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[[caption-width-right:330:He remembers when rock was young.]]

->''Captain Fantastic, raised and regimented\\
Hardly a hero\\
Just someone his mother might know.''\\
-- "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy"

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947 in Pinner, England, classically-trained Sir Elton John began his career in various blues bands and as a session musician, before answering a newspaper ad by Liberty Records for aspiring songwriters. He was given his first set of lyrics by Bernie Taupin, a struggling lyricist, to set them to music. Taupin liked what he heard, and the two formed a platonic and professional bond--they have been a songwriting team (Taupin lyrics, John music) for most of John's career.

Changing his name by deed poll to "Elton Hercules John" in 1970 (''Elton'' for saxophonist Elton Dean, ''John'' for a singer Reg's old band Bluesology backed up, Long John Baldry, and ''Hercules'', well [[NonIndicativeName from a racehorse in BritCom]] ''Series/SteptoeAndSon''), Elton with Bernie's lyrics in tow) would gain a reputation as a singer-songwriter-pianist par excellence. By 1972, he had begun to wear [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes increasingly flamboyant]] costumes, clothes and [[MakingASpectacleOfYourself eyeglasses]], which became a trademark for him until the mid-[[TheEighties 1980s]]. He became an unexpected superstar, with a string of highly successful albums such as ''Tumbleweed Connection'', ''Madman Across the Water'', ''Honky Chateau'', ''Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player'', ''Music/GoodbyeYellowBrickRoad'' (a double), and ''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy''. His success tapered by the late-[[TheSeventies 1970s]], especially after [[AmbiguouslyGay outing himself]] in 1976. In the meantime, he appeared in the film ''Born To Boogie'' as himself, and in ''Film/{{Tommy}}'' singing "Pinball Wizard".

He has had numerous comebacks in TheEighties and TheNineties, and successfully rehabilitated himself from drugs, alcohol and bulimia in 1991. He later helped score ''Disney/TheLionKing'' with Tim Rice in 1994 (winning an Oscar), and co-authored several Broadway musicals, including ''The Lion King'', ''Lestat'', ''Aida'', and ''Billy Elliot''. He received a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame in 1975, inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and was [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever knighted]] in 1998. A theatrical revue of his songs, featuring Sir Elton in concert amid elaborate staging, films and props, titled "The Red Piano'', opened in Las Vegas in 2004 and closed in 2009.

He has performed at Live Aid, Live 8, the Freddie Mercury Concert For Life and the Concert For Diana. He has also performed at the funeral for Princess Diana in 1997, singing a revised rendition of his 1973 hit "Candle In The Wind". "Candle In The Wind 1997", produced by Beatles producer Sir George Martin, became the most successful single of all time at 37 million copies, all royalties donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

Elton is chairman of Watford Football Club, and founding chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which he founded in 1992 after the death of Ryan White.

He is well-known for his deft sense of humor, massive spending sprees and very public tantrums. He is also well-known for wearing [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes odd costumes]] and [[MakingASpectacleOfYourself crazy glasses]], especially in TheSeventies. His fortune is estimated at £175 Million, making him one of the most successful musicians of all time.

Good friends with fellow piano man Music/BillyJoel, [[DreamTeam with whom he has toured sporadically since the 1990s]].


Studio albums
* ''Empty Sky'' (1969)
* ''Elton John'' (1970)
* ''Tumbleweed Connection'' (1970)
* ''Madman Across the Water'' (1971)
* ''Honky Chateau'' (1972)
* ''Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player'' (1973)
* ''Music/GoodbyeYellowBrickRoad'' (1973)
* ''Caribou'' (1974)
* ''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'' (1975)
* ''Rock of the Westies'' (1975)
* ''Blue Moves'' (1976)
* ''A Single Man'' (1978)
* ''Victim of Love'' (1979)
* ''21 at 33'' (1980)
* ''The Fox'' (1981)
* ''Jump Up!'' (1982)
* ''Too Low for Zero'' (1983)
* ''Breaking Hearts'' (1984)
* ''Ice on Fire'' (1985)
* ''Leather Jackets'' (1986)
* ''Reg Strikes Back'' (1988)
* ''Sleeping with the Past'' (1989)
* ''The One'' (1992)
* ''Duets'' (1993)
* ''Made in England'' (1995)
* ''The Big Picture'' (1997)
* ''Songs from the West Coast'' (2001)
* ''Peachtree Road'' (2004)
* ''The Captain and the Kid'' (2006)
* ''The Union'' (with Leon Russell) (2010)
* ''The Diving Board'' (2013)
* ''Wonderful Crazy Night'' (2016)

* ''Friends'' (1971)
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' (1994)
* ''Theatre/{{Aida}}'' (1999)
* ''The Muse'' (1999)
* ''TheRoadToElDorado'' (2000)
* ''BillyElliot The Musical'' (2005)
* ''WesternAnimation/GnomeoAndJuliet'' (2011)

Live albums
* ''17-11-70'' (1971) titled ''11-17-70'' in the US[[note]]The album was recorded on the date of its title. Most of the world renders calendar dates day-first, but the US, and to a lesser extent Canada, use month-first format.[[/note]]
* ''Here and There'' (1976)
* ''Live in Australia (with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)'' (1987)
* ''One Night Only'' (2000)

!!This musician provides examples of:

* AirVoyance: "Daniel" is all about this.
* AlbumTitleDrop: ''Ice on Fire'' comes from a line in "Nikita". ''The Union'' comes from a line in "Gone to Shiloh".
* TheAlcoholic: "Elderberry Wine", "Social Disease", "Talking Old Soldiers" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" depict this in song. Elton's main lyricist Bernie Taupin sobered up in RealLife in the [[TheSeventies late '70s]], Elton himself by 1990.
* AmbiguouslyGay: He kept his sexuality well hidden until he outed himself in 1976.
** "Well hidden" as in: when, mid-1970s, someone asked him, in an interview, if he was gay, his first reaction was "surprisingly, despite the clothes, no one asked that one before". His second reaction was "yes, I am".
* AnythingThatMoves: He led a promiscuous sex life in the 1970s and '80s.
* TheAtoner: Elton has taken the fact that he had not only escaped an overdose death in TheEighties via his drug and alcohol addictions but that his substance-impaired promiscuous behavior hadn't left him HIV-positive, to be a sign that he was meant to do good with his fortunate position. He has also felt he did far too little in TheEighties to advocate AIDS prevention, due to his selfishness and vices. This has been part of the reason that not long after cleaning up his life in 1990, he founded the Elton John Aids Foundation.
* BadassBaritone: Despite his TenorBoy past, his voice ultimately got deep enough to rival RickAstley's.
* BadassBoast: "The Bitch Is Back", along with SelfDeprecation.
* BalladOfX: "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun", "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)", "Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes", "The Ballad of Blind Tom"
* BecomingTheMask: As a child, he had good eyesight, but started wearing glasses in homage to his childhood hero Music/BuddyHolly. [[BlindWithoutEm After more than 40 years, his eyesight has deteriorated to the point that he really needs those glasses]].
* BiTheWay: He tried to pass himself off as bisexual for a while, before admitting he was only into men.
* BreakupSong: Plenty to choose from. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "Cold As Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)", "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "High Flying Bird", "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)", "I'm Still Standing" (a more vitriolic variety), "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" (ditto).
* BuryYourGays: "All the Girls Love Alice," the ballad of a teenage lesbian prostitute who tragically dies young.
* CampFollower: "Sweet Painted Lady"
* CampGay
** StraightGay: From TheNineties on.
* ChristmasSongs: "Step into Christmas", along with its B-side, "Ho! Ho Ho!". "Cold as Christmas (in the Middle of the Year)" name-checks the holiday [[AvertedTrope but is not itself a Christmas song]].
* ChronologicalAlbumTitle: ''21 at 33'', his 21st album, with Elton being 33 years old at the time. The "21" figure includes live albums and compilations in addition to studio albums.[[note]]The count includes his 14 studio albums to that point, the ''Friends'' soundtrack, ''Greatest Hits'' volumes 1 and 2, the live albums ''17-11-70'' and ''Here and There'', the EP ''The Thom Bell Sessions'', and the rarities collection ''Lady Samantha''.[[/note]]
* ConceptAlbum:
** ''Tumbleweed Connection'' is Taupin's tribute to TheWildWest. Notably, neither he nor Elton had visited America at the time the album was written.
** ''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'' is about Elton and Taupin's early years in the music business together. ''The Captain & the Kid'' picks up the story years later.
** ''Sleeping with the Past'' is Elton and Bernie's tribute to the great soul artists of the 1960s and 1970s.
* CoolOldGuy: Has taken to collaborating with rock bands like Alice in Chains and Fall Out Boy in his later years.
* CountryMouse: "Honky Cat". Bernie Taupin himself was one, which is reflected in many of his lyrics, as he faced a lot of opposition from his family to try to make it big in the city as a songwriter.
** "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" counts as well.
-->I should've stayed on the farm, should've listened to my old man
* CoverVersion: "[[Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds]]"; "[[Music/{{Tommy}} Pinball Wizard]]".
