Photograph of Elton John performing in Norway, June 20, 2009 – Wikimedia Commons/Ernst Vikne
CAIRