during the mid-1970s to his concert performances. He filled arenas and stadiums worldwide, and was arguably the hottest act in the rock world. John was an unlikely rock idol to begin with, as he was short of stature at 5’7” (1.70 m), chubby, and gradually losing his hair. But he made up for it with impassioned performances and over-the-top fashion sense. Also known for his glasses (he started wearing them as a youth to copy his idol Buddy Holly), his flamboyant stage wardrobe now included ostrich feathers, $5,000 spectacles that spelled his name in lights, and dressing up like the Statue of Liberty, Donald Duck, or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart among others at his concerts made them a success and created interest for his music.” WK

Early Years
Elton’s “childhood was marred by terrible arguments between his parents.” WK “His mother, the former Sheila Harris commented years later that her son grew up ‘a bundle of nerves.’” WK

Elton’s “father, Stanley Dwight, was an officer in the Royal Air Force and was frequently away.” WK He “had once played trumpet with an American-styled big band called Bob Miller and The Millermen. He and Sheila were avid record buyers, exposing Reginald to the music of pianists Winifred Atwell, Nat King Cole, and George Shearing, and to singers Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Kay Starr, Johnny Ray, Guy Mitchell, Jo Stafford, and Frankie Laine.” WK

Elton “began playing piano at the age of four, and when he was 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.” STE “He took sustenance in the early rock ‘n’ roll piano pioneers, annoying his father, who wanted him to concentrate on the classics, and frightening his mother with a fascination for music of the sexual, androgynous Little Richard.” WK

“In 1962, Reginald’s embattled parents finally divorced, in the wake of Sheila Dwight’s friendship with a painter named Fred Farebrother. Later, Stanley married again and had four children.” WK

Early Career (1962-1969)
“After studying for six years, he left school with the intention of breaking into the music business. In 1961, he joined his first band, Bluesology, and divided his time between playing with the group, giving solo concerts at a local hotel, and running errands for a London publishing house.” STE

“By 1965, Bluesology was backing touring American soul and R&B musicians like Major Lance, Doris Troy, and the Bluebells. In 1966, Bluesology became Long John Baldry’s supporting band and began touring cabarets throughout England. Dwight became frustrated with Baldry’s control of the band and began searching for other groups to join.” STE Dwight would later combine Baldry’s first name with Bluesology sax player Elton Dean’s to come up with his stage name. RH

“After failing lead vocalist auditions for both King Crimson and Gentle Giant, Dwight answered an advertisement in the New Musical Express placed by Ray Williams, then the A&R manager for Liberty Records. At their first meeting, Williams gave Dwight a stack of lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, who had answered the same ad. Dwight wrote music for the lyrics, and then mailed it to Taupin.” WK “In 1967, what would become the first Elton John/Bernie Taupin song, Scarecrow, was recorded” WK and “thus began a prolific partnership that endures to this day.” RH

Empty Sky and the First Singles
“The team…joined…DJM Records as staff songwriters in 1968” RH and “collaborated at a rapid rate, with Taupin submitting batches of lyrics – he often wrote a song an hour – every few weeks. John would then write music without changing the words, sometimes completing the songs in under a half-hour.” STE “Over the next two years, the duo wrote songs for pop singers like Roger Cook and Lulu. In the meantime, John recorded cover versions of current hits for budget labels to be sold in supermarkets.” STE “During this period John also played on sessions for other artists including playing piano on The Hollies’ ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He's My Brother.’” WK

“By the summer of 1968, he had begun recording singles for release under his own name. Usually, these songs were more rock- and radio-oriented than the tunes he and Taupin were giving to other vocalists, yet neither of his early singles for Phillips, I’ve Been Loving You and Lady Samantha, sold well. In June of 1969, he released his debut album for DJM, Empty Sky, which received fair reviews, but no sales.” STE The album would “not [even] be released in the U.S. until 1975, when John is a bonafide superstar.” RH

Rise to the Top
“For his second album, John and Taupin hired producer Gus Dudgeon and arranger Paul Buckmaster, who contributed grandiose string charts to Elton John,” STE which “was released in the spring of 1970…and established the formula for subsequent albums; gospel-chorded rockers and poignant ballads.” WK The album’s single Your Song was “the first in a string of 60 hit singles for John over the next three decades.” RH It “made the US Top Ten; the album followed suit.” WK

