Music icon Elton John’s biopic, Rocketman, is in theaters and 72-year-old singer/songwriter/showman extraordinaire is also in the middle of a three-year-long farewell tour. Safe to say, he’s got a lot going on!
In celebration of his final bow from the stage and the new film based on his life, here are 5 facts about the man, the myth, the legend: Elton John.
1. He’s had the same songwriting partner for over 50 years
John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have been a team since 1967. Together, the duo is responsible for over 50 Top 40 hits and over 225 million records sold.
2. He released four albums in one year
Between October 1970 and November 1971 John was extremely prolific, releasing four albums – an unheard of number in today’s musical era. He released Tumbleweed Connection, Friends, the live album 17-11-70, and Madman Across the Water during this period, the latter of which featured his enduring hit, Tiny Dancer.
3. That’s not his real name
John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, in England. He grew up being called “Reg” or “Reggie” but he legally changed his name in 1972 and didn’t want any association with his birth name after that. John said, “Reg is the unhappy part of my life. If my mother can call me Elton, then everybody else can.”
4. He shared the stage with John Lennon in Lennon’s last ever performance
On November 28, 1974, Elton John convinced John Lennon to join him onstage during a concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden for three songs, including Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and I Saw Her Standing There. It was Lennon’s last public performance.
5. He was a bonafide hit-making machine
During the 1970s, Elton John was on a serious roll. He recorded 15 hit singles between 1973-1976, including fan favorites Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.