Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (unsuccessfully) as lead singer for the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Gentle Giant. Dwight teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin and changed his name to Elton John (merging the names of saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry). The duo wrote songs for Lulu and Roger Cook. In the early 1970s, he recorded the concept album "Tumbleweed Connection." He became the most successful pop artist of the 1970s, and he has survived many different pop fads including punk, the New Romantics and Britpop to remain one of Britain's most internationally acclaimed musicians.
Elton John announced he was a bisexual in 1976, and in 1984, he married Renate Blauel. The marriage lasted four years before he finally came to terms with the fact that he was actually homosexual. In the 1970s and 1980s, he suffered from drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia but came through it. He is well known as a campaigner for AIDS research and he keeps his finger on the pulse of modern music, enjoying artists such as Eminem, Radiohead, Coldplay and Robbie Williams. He was knighted in 1997.
Started piano lessons at age four, and showed promise as a musician at an early age.
1979: He was the first Western rock star to perform in Israel and the USSR.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1996 and awarded Knighthood of the British Empire in the 1998 Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to music and fund-raising for AIDS charities.
Grammy award winning singer.
1995: Awarded the Polar Music Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Award.
He was twice a former Chairman of Watford Football Club.
1994: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2000: Nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award (1999 season) for Best New Musical for "The Lion King" at the Lyceum Theatre.
He was voted the 49th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
1991: Winner of the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
1986: Winner of the British Phonographic Industry award for Outstanding Contribution.
1995: Winner of the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution. Having previously won the award in 1986, he became the first person to win the award twice as a solo artist, a record which still stands in 2008.
1992: Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Ranked #17 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine reported his earnings to be approximately $53 million for the year.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Won Broadway's Tony Award for Best Musical "Billy Elliot" for which he composed the music and Lee Hall wrote the Book and Lyrics.
The Sunday Times List estimated his net worth at $287 million. 
He has had at least one charted Billboard hit every year from 1970-2009.
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