Elton John

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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 Elton 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. 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 "Steptoe And Son"), 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-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, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (a double), and Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy. His success tapered by the late-1970s, especially after outing himself in 1976. In the meantime, he appeared in the film Born To Boogie as himself, and in Tommy singing "Pinball Wizard".

He has had numerous comebacks in The Eighties and The Nineties, and succcessfully rehabilitated himself from drugs, alcohol and bulimia in 1991. He later helped score The Lion King with Tim Rice in 1994 (winning an Oscar), and co-authored several Broadway musicals, including The Lion King, Lestat, Aida, and Billy Elliot. He recieved a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame in 1975, inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and was 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.

And with his Emmy win in 2024, Elton John became the nineteenth person in the EGOT club.

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 odd costumes and crazy glasses, especially in The Seventies. His fortune is estimated at £175 Million, making him one of the most successful musicians of all time.

Good friends with fellow piano man Billy Joel, with whom he has toured sporadically since the 1990s.

  • Empty Sky (1969)
  • Elton John (1970)
  • Tumbleweed Connection (1970)
  • 11-17-70 (live) (1971)
  • Friends soundtrack (1971)
  • Madman Across The Water (1971)
  • Honky Chateau (1972)
  • Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (1973)
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
  • Caribou (1974)
  • Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
  • Rock Of The Westies (1975)
  • Here And There (live) (1976)
  • 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)
  • Live In Australia (with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) (1987)
  • Reg Strikes Back (1988)
  • Sleeping With The Past (1989)
  • To Be Continued (boxed set) (1990)
  • The One (1992)
  • Duets (1993)
  • The Lion King soundtrack (1994)
  • Made In England (1995)
  • The Big Picture (1997)
  • Aida soundtrack (1999)
  • The Road to El Dorado soundtrack (2000)
  • One Night Only (live) (2000)
  • Songs From The West Coast (2001)
  • Peachtree Road (2004)
  • Elton John's Christmas Party (2005)
  • The Captain And The Kid (2006)
  • The Union (with Leon Russell) (2010)
  • Gnomeo and Juliet soundtrack (2011)

Elton John provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Album Title Drop: Ice on Fire comes from a line in "Nikita". The Union comes from a line in "Gone to Shiloh".
  • Ambiguously Gay: He kept his sexuality well hidden until he outed himself in 1976.
  • Anything That Moves: He led a promiscuous sex life in the 1970's and 1980's.
  • Bi the Way: He tried to pass himself off as bisexual for a while, before admitting he was only into men.
  • Breakthrough Hit: His Self-Titled Album and its single "Your Song".
  • Camp Gay
  • Christmas Songs: "Step Into Christmas", along with its B-side, "Ho! Ho Ho!". "Cold As Christmas" name-checks the holiday but is not itself a Christmas song.
  • Chronological Album Title: 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.
  • Concept Album: Tumbleweed Connection is Taupin's tribute to The Wild West.
    • Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is about Elton and Taupin's early years in the music business together. The Captain and the Kid picks up the story years later.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Country Mouse: "Honky Cat"
  • Creator Breakdown: The Blue Moves album and many songs Bernie Taupin wrote lyrics to from 1976-78 reflect Taupin's breakdown after his first marriage collapsed and he spiraled into cocaine and alcohol abuse, and Elton was burnt out from fame and substance abuse (and Elton outed himself).
  • Driven to Suicide: During Elton John Week in 1975, at the height of his fame, Elton took 40 pills and dove into a hotel swimming pool in front of friends and family.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Funeral For a Friend".
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In 1992, he got a hair implant as he switched from Camp Gay to Invisible to Gaydar.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: "Funeral for a Friend"
  • Gratuitous Panning: 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 synthesizers are 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.
  • Genre Roulette: A typical Elton album, especially in The Seventies, could go from pop to soul to country to rock to funk to torch songs to ballads to Broadway-style tunes to Epic Rocking.
  • Grief Song: "Empty Garden" about the death of John Lennon (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 Freddie Mercury's death. Elton said that he had cried the whole time throughout making it.
  • Hazel Eyes
  • Hot Dad: On December 25th, 2010, Elton and husband David welcomed a son named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John.
  • Idol Singer: Up to a point. He was something of a teen idol in The Seventies, during the glam period.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics
  • John Lennon: Worked with for a brief time in the mid-1970s. Lennon played on Elton's cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and Elton played on Lennon's single "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night". Lennon promised to appear onstage with Elton if "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" made #1, and after it did (the only solo #1 single Lennon had in his lifetime) Lennon kept his promise and appeared onstage with Elton in 1974.
  • Long Runner: Still touring as of March 2017.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself", "When God Invented Girls", Angeline".
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: The Trope Codifier.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of his music falls between 1 and 3, but he's also made songs that score as high as 6.
  • Momma's Boy: He admitted to being one in part of "Tantrums and Tiaras".
  • Money, Dear Boy: Performing at Rush Limbaugh's fourth wedding for a cool 1 million dollars.
    • Not to mention he got backdraft over doing this. Though after performing, Elton said he found a new friend in Rush and his new wife and said that he'd gladly invite him over for dinner any time.
      • Go-Karting with Bowser: Elton, at least by Word of God, seems to believe (his occasional beef with celebrities aside) in trying to mend fences rather than fuel rivalries, and often forms unlikely friendships with celebrities accused of (or guilty of) homophobia (Limbaugh, Eminem, Axl Rose, etc.) to demonstrate this. Often it does lead to backdraft from gay rights advocates.
  • Morality Pet: Arguably, he's one for none other than Eminem.
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: While coming out long before he was fifty, he nonetheless makes this trope his bitch and then dances on its grave. Raising a kid in his sixties with his husband doesn't hurt either.
  • No Title: "This Song Has No Title" is--paradoxically enough--an aversion.
  • Pop Star Composer: With Tim Rice for Disney's The Lion King and Dreamworks' The Road to El Dorado.
  • Refuge in Audacity: "The Bitch Is Back".
  • Rockstar Song: "Bennie And The Jets", "I'm Gonna Be A Teenage Idol" and some others.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: In one notorious, drug-fueled episode, he asked the manager or a hotel in stayed in to do something about the wind outside.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".
  • Self-Titled Album: His second album, and his breakthrough.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: Elton had cocaine, marijuana and alcohol habits from the mid-Seventies to 1990.
  • Significant Birth Date: '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.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: "Ego".
  • This Is a Song: "This Song Has No Title", "Your Song".
  • This Is Your Song: Trope Namer.
  • Vocal Evolution: 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.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Levon"; "Solar Prestige A Gammon".