Elton John is getting the biopic treatment in the new film Rocketman. The 72-year-old music legend is currently in the middle of his three-year-long farewell tour, and, amazingly, it seems like he’s bigger than ever.
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. 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.”
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. 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.
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’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.