Elton John - Biography
Legendary Performer
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, March 25, 1947, Pinner (London), England. After establishing himself as a gifted singer-songwriter and pianist during the early 70s, John attained superstar status by the middle of that decade with a non-stop string of hits and top-selling albums. With his mature pop songcraft, campy glam sensibility and funky virtuosity on the keyboard, John also served as an influence that can be heard all over the musical map, from hard rock uber-rockers Guns N' Roses to underground pop groups like Ben Folds Five. During the 80s, he more or less left the rock elements of his early work to reposition himself as a staple of the Adult Contemporary world, mostly through impeccably commercial though often syrupy ballads. By the mid-90s he was composing hits for family films (Disney's "The Lion King") and winning Grammies and Oscars for it.
In 1994 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. 
During his teens, he joined a variety of R&B-influenced groups before auditioning for the record label Liberty, where he was paired via mail with lyricist Bernie Taupin. The two only met after collaborating on 20 songs, but their partnership--despite an interruption during the mid-1970s--would span several decades. 
John's early work showed the influence of master tunesmiths such as George and Ira Gershwin and The Beatles, but it also echoed the sound of Leon Russell and other soul and pop artists. 
By 1973's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road he exhibited greater ambition, both thematically and musically, and metamorphosed from self- effacing piano man to protean stadium rocker, sporting outrageous costumes and glitzy spectacles--both on his face and on stage. 
His role as the Pinball Wizard in Ken Russell's 1975 film of The Who's rock opera Tommy was the apotheosis of this phase. Over the years, John has transformed himself, cleaning up his substance addictions and coming to terms with his homesexuality. 
He's no longer the phenomenon he was during the 70s, but he's still one of the world's biggest pop stars. (Note: Most of the albums from the first six years of John's career have been reissued on Island/Rocket, many with bonus tracks.)
Source: MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide
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