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[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/EltonJohn_8859.jpg]]
[[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 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 increasingly flamboyant costumes, clothes and 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 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 Ryan White's death.

He is well-known for his deft sense of humor, massive spending sprees and very public tantrums. He is also well-known for wearing odd costumes and 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, with whom he has toured sporadically since the 1990s.

!!Albums

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)

Soundtracks
* ''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)

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!!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.
* 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. After more than 40 years, his eyesight has deteriorated to the point that he really needs those glasses.
* 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.
* CallToAgriculture: "You can't plant me in your penthouse/I'm going back to my plough."
* CampFollower: "Sweet Painted Lady"
* 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.
* 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".
* 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:
** "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 made two notable attempts at suicide -- one after heiress girlfriend Linda Woodrow falsely told him she was pregnant and that he was the father, then suggested he choose between her or his music -- as documented in "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"[[note]]Bernie Taupin refers to this, with some dark humor, as Elton's "Woody Allen attempt" due to Elton leaving the gas on the the kitchen, but unintentionally leaving the windows open[[/note]] and once in Los Angeles in 1975 intentionally in front of his visiting mother and grandmother, who were joining him for the unveiling of his star at the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and concert at Dodger Stadium, by downing fifty valium and attempting to drown himself in the hotel pool.[[note]]Elton recalls that at the sight of this, and thinking Elton was acting a bit melodramatic, his knowing grandmother deadpanned, "Well, I guess we'd better get going, then."[[/note]]
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: "Funeral for a Friend" is the most obvious example. Several songs from ''Blue Moves'' have these as well; "Tonight" goes on for three minutes before Elton starts singing.
* 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.
* IdolSinger: "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 musically "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''.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Most of his music falls between 1 and 3, but he's also made songs that score as high as 6.
* 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.
** "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself". Not too many artists play suicide for laughs.
* ReligionRantSong: "If There's a God in Heaven (What's He Waiting For?)".
* 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.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
* SelfTitledAlbum: His second album, and his [[BreakthroughHit breakthrough]].
* SesameStreetCred: He once played "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" with [[Series/TheMuppetShow The Electric Mayhem]]. He also appeared on a ''TotallyMinnie'' video and he executive produced and contributed music to ''WesternAnimation/GnomeoAndJuliet.''
* ShoutOut:
** "Levon" was named in tribute to Levon Helm of Music/TheBand.
** His 1973 album, ''Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player'' was reportedly named after a joking response Elton made to his friend Creator/GrouchoMarx when the comedian teased him that it would make more sense for the singer to call himself John Elton. The album cover takes it further, showing a couple buying tickets outside a marquee to a nighttime movie, with a poster of ''[[Creator/TheMarxBrothers Go West]]'' on display to the right.
* SignificantBirthDate: 'Levon'. 'He was born to a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas day...'
* 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: 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. :)
* VocalEvolution: His throat surgery in 1987 changed his voice from a tenor to a baritone, and it's only deepened since. He has rarely 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]].
* 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.

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