Elton John

2016 Elton John

One of the most commercially successful entertainers of the last 30 years, pop singer Elton John was born Reginald Dwight on March 25, 1947 to a middle-class family living in Pinner, England. Taking the stage name Elton "Hercules" John, Dwight embarked on a solo career in mid-1968, performing songs he had written with lyricist Bernard Taupin. Working with producer Gus Dudgeon, John and Taupin released a new album for MCA Records in 1970, Elton John. Thanks to critical praise and the U.S. success of the Top 10 single "Your Song," John found himself quite popular in America, touring the country for the first time later that year.

His 1971 follow-up, the concept album Tumbleweed Connection, was another big hit, reaching the Top 10. The prolific pair put together several more albums during 1971-72, culminating in 1972's Honky Chateau, John's first No. 1 album. Its big single, "Rocket Man," inaugurated a string of hits for the singer-pianist, who scored 16 consecutive Top 20 hits between late 1972 and mid-1976, releasing up to three albums a year. Hits like "The Bitch Is Back," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Bennie and the Jets," "Yellow Brick Road," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and "Crocodile Rock" became pop classics, turning Elton John into a bona fide superstar. He appeared on the cover of Time, performed for more than 100,000 people in Los Angeles, dueted with John Lennon in New York and appeared in the movie Tommy.

Elton John concerts became known for their flamboyance and energy -- the singer would appear on stage wearing feather boas, garish sunglasses, platform shoes, and multi-colored hair, and tickets to his concerts became a hot commodity. In 1977 John announced that he would no longer perform live, due to exhaustion, and would limit his record output, but in 1979 he began a comeback tour including a trip through the USSR. John has continued to release numerous hits including "Rocketman," "Daniel," and his tribute to Princess Diana, a rewritten version of his song originally written about Marilyn Monroe, "Candle in the Wind '97." He has also had various large world tours including one with fellow rock star Billy Joel.

Throughout his career John has received numerous awards and accolades, highlighted by one that that he received in 1997, when he became Sir Elton John after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth. At the end of 2000, John, who is openly gay, sang a duet with controversial rapper Eminem at the Grammys.

In recent years Elton John has been the headliner for a standing concert at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is one of the hottest tickets in all of Vegas.

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