(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of Sir Elton John, award-winning singer, composer, and pianist.
Personal: Birth date: March 25, 1947
Birth place: Pinner, England
Birth name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Father: Stanley Dwight, a Royal Air Force officer
Mother: Sheila (Harris) Dwight
Marriage: Renate Blauel (February 14,1984-November 18,1988, divorced)
Civil union: David Furnish (December 21, 2005-present)
Children: Born via surrogate with David Furnish: Elijah Joseph Daniel (January 11, 2013); Zachary Jackson Levon (December 25, 2010)
Education: Attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, 1959-1964
Holds the record for the second best-selling single of all time, "Candle in the Wind (1997)", a tribute to Princess Diana.
Taught himself how to play the piano at four years old.
Nominated for three Academy Awards and won once.
Nominated for 34 Grammy Awards and won five times.
Nominated for one Tony Award and won four times.
1967 - Starts working as a songwriter for Liberty Records.
1979 - Becomes the first rock or pop star from the West to perform in the U.S.S.R.
1990 - Seeks treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
1992 - Establishes the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
1994 - Is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
February 24, 1998 - Queen Elizabeth II names John an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
December 21, 2005 - Marries David Furnish, his partner of 12 years.
2008 - Billboard magazine ranks him as the most successful male solo artist on the Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists.
May 2012 - While performing "The Million Dollar Piano" in Las Vegas, John becomes seriously ill with a respiratory infection and is hospitalized in Los Angeles.
July 2013 - Sir Elton John cancels the remainder of his European tour due to a upcoming surgery for appendicitis.