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Elton John is a British singer, pianist and composer who was one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century. Along with selling more than 250 million records he has found success on Broadway, composing the music score for the Tony award winning hit Billy Elliot (2008).
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Elton John is a British singer, pianist and composer whose unique blend of pop and rock styles turned him into one of the biggest music icons of the 20th century. He excelled in music from a young age, attending the prestigious Academy of Music on a scholarship at just eleven years old. In 1970 he released his first self-titled American album, making him a huge international star. Some of his most famous hits include "Crocodile Rock," "Philadelphia Freedom,
" and "Candle in the Wind." He also found success on Broadway, composing the score for Billy Elliot (2008), which went on to win ten Tony Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He was knighted in 1998.
One of pop music's most enduring stars, Elton John first came to fame in the 1970s. He has managed to produce hit after hit for more than four decades. John has also developed quite a career as a songwriter and composer for films and for the stage.
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, John discovered his passion for music at an early age. He taught himself how to play piano when he was only four years old. John soon proved to be a great talent, winning a scholarship to a youth program at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He attended classes there on the weekends.
John had a difficult relationship with his father, a member of the Royal Air Force. His parents divorced when he was a teenager, and he and his father clashed over his future. John, captivated by the sounds of early rock and roll, wanted to pursue a career in pop music. And much to his father's dismay, John dropped out of school at 17 to follow his dream. He started playing with a group called Bluesology, and he cobbled together his stage moniker from the names of two members of the group.
In 1967, John answered an ad for a songwriter for Liberty Records. He got the job and soon teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin. The duo switched to the DJM label the following year, writing songs for other artists. John got his first break as a singer with his 1969 album Empty Sky, featuring songs by John and Taupin. While that recording failed to catch on, his 1970 self-titled effort featured John's first hit "Your Song." More hits soon followed, including such number-one smashes as "Crocodile Rock," "Bennie and the Jets" and "Island Girl." John enjoyed a series of top-selling albums during this time, including Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) and Rock of the Westies (1975).
As one of the top acts of the 1970s, Elton John became equally famous for his live shows. He dressed in fabulous, over-the-top costumes and glasses for his elaborate concerts. In an interview with W, John explained that "I wasn't a sex symbol like Bowie, Marc Bolan or Freddie Mercury, so I dressed more on the humorous side, because if I was going to be stuck at the piano for two hours, I was going to make people look at me."
In 1976, John hit the top of charts again with "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," his duet with Kiki Dee.
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