Looking at a life well sung


Lily Davis, staff writer

Elton John was born in Pinner, Midsex, England in March of 1947 as Reginald Kenneth Dwight.  From a very young age, Elton knew he had a passion for music, even self-teaching himself how to play the piano at the ripe age of four.  This showed a promising future, and he later got a scholarship for the Royal Academy for Music in London. 

Elton’s parents divorced when he was in his teen years and he and his father, Stanley Dwight, would often fight over Elton’s future.  Stanley Dwight was a member of the Royal Air Force and wanted Elton to focus on a career outside of music.  However, driven by his passion for music, he dropped out of high school to begin his journey to stardom, taking his stage name from two members of the band he played with. 

In 1967, Liberty Records sent out a work ad and Elton was quickly hired.  Elton started work with the lyricist Bernie Taupin.  The duo ended up switching to the DJM Label a year later and wrote songs for other artists to perform.  

In 1969, Elton got his first real gig with his album Empty Skies, with songs written by Elton and Bernie.  It didn’t grow much in popularity, but the Rocket Man as he is now commonly known came back with a roar the following year when his first big hit song, Your Songcame out, followed by other his songs such as “Island Girl”, and “Crocodile Rock.”

  Along with his outstanding music, Elton is also known for his impressive live performances and his icebreaking outfits.  Elton dressed in a humorous way as a means to captivate and entertain the audience.  As the Rocket Man once said in an interview, “If I was going to be stuck at the piano for two hours, I was going to make people look at me.”

Some of Elton’s most famous outfits include A Star is Born from 1970, Birds of a Feather from 1973, and Dazzling in Diamonds from 1975. 

In 1975, Elton decided to take a break from music and to focus his attention on other things, such as the soccer team he so happened to co-own in England.  It was in 1975, when Elton decided to openly come out as bisextual (And later on, a gay man) to the world.  Elton faced a lot of criticism and hate from the public for his sexuality.  The hate eventually died down and Elton made his grand return to the stage.

Elton John had a lot of fans, that even went as far as the Royal Family.  In in1994, Elton was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth the Second, and years later she would even knight him, giving him the title of “Sir Elton John.”

Elton John struggled with substance abuse for years, and finally, after 1990, Elton went into rehabilitation.  After getting a new chance at life, Elton chose to start an organization to fight against the AIDS Pandemic called, “Elton John AIDS Foundation” in 1992. It has raised over $400 million to help fight against AIDS all around the world. 

 Elton John still even now helps fight for the betterment of human health as proven in March of 2020, where he hosted the iHeart Living Room concert to raise money for researchers to take down the Coronavirus Pandemic.  

In 1993, Elton met the love of his life, David Furnish at a dinner party.  They were later wed in a civil ceremony on December 21, 2005. With the aid of a surrogate, David and Elton had their first child, Zachary Furnish-John, in December 2010, and later had another son, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, in January 2013.

One of the things that made Elton so popular was how he survived.  Throughout his life he has had many challenges, starting from his issues with his father to the issues he had of substance abuse or from the press, Elton survived.  He came back time and time again and showed people that no matter what, anyone can stand back up on their two feet and walk with pride.  His music has also inspired and touched the hearts of many, he paved the way for pop and rock artists by pushing limits and by not being afraid to be different.  Without the effort and movement of Elton John, music would truly not be the same for the many artists we all know today.