Elton John was followed quickly with the concept album Tumbleweed Connection in October 1970.” WK The album “received heavy airplay on album-oriented radio in the U.S., helping it climb into the Top Ten.” STE “A frenetic pace of releasing two albums a year was now established.” WK

Next up was a live album and then “John and Taupin then wrote the soundtrack to the obscure film Friends and then the album Madman Across the Water, the latter reaching the Top Ten and producing the hit Levon, while the soundtrack album produced the hit Friends.” WK

In 1972, Elton “released Honky Château, which became Elton’s first American number 1 album, spending five weeks at the top of the charts and spawning the hit singles Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time) and Honky Cat.” WK The former “was a profound match of words and music that used space travel as a metaphor for spiritual isolation.” RH

The Peak Years
“Between 1972 and 1976, John and Taupin's hit-making machine was virtually unstoppable. ‘Rocket Man’ began a four-year streak of 16 Top 20 hits in a row; out of those 16…only…the FM hit <>Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting failed to reach the Top Ten” STE in the U.S. He “logged a combined 156 weeks…which is to say that, on average, an Elton John single could be found in the Top Forty every week for three years.” RH

“Moreover, John wasn’t just a highly successful singles artist. From 1972 to 1975, he released seven consecutive albums that topped the charts…for a combined total of 39 weeks, which is to say an Elton John album was ensconced at #1 every fourth week or so during the mid-Seventies.” RH

“In 1973, John launched his own custom label, Rocket Records” WK “in order to sign and produce acts like Neil Sedaka and Kiki Dee. John didn't become a Rocket recording artist himself, choosing to stay with MCA for a record-breaking eight-million-dollar contract in 1974.” STE

1973 also “saw the release of the poppy, hit-filled Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano PlayerRH which “produced the hits Crocodile Rock and Daniel; the former became his first US number one hit.” WK Five more would follow in the next three years. “Ironically this, like his other famous 1970s solo hits, would be popular in his native land but never top the UK Singles Chart; this achievement would have to wait two decades.” WK

“The more thoughtful, album-oriented double-LP Goodbye Yellow Brick RoadRH followed later that year and is often “considered by many to be Elton John's best album.” WK “It gained instant critical acclaim and topped the chart on both sides of the Atlantic. It also temporarily established Elton John as a glam rock star. It contained…the popular and praised Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Candle in the Wind, [and] ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’” WK as well as Bennie and the Jets “a tribute to R&B music” RH that topped the U.S. charts. “Axl Rose (of Guns ‘n’ Roses) would say in his 1994 speech inducting John into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” RH that “‘When I first heard ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ I knew I had to be a performer’.” RH

The Lennon Connection
“Later in 1974, he co-wrote John Lennon’s number one comeback single Whatever Gets You Thru the Night.” STE “Having promised Elton John that he would join him onstage if…[the song] hit #1, John Lennon makes good by accompanying Elton on three songs at Madison Square Garden” RH “on Thanksgiving Day 1974; it would prove to be Lennon’s last live performance.” STE

The pair also performed the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds that night. Lennon then played “guitar…under the pseudonym Dr. Winston O’Boogie” RH for Elton’s recorded version of the non-LP track that went all the way to the top of the U.S. charts.

Slipping, But Still #1
Caribou was released in 1974, and although it reached number 1, it was widely considered a lesser quality album. Reportedly recorded in a scant two weeks between live appearances, it featured The Bitch Is Back and John’s versatility in orchestral songs with Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,”WK a song which “features Beach Boys Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston on backing vocals.” RH “At the end of the year, the compilation album Elton John’s Greatest Hits was released and reached number 1.” WK

“Pete Townshend of The Who asked John to play a character called the Pinball Wizard in the film of the rock opera Tommy, and to perform the song of the same name. Drawing on power chords, John’s version was recorded and used for the movie release in 1975.” WK