** Before being signed, Elton sang on soundalike low-budget recordings of famous songs of the day marketed to Woolworth's stores, similar to the "Drew's Famous" or "Countdown Singers" albums one finds at department stores nowadays. Occasionally, to capitalize on Elton's later success, you'll find albums like "Chartbusters Go Pop!" or "16 Legendary Covers" featuring these recordings. Witness his covers of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4okU1j9he2Q Spirit In The Sky]]" by Norman Greenbaum, or, erm, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tmKSg5g8S0 Young, Gifted And Black]]" by Music/ArethaFranklin!
** He also covered Music/FleetwoodMac's "Don't Stop" for a ''Rumours'' tribute album in [[TheNineties 1998]].
* CoversAlwaysLie: He often points out how moody and sullen he looks on the cover of his [[http://www.allmusic.com/album/elton-john-mw0000190513 1970 self-titled album]], shrouded in darkness with normal-looking glasses, but that even in his earliest performances, he was already displaying strong showmanship and a surprising rock energy for the leader of a piano-bass-drums trio, which the media was surprised at, given his being marketed as a "sensitive singer-songwriter".
* [[ComicStrip/DanDare Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future)]]
* DeadpanSnarker: He and Bernie Taupin definitely show signs of this, Elton in interviews and on talk shows, Taupin in particular in his blog on [[http://www.berniejtaupin.com/ his official website]].
** SelfDeprecation: Elton is also known for this, especially about his sexuality.
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: Surprisingly subverted when he said, "I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span." He wasn't necessarily referring to online piracy, but more that he felt that the Internet was making people [[LuddWasRight emotionally detached and over-reliant on technology]], and that it allowed {{Dreadful Musician}}s to [[SturgeonsLaw flood the market with poorly produced material]].
* DrivenToSuicide: Averted in 1969, before Elton was popular. Elton was engaged to be married to a woman named Linda Woodrow, but began contemplating suicide. This led to an attempt discovered by Bernie Taupin, who was his flatmate at the time. This later inspired the song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight". (The "someone" in the lyrics, written by Taupin, actually refers to Long John Baldry, who talked Elton out of getting married.)
** During Elton John Week in 1975, at the height of his fame, Elton took 60 Valium pills and dove into a hotel swimming pool in front of his mother and grandmother. In an [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/8080705/Elton-John-interview.html interview]] decades later, he denied it was a serious suicide attempt, saying that "it was typical me. There was no way I was going to kill myself doing that." Sure enough, he was back to playing a stadium concert two days later.
** "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" [[PlayedForLaughs attempts to play this trope for laughs]]. [[BlackComedy Complete with a tap-dance solo in the middle eight]].
** "Someone's Final Song" from ''Blue Moves'' is a more tragic take on suicide.
** Elton's longtime bassist, Bob Birch, suffering through incredible physical pain following a near-fatal hit-and-run car accident he went through in 1995, tragically ended his life in August 2012.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Would you buy an album by Reginald Dwight? Subverted by the release of his comeback album ''Reg Strikes Back'', which flopped for reasons unrelated to this.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: "Funeral for a Friend".
* EpicRocking: His most notable examples include "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", "Carla/Etude/Fanfare/Chloe", "Tonight", "Gulliver/Hay Chewed/Reprise". However, he tends to have at least one song on most of his albums that passes the six-minute mark. For example, ''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'' has the 6:42 "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and the 6:18 "Curtains". He insisted on the former being the only single from the album, and refused to let it be edited in length. It became a huge hit despite its lengthy running time.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: In 1992, he got a hair implant as he switched from CampGay to StraightGay.
** The orange hair dye is emblematic of his switch from "reflective singer-songwriter Elton" to the glam period of 1972-76.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: "Funeral for a Friend"
* FreudianExcuse: The titular protagonist of "All the Girls Love Alice" has her teenage rebellion attributed to "a simple case of Mummy Doesn't Love Me Blues."
* GenreRoulette: A typical Elton album, especially in TheSeventies, could go from pop to soul to country to rock to funk to torch songs to ballads to Broadway-style tunes to EpicRocking.
* GodIsDead: The ''New York Times'' said so.
