Born as Reginal Kenneth Dwight in 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England, Elton John first sat down at a piano bench at four years old. Seven years later he won himself a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, and after graduating he was determined to make it in the music industry.
He took his first step by joining a band called Bluesology. The band became successful, touring with American bands, and John made sure to pursue gigs and auditions on the side. While he never passed an audition, he was offered a job as a songwriter at DJM alongside Bernie Taupin, who had a reocord label with Liberty Records. It was then John changed his name, with "Elton" coming from the first name of Bluesology's saxaphonist and his last name stolen from Long John Baldry, whom Bluesology backed up.
John continued to write songs for two years until 1969, when he produced his own album. It earned decent reviews but didn't sell, so John prepared for his second album by hiring a producer. A year after his first album, John tested his new songs to a Los Angeles audience that definitely approved of his sound. His second album quickly followed with a third that reached a Top 10 status.
John had other hits for four years after that, including 16 songs in a row that made Top 20 hits. He also co-wrote John Lennon's "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," which Lennon performed at John's concert in what turned out to be his very last concert.
John's success reached a halt in 1976 when he admitted in a Rolling Stone interview that he was bisexual. His career declined as record sales and concert fans decreased, and especially when he stopped writing songs with Taupin. When the two later collaborated again in the 1980s, he earned another Top 10 single with "Little Jeannie," his first comeback since the Rolling Stone article. He continued to remain a successful pop music star to fans, but behind the fame he was a cocaine-addicted alcoholic with marriage problems. He fought his problems and formed the Elton John AIDS Research Foundation to donate all royalties from single sales to AIDS research.
John's biggest hit since then has been "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," written for Disney's The Lion King, 1994. Despite not producing any new songs for over a decade, John remains a popular 70s favorite artist.
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