That year, Elton also hit topped the charts with non-LP track Philadelphia Freedom, “a song inspired by his friendship with tennis superstar Billie Jean King, whose pro team is the Philadelphia Freedoms.” RH Later that year, on “autobiographical album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Elton John revealed his previously ambiguous personality, with Taupin’s lyrics describing their early days as struggling songwriters and musicians in London…Someone Saved My Life Tonight was the hit single from this album and captured an early turning point in John's life.” WK

Captain Fantastic became his first album to enter the American charts at number one,” STE a feat duplicated by his next album, the “rock-oriented Rock of the Westies…However, the material was almost universally regarded as not on a par with previous releases. The musical and vocal chemistry Olsson and Murray brought to Elton's previous releases was seen as lacking by some, both on the album and in the concerts that supported it.” WK

End of the Glory Years
“In 1976, Elton released the live album Here and There in May, then the downbeat Blue Moves in October, which contained the memorable but even gloomier hit Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word. His biggest success in 1976 was the Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, a peppy duet with Kiki Dee that topped both the American and British charts.” WK In the U.S., it was “John’s sixth #1 hit in three years – and his last…for 21 years.” RH

“Besides being his most commercially successful period, 1970 - 1976 is also held in the most regard critically. Of the six Elton John albums to make Rolling Stone’s 2003 ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’ list, all are from this period, with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ranked highest at number 91; similarly, the three Elton John albums given five stars by All Music Guide are all from this period too (Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Château, and Captain Fantastic) .” WK

The Lean Years
In 1976, John “revealed in an interview in Rolling Stone that he was bisexual; he would later admit that the confession was a compromise, since he was afraid to reveal that he was homosexual. Many fans reacted negatively to John’s bisexuality, and his audience began to shrink somewhat in the late ‘70s.” STE

“The decline in his record sales was also due to his exhaustion. After 1976, John cut his performance schedule drastically, announcing that he was retiring from live performances in 1977 and started recording only one album a year.” STE “Some speculated that John’s retreat from stardom was prompted by adverse reactions to the Rolling Stone article.” WK

“His relationship with Taupin became strained following the release of 1976’s double album Blue Moves, and the lyricist began working with other musicians. John returned in 1978 with A Single Man, which was written with Gary Osborne; the record produced no Top 20 singles. That year, he returned to live performances…[and] Mama Can’t Buy You Love, a song he recorded with Philly soul producer Thom Bell in 1977, returned him to the Top Ten in 1979.” STE However, a “disco-influenced album, Victim of Love, was poorly received.” WK

“John reunited with Taupin for 1980’s 21 at 33;” STE “the title refers to the fact that it is the 33-year-old John’s 21st album.” RH The album was “aided by his biggest hit in four years, Little Jeannie (number 3 US), although the lyrics were written by Gary Osborne.” WK

“Over the next three years, John remained a popular concert artist, but his singles failed to break the Top Ten, even if they reached the Top 40. In 1981, he signed with Geffen Records and his second album, Jump Up!, became a gold album on the strength of Blue Eyes and Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) , his tribute to John Lennon.” STE

“1983’s Too Low for Zero…began his last great streak of hit singles,” STE “which included I’m Still Standing and I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues, the latter of which featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and reached number 4 in the US.” WK

“Throughout the rest of the ‘80s, John's albums would consistently go gold” STE and “while he would never again match his 1970s success, he placed hits in the US Top Ten throughout the 1980s – …Sad Songs (Say So Much) (number 5, 1984), Nikita (number 7, 1986), an orchestral version of Candle in the Wind (number 6, 1987), and I Don’t Wanna Go on with You Like That (number 2, 1988). His highest-charting single was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder on That’s What Friends Are For (number 1, 1985); credited as Dionne and Friends, the song raised funds for AIDS research. His albums continued to sell, but of the six released in the latter half of the 1980s, only Reg Strikes Back (number 16, 1988) placed in the Top 20 in the US.” WK

A Rehabbed Elton
“While his career continued to be successful, his personal life was in turmoil. Since the mid-‘70s, he had been addicted to cocaine and alcohol, and the situation only worsened during the ‘80s.” STE “In 1984 he surprised many by marrying sound engineer Renate Blauel. While the marriage lasted four years, John later maintained that he had realised that he was gay before he married.” WK “In 1986, he underwent throat surgery while on tour, but even after he successfully recovered, he continued to abuse cocaine and alcohol.” STE John “deemed 1989 the worst period of his life, comparing his mental and physical deterioration to Elvis Presley's last years.” WK

