Entertainment

The legendary Elton John

Updated 12:33 PM ET, Wed January 24, 2018
Share
28 elton john update28 elton john update
1 of 50
Elton John is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. The singer has charted more than 60 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 list, including nine No. 1 hits. The five-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 for his music and work in AIDS charities. Take a look at the life of the legendary musician, here performing in Los Angeles in 2016: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Island Records
Elton John plays the piano in 1970, the year he launched his first world tour. Jack Robinson/Archive Photos/Getty Images
John appears in one of his first publicity photos in 1968. The singer had officially changed his name to Elton John a year earlier after being born as Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, England, in 1947. The name was inspired by members of his early band, Bluesology, whose saxophone player was Elton Dean and lead singer was Long John Baldry. Val Wilmer/Redferns/Redferns
John, here in 1973, was known for wearing colorful costumes and wild glasses, especially in the early years. His on-stage outfits have included a duck suit, a sequined baseball uniform and a Ronald McDonald outfit. He would wear the colorful clothes to create a spectacle and offset his shyness. David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images
John appears in a 1973 documentary that detailed the production of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Hit songs from that album included "Candle in the Wind," "Bennie and the Jets," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and the title track. REX Shutterstock/AP
John and his songwriting collaborator, Bernie Taupin, hold gold records in 1973. Taupin has written the lyrics for many of John's songs over his career, and the two have worked together for decades. Michael Putland/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
John and singer Rod Stewart have a bath at the stadium of Watford Football Club in 1973. John, a lifelong Watford fan, later owned the English soccer club. Today, one of the stadium's stands is named after him. Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix via Getty Images
John is overwhelmed by multiple shots on goal while playing around at Watford's stadium in 1974. Michael Putland/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
John leaves a stage in the United Kingdom circa 1974. That year, he released the album "Caribou," which included songs such as "The Bitch Is Back" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Michael Putland/Getty Images
John gives a typical energetic performance in 1974. Some of the other hit songs he had by this time: "Tiny Dancer," "Levon," "Crocodile Rock" and "Rocket Man." Associated Press
John performs in Hawaii in 1974. During his career, he has been nominated for 34 Grammy Awards and won five times. He also has an Academy Award and a Tony Award. Robert Knight Archive/Redferns/Getty Images
John appears on stage with John Lennon at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1974. Steve Morley/Redferns
John plays the Pinball Wizard in the 1975 film "Tommy," which is based on The Who's album of the same name. Granamour Weems Collection/Alamy Stock Photo
John reads some fan mail circa 1975. Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
John poses for a portrait circa 1975. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
John performs at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 1975. Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
John tips his hat after having a star dedicated to him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1975. Jeff Robbins/ASSOCIATED PRESS
John poses for a photo with Cher and Diana Ross in the mid-1970s. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
John performs at Earl's Court, a popular arena in London, in the late 1970s. Martyn Goddard/Corbis via Getty Images
John appears on "The Muppet Show" in 1978. He performed four of his songs on the episode. Ronald Grant Archive/Mary Evan
John waves from his car in 1978. Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
Fans watch John embrace singer and friend Kiki Dee in 1978. The two had a No. 1 hit, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," in 1976. Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
John stands in the bedroom of his home in Old Windsor, England, in 1978. Chalkie Davies/Premium Archive/Getty Images
John poses with his mother and stepfather while touring the Kremlin in Moscow in 1979. He was the first rock or pop star from the West to perform in the Soviet Union. BORIS YURCHENKO/AP
John stands in Tiananmen Square while touring Beijing in 1983. Barry Lewis/Alamy Stock Photo
John married German recording engineer Renate Blauel in 1984. They divorced in 1988. and John told Rolling Stone magazine that year he was "comfortable" being gay. He told the magazine in 1976 that he was bisexual. Patrick Riviere/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
John performs in 1986. Time Life Pictures/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
John with actress and singer Liza Minnelli in 1990. Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
John stands by the bed of AIDS patient Ryan White at a Florida hospital in 1990. Two years later, the singer established the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Taro Yamasaki//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
John, far left, sits at a table with other celebrities, including actress Kate Capshaw, singer Bruce Springsteen, actor Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg, at one of his foundation's parties in 1994. The party was held after the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage/Getty Images
From left, Billy Joel, John and Sting perform at a benefit concert for the Rainforest Foundation in 1995. Joel and John toured together often during their careers. Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
John sings "Candle in the Wind" at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997. The tribute became one of the best-selling singles of all time. Proceeds were donated to charity. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
John and rapper Eminem performed Eminem's "Stan" at the Grammy Awards in 2001. Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Whitney Houston hugs John at the Academy Awards in 2001. A few years earlier, John had won an Oscar for "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," his song in Disney's "The Lion King." KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images
John and Billy Joel dance during the final song of a Brian Wilson tribute in New York in 2001. Wilson was one of the original Beach Boys. HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images
John gives his final performance of "The Red Piano" in 2009. The show had been held in Las Vegas since 2004. In 2011, John started another Las Vegas residency, "The Million Dollar Piano." Ethan Miller/Getty Images
John holds his son Zachary Jackson Levon in 2011. John and his longtime partner, David Furnish, had the baby through a surrogate. They later welcomed a second son to their family, Elijah Joseph Daniel. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images
John performs in Cologne, Germany, in 2011. Peter Wafzig/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with John at her Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012. In 1998, the Queen knighted John for his music and charity work. Dave Thompson/AFP/GettyImages
John performs at the Diamond Jubilee Concert. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
John performs with Ed Sheeran at the 2013 Grammy Awards. They teamed up for Sheeran's song "The A Team." Kevin Winter/WireImage/Getty Images
U2 singer Bono, right, talks with John, Furnish and their son Zachary at an Academy Awards viewing party in 2013. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF
John and Furnish kiss at the Human Rights Campaign's National Dinner in 2014. They married in December of that year. Paul Morigi/Getty Images
John meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014. The two talked about John's foundation as well as PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Alamy Stock Photo
John, Furnish and their two boys pose for a photo in 2015. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF
John walks with his son Zachary in Saint-Tropez, France, in 2015. Pierre Suu/GC Images/Getty Images
John joins talk-show host James Corden for a a little "carpool karaoke" in 2016. Darren Michaels//CBS via Getty Images
John attends Vanity Fair's Oscars party in February 2017. Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
John performs in Victoria, British Columbia, in March 2017. Andrew Chin/Getty Images
The British musician addresses the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 22, 2018. Zhang yuanyuan/Imaginechina/AP