Elton John Fast Facts

(CNN)Here's a look at the life of Elton John, award-winning singer, composer and pianist.

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: David Furnish (2014-present); Renate Blauel (1984-1988, divorced)
    Children: Born via surrogate with David Furnish: Elijah Joseph Daniel, Zachary Jackson Levon
    Other Facts:
    Won a piano scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at age 11.
    Officially changed his name to Elton John in 1967. The name was inspired by members of his early band, Bluesology. The saxophone player was named Elton Dean, and the lead singer was named Long John Baldry.
    Nominated for three Academy Awards and has won once.
    Nominated for 34 Grammy Awards and has won five times.
    Nominated for four Tony Awards and has won once.
    Early in his career, he was known for whimsical costumes and wild glasses. He's taken the stage wearing a duck suit, a sequined baseball uniform and a Ronald McDonald outfit. He wore the colorful clothes to help create a spectacle and offset his shyness onstage.
    John's tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind 1997," sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. lt is the best selling physical single of all time in the US. Proceeds from record sales were donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which issued grants to a variety of charities.
    1967 -
    Starts working as a songwriter for Liberty Records. This is the beginning of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin.
    1970 - Launches his first world tour.
    1973 - Reaches the top of the Billboard singles chart for the first time with "Crocodile Rock." He also releases the double album, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," which spawns a series of hits including the title track, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and "Bennie and the Jets." The album also features "Candle in the Wind," originally written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, later adapted into a song for Princess Diana after her death.
    1975 - Appears in a movie based on the Who's rock opera, "Tommy." John performs the song, "Pinball Wizard," in the film. That same year, John's album, "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy," becomes the first LP in Billboard history to debut at #1 on the charts.
    1976 - John duets with Kiki Dee on the number one hit, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."
    1979 - Becomes the first rock or pop star from the West to perform in the Soviet Union.
    July 13, 1985 - Performs at the Live Aid benefit concert in London for famine relief. Other featured artists at the all-star show include Paul McCartney, Queen, David Bowie and U2.
    1990 - Seeks treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
    1992 - Establishes the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
    January 19, 1994 - Is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
    March 27, 1995 - Wins the Academy Award for Best Music (Original Score) for "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" from Disney's "The Lion King."
    July 1994 - John teams up with Billy Joel for a series of concerts called "Face to Face." The two piano mavens tour together repeatedly over the course of 16 years.
    September 6, 1997 - Performs "Candle in the Wind 1997" at Princess Diana's funeral.
    February 24, 1998 - Queen Elizabeth II names John an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
    June 4, 2000 - Wins the Tony Award for Best Original Musical Score for "Aida."
    2004-2009 - Performs a series of shows at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas called "Elton John and the Red Piano."
    December 21, 2005 - John and David Furnish have a civil partnership ceremony, after 12 years together.
    November 13, 2008 - "Billy Elliot: The Musical," featuring a score composed by John, opens on Broadway and goes on to win ten Tony Awards including Best Musical.
    May 2012 - During a "Million Dollar Piano" performance, John becomes seriously ill. He is hospitalized in Los Angeles for a respiratory infection.
    July 2013 - Cancels European tour dates due to an upcoming surgery for appendicitis.
    November 10, 2016 - The Tate Modern museum in London opens an art show called "The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection." The exhibition features highlights from John's trove of 8,000 prints of vintage photos dating back to the turn of the 20th century.