“Elton John was deeply affected by the plight of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager with AIDS. Along with Michael Jackson, John befriended and supported the boy and his family until White’s death in 1990. Himself a mess and confronted by his then-lover, John checked into a Chicago hospital in 1990 to combat his drug abuse, alcoholism, and bulimia. In recovery, he lost weight and underwent hair replacement, and subsequently took up residence in Atlanta, Georgia.” WK

“Also in 1990, John would finally achieve his first UK number one hit on his own, with Sacrifice (backed with Healing Hands) from the previous year’s album Sleeping with the Past.” WK

A ‘90s Resurgance
“The 1991 film documentary Two Rooms described the unusual writing style that John and Bernie Taupin use, which involves Taupin writing the lyrics on his own, and John then putting them to music, with the two never in the same room during the process. That same year, the…tribute album [of the same name] came out, featuring contributions from many top British and American rock and pop performers. Finally in 1991, …his guest concert appearance on George Michael’s reverent treatment of Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me topped the singles charts in both the US and UK.” WK

“In 1992 he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation [and] …released the US number 8 album The One, his highest-charting release since 1976’s Blue Moves.” WK It became “Elton’s “first to receive multi-platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).” RH In 1993, the album’s song Simple Life entered “Billboard’s Top Forty. With this charting single, John breaks Elvis Presley’s longstanding record with 24 consecutive years of Top Forty hits.” RH

In 1992, Elton also “performed…with Queen at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, an AIDS charity event held at Wembley Stadium, London.” WK

In 1993, Elton “released Duets, a collaboration with 15 artists ranging from Tammy Wynette to RuPaul.” WK “In 1994, John collaborated with lyricist Tim Rice on songs for Disney’s animated feature i>The Lion King” STE which “went on to become the highest-grossing traditionally-animated feature of all time.” WK “The album remained at the top of Billboard’s charts for nine weeks.” WK “…Three of the five songs nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song that year were…from The Lion King, with Can You Feel the Love Tonight winning.” WK It would also win for Best Pop Vocal Performance, which marked Elton’s “first Grammy Award as an artist” RH “after countless Grammy nominations dating back to 1970.” RH

Elton John “and Bernie Taupin [were] inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992” WK and then “Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1994.” WK That year, “Elton John and Billy Joel team up for a joint tour for the first time. The union of two piano-playing rock and roll superstars virtually guarantees sellouts.” RH More honors followed as “Elton John was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1995.” WK

That same year, “John released Made in England…which featured the hit single Believe (number 13, 1995).” WK “The 1997 follow-up, The Big Picture, delivered more of the same well-crafted pop, made the Top Ten, and produced a hit in Something About the Way You Look Tonight.” STE

Princess Diana
“The year 1997 was an eventful one for John, marked by both triumph and tragedy.” RH “Early in the year, vestiges of the flamboyant Elton resurfaced as he threw a 50th birthday, costumed as Louis XIV, for 500 friends (the costume cost more than $80,000).” WK However, he also “lost two close friends, Britain’s Princess Diana and Italian designer Gianni Versace, under tragic circumstances.” RH

“In September, Taupin altered the lyrics of Candle in the Wind for a special version mourning the death of Diana, and John performed it at her funeral in Westminster Abbey. While John sang, Prince Charles was seen with tears in his eyes. A recorded version” WK “which was produced in a day by George Martin – became a phenomenal success that helped the whole world in its grieving.” RH The song “became the fastest-selling hit of all time in both Britain and the U.S. upon the single’s release, easily debuting at number one on both sides of the Atlantic; with first-week sales of over three million copies in the U.S. alone and 14 weeks in the top spot, it was John’s biggest hit ever.” STE All told, it “sold more than 33 million copies, becoming the biggest single in history, and raised over 20 million pounds (roughly 30 million U.S. dollars) for the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund.” RH

“Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 February 1998, granting him the title of ‘Sir.’ The honour was officially for his charitable work.” WK

Movie and Stage Work at the Close of the ‘90s
In “addition to a 1998 adaptation of The Lion King for Broadway,” WK “John reunited with Lion King collaborator Tim Rice to write songs for Disney’s Broadway musical adaptation of the story of Aida,” STE “based on Verdi’s opera;” RH an album of their efforts featuring a who’s who of contemporary pop musicians was released in early 1999, going gold by the end of the year.” STE One of the album’s songs was Written in the Stars, a “duet with LeAnn Rimes, [which] reached #29 on the U.S. Top 40, marking the 30th consecutive year in which Elton John had…a Top 40 single.” WK

Aida “opened in March 2000 and won four Tony Awards. As luck would have it, John co-wrote the music for the spring season’s two most popular Broadway musicals: The Lion King and Aida.” RH

John also wrote “the score for The Muse in 1999…[and] had a pacemaker installed to overcome a minor heart problem.” WK

Movie and Stage Work in the New Millenium
“In 2000, John and Tim Rice teamed again to create songs for DreamWorks’ animated film The Road To El Dorado and was also the narrator.” WK

In 2001, John’s “1970s track Tiny Dancer was prominently featured in the film Almost Famous, and then his The Heart of Every Girl was the end title song from 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile.” WK

“Returning again to musical theatre, John composed music for a West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005 with playwright Lee Hall. John’s only theatrical project with Bernie Taupin so far is Lestat: The Musical, based on the Anne Rice vampire novels. However it was slammed by the critics and closed in May 2006 after 39 performances.” WK

“On October 9, 2006, The Walt Disney Company named Elton a Disney Legend, the company's highest honor, for his numerous outstanding contributions to Disney's films and theatrical works.” WK

Revisiting Past Songs in the New Millenium
“In 2001, he duetted with Eminem on the rapper’s Stan at the Grammy Awards…This went a long way towards absolving Eminem of charges of homophobia.” WK

In 2002, he duetted with Alessandro Safina on a version of ‘Your Song’ which hit #4 in the UK and then, “in 2003, British boyband Blue…released a version of Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, which included John. It went to number 1 in the UK as well as many other European countries.” WK

Are You Ready for Love was pretty much ignored when it was first recorded during the late 1970s Thom Bell sessions, but it…eventually got a re-release…in 2004 and proceeded to go straight to number 1 in the UK.” WK

“He achieved yet another number 1 single in the UK in 2005, being featured on 2Pac’s posthumous song Ghetto Gospel from the rapper’s album, Loyal to the Game. The song sampled Indian Sunset from John's 1971 album, Madman Across the Water.” WK

“In May 2006, Pet Shop Boys released their album Fundamental, the limited edition included In Private, a new version of the Dusty Springfield single they had written in 1989. The song, this time, had been recorded as a duet with John and was later released as bonus track on Pet Shop Boys' top 20 hit Minimal.” WK

New Albums in the New Millenium
“2001’s Songs from the West Coast was a return to form for John, who found critical success for the first time since the '80s.” STE Surprisingly, John “declared that [it] would be his final studio album, and that he would now concentrate on just live performances. In 2004, however, he released a new album, Peachtree Road which, despite some favourable reviews, was his least commercially successful album in every country it was released in.” WK

“In 2006, John and Taupin released The Captain & the Kid, a sequel to 1975’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.” STE The conceptual album focused “on the phenomenal success, the sadnesses, the creativity and the optimism within their 40 year songwriting partnership…and for the first time ever, photographs of both Elton and Bernie Taupin are featured on the album front cover.” WK

That year, Elton also “co-wrote the single I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ with the Scissor Sisters, featuring Elton on piano. Recorded in Las Vegas, it is taken from the Scissor Sisters album Ta-Dah.” WK

In 2010, John teamed with his long-time idol Leon Russell for the collaborative album The Union. It was produced by T-Bone Burnett, who’d become the go-to guy in the music industry for anything Americana, thanks to a pair of Grammy winners for Album of the Year: 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ 2007 Raising Sand.

Biography Source(s):

Last updated February 1, 2011.