Elton John is celebrating a big milestone, turning 72 years old today!
To celebrate more than seven decades of Elton, here are 10 of our favourite moments courtesy of Elton John!
1. Candle In The Wind 1997
After the passing of his dear friend Princes Diana, John rewrote and recorded “Candle in the Wind 1997” 24 years after the original. Released on 13 September 1997 as a tribute single, proceeds went to Diana’s charities.
The double A-side (paired with “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”) hit #1 on the UK singles chart, and became the best selling single in UK history. It also hit #1 in the US, staying there for 14 weeks, and became the best-selling single in Billboard history, being the first single to be certified Diamond.
2. Collaborating with Eminem at the Grammys
Eminem came under a LOT of fire when he started dominated the charts for supposedly homophobic lyrics. He shared the 2001 Grammys stage for a performance of his song “Stan” with John, openly gay, taking on the parts originally sung by Dido.
It was a duet nobody could’ve seen coming, and we all waited with baited breath to see how it would go down. Luckily, the pair hit it off, and knocked it out of the park.
3. The Elton John AIDS Foundation
As much as Elton John’s musical accomplishments deserve credit, his work in the charity space is inspiring. John has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and in 1992, he started the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $200 million through its UK and US branches. Along with providing medical treatment for patients, the EJAF also worked to combat the stigma around AIDS and build educational awareness.
4. Elton’s chart success
Some of Elton’s accolades include:
5. Shaping the musical landscape of The Lion King
The Lion King is one of Disney’s all-time greatest films, and a huge reason for its impact was the soundtrack. John, along with Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer, crafted a collection of songs that would prove to be classics, like “Circle of Life”, “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” , “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Hakuna Matata.”
The soundtrack would go on to ship 10 million copies in the United States alone, becoming the best-selling soundtrack to an animated film ever.
6. ‘Sir’ Elton John
John holds the distinction of being made a ‘Knight Bachelor’ by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998.
Other honours include Billboard ranking him the most successful male solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists (third overall behind the Beatles and Madonna), a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1994, and as an inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
7. Watford Football Club
Having been a huge supporter of Watford his whole life, Elton John became the club’s chairman and director in 1976. John, and manager Graham Taylor, invested HUGE amounts of money into the club, which eventually finished as runners up in the First Division to Liverpool in 1983. Watford also reached the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 1984. He sold the club to Jack Petchey in 1987, but remained president, before repurchasing the club in 1997.
In 2014, at Watford’s Vicarage Road, John was honoured with the “Sir Elton John stand.” He described the occasion as “one of the greatest days of my life.”
8. Film cameos
Elton John has appeared as himself in multiple movies, including Spice World, The Country Bears, and Born To Boogie. When it comes to Elton cameos, we’re never complaining!
9. Contributions to other artists
Elton John has played piano for multiple artists’ songs, including:
And many more! Not only is he a successful solo musician, but he shares his talents with other artists, too.
10. Carpool Karaoke
We’re going to end the list on a funny note. Elton John’s cameo on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke left us in stitches. Between their performance of “Your Song” to Corden donning his best Lion King costume, it’s a clip we can watch over. And over. And over again.
Happy birthday, Elton! Leave your birthday wishes for the legend in the comments below!