* GratuitousPanning: The chorus of the "Crocodile Rock" (the "la, la, la, la, la" parts) are panned to where the vocals are on the left channel and the Farfisa organ melody is on the right channel. The rest of the song has quite a lot of panning as well, but the chorus is the most blatant part.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: He's naturally had several; the first, released in 1974, is his best-selling album to date at 32 million copies and counting.
* GriefSong: "Empty Garden" about the death of Music/JohnLennon (see below).
** "The Last Song" (a song concerning a gay boy and his estranged father reconciling with each other on the boy's death bed as he was dying of AIDS). Written in memory of Ryan White (whom Elton knew), Bernie faxed the lyrics to him shortly after [[Music/{{Queen}} Freddie Mercury]]'s death. Elton said that he had cried the whole time throughout making it.
** "Candle in the Wind". Considering it was written about the death of one of the iconic women of the 20th century (Creator/MarilynMonroe) and repurposed for another (Princess Diana) it's arguably the most famous of his grief songs.
** "Blues Never Fade Away" from ''The Captain & the Kid'' mourns John Lennon, RyanWhite and one other friend of Elton and Bernie's.
* HairTriggerTemper: He is notorious for his outbursts, as captured in his husband David Furnish's 1995 documentary ''Tantrums and Tiaras''.
* IdolSinger: Up to a point. He was something of a teen idol in TheSeventies, during the glam period.
** "I'm Going to Be a Teenage Idol" from ''Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player'' is a depiction of one. It was written in tribute to Elton's friend Music/MarcBolan at the height of "[=TRexstacy=]".
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: The B-Side to the title track to ''Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'' was a song called "Screw You", retitled "Young Man's Blues" in America [[CensoredTitle to avoid offense]].
* LicensedPinballTable: ''Pinball/CaptainFantasticAndTheBrownDirtCowboy'', a tie-in to both the album and to the movie ''Film/{{Tommy}}''.
* LocationSong: His song "Belfast" is a ProtestSong against [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the conflict in Northern Ireland.]]
* LyricalDissonance: "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself", "Since God Invented Girls", "Angeline".
** Bernie Taupin at the time of the latter album's release noted that ''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'' was a very "up" album about failure, while ''The Captain & the Kid'' was a low-key album about success.
* {{Medley}}: "Yell Help/Wednesday Night/Ugly" from ''Rock of the Westies"; "Gulliver/Hay Chewed/Reprise" on ''Empty Sky"; "Carla/Etude/Fanfare/Chloe" on ''The Fox''.
* MakingASpectacleOfYourself: The TropeCodifier.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Most of his music falls between 1 and 3, but he's also made songs that score as high as 6.
* MommasBoy: He admitted to being one in part of "Tantrums and Tiaras".
* {{Mondegreen}}: Dear Lord, Elton is the ''king'' of the mondegreens.
* MoralityPet: Arguably, he's one for none other than ''Music/{{Eminem}}''.
* NobodyOver50IsGay: While coming out ''long before'' he was fifty, he nonetheless makes this trope his bitch and then dances on its grave. Raising two kids [[CoolOldGuy in his sixties]] with his husband doesn't hurt either.
* NoTitle: "This Song Has No Title" is--paradoxically enough--an aversion.
* TheOner: The videos for "This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore"[[note]]Although not a ''complete'' one: it's more like 3 separate Oners.[[/note]] and "I Want Love".
* OneManSong: ''Song for Guy'', ''Nikita''.
* PopStarComposer: With Tim Rice for Disney's ''Disney/TheLionKing'' and Dreamworks' ''WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado''. Also provided music for ''WesternAnimation/GnomeoAndJuliet'', the film of which he co-executive produced.
* ProtestSong: Some of his songs have subtle elements of this. "Daniel" is a UsefulNotes/VietnamWar vet (although it's subtle; a cut verse would have made this clearer), while "Ticking", an account of a gun massacre that killed fourteen people, is a protest of UsefulNotes/AmericanGunCulture. Furthermore, as mentioned above, "Belfast" is a protest against UsefulNotes/TheTroubles in Northern Ireland.
* RagsToRiches: "Levon", to the extent that anyone can make sense of the lyrics, is apparently one of these stories; Levon's father, Alvin Tostig, is a poor man with high expectations for his son, Levon himself has apparently made a fortune selling party supplies (especially cartoon balloons), and his son Jesus has ambitions far beyond the party store that Levon can't quite accept.
* RefugeInAudacity: "The Bitch Is Back".
** Often, his outrageous costumes and goofy glasses ran on this, in a more clean-cut way, along with RuleOfFun and UpToEleven. WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck suits, EiffelTower hats, six-foot tall Mohawks, the glasses that lit up E-L-T-O-N. His 50th birthday saw him attend a costume party in a Louis XIV costume with a giant wig, where he had to be lifted off a truck via a crane. And that was ''after'' he toned down the costumes/glasses.
* RockstarSong: "Bennie and the Jets", "I'm Gonna Be a Teenage Idol" and some others, including the entire ''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'' and ''The Captain & the Kid'' albums.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: In one notorious, drug-fueled episode, he asked the manager of a hotel in stayed in to ''do something about the wind outside''.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".
** His TenMinuteRetirement from the road in 1977; he didn't tour again until 1979, and even then, it was a low-key piano-and-percussion tour with Ray Cooper. He returned to full rock and roll band performance mode in 1980.
* SelfTitledAlbum: His second album, and his [[BreakthroughHit breakthrough]].
* SesameStreetCred: He once played "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" with [[Series/TheMuppetShow The Electric Mayhem]].
** His songs from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado'' may count, too. He also appeared on a ''TotallyMinnie'' video.
** He executive produced and contributed music to ''WesternAnimation/GnomeoAndJuliet''.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: Elton had cocaine, marijuana and alcohol habits from the mid-Seventies to 1990, and, as mentioned above, had quite the promiscuous sex life back in the day.
* ShoutOut: "Levon" was named in tribute to Levon Helm of Music/TheBand.
* SignificantBirthDate: 'Levon'. 'He was born to a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas day...'
** Then reinforced when he himself had a son on a Christmas day: Zachary Jackson ''Levon'' Furnish-John.
* SirSwearsALot
* SmallNameBigEgo: "Ego".
* StylisticSuck: The audience in "Bennie and the Jets" is clapping behind the beat.
* ThisIsASong: "This Song Has No Title", "Your Song".
** "Step Into Christmas" opens with the line "Welcome to my Christmas song."
* ThisIsYourSong: TropeNamer.
* TwoFirstNames: Both his given name, Reginald Dwight, and his stage name, Elton John, provide examples.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: Crazy hats, eyeglasses, sunglasses, platform shoes, outfits, costumes and other articles of clothing in TheSeventies. He (slightly) toned them down by 1988, though the loud suits and CoolShades he currently wears might also count. :)
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Music/BillyJoel.
** With Music/RodStewart at least since [[TheSeventies the 1970's]].
* VocalEvolution: His throat surgery in 1987 changed his voice from a tenor to a baritone, and only deepened since. He has also rarely to never used his trademark falsetto range since the voice change.
* VocalRangeExceeded: By Elton's 1986 "Tour De Force" concert tour promoting ''Leather Jackets'', one in which Elton and his band would be accompanied for part of the set list by a symphony orchestra, Elton would suffer increasing vocal problems due to frequent marijuana and alcohol abuse, bulimic binging and purging and drug-fueled vocal oversinging and misuse, culminating in the recording of the concert film and live album ''Live In Australia'', where he very clearly is struggling throughout the concert from vocal strain and laryngitis. Doctors would soon discover non-cancerous, though career-threatening, nodules in his throat. Surgery done in 1987 would prove successful, but would vocally put Elton out of commission for several months. When he returned by late 1987 at a Prince's Trust concert special, his tenor vocal range [[VocalEvolution would be lowered to a baritone]].
* WellDoneSonGuy: His biological father, according to WordOfGod, was an overly strict Royal Air Force trumpet player who berated Elton's interests in rock music, was unaffectionate towards him, and wanted him to dress conservatively and take a "proper" job. He did not allow Elton to play football in the yard for fear of trampling the garden in the lawn, and he constantly argued and fought with Elton's mother at home. Elton was terrified of him, and was happy when the pair split up; he and his stepfather had a much better relationship than Elton and his biological father. His biological dad wrote letters to Elton's supportive mom requesting Elton "get this silly rock and roll nonsense out of his system", berated Elton's talent in interviews in preference to Elton's half-brothers, and would never come to see Elton perform after the performer became a superstar. [[FreudianExcuse Much of the flamboyancy Elton took to as a rock star was in rebellion of his father's wishes]]. The relationship between Elton and his father (though written by outside lyricists) reflected in the lyrics to songs like "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy", "Nobody Wins", "Made in England", and as RealitySubtext to his songs in the ''Film/BillyElliot'' musical.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Levon", "Take Me to the Pilot", "Solar Prestige a Gammon". The latter was a deliberate attempt to invoke TheWalrusWasPaul, and, like many other examples of the trope, got heavily analysed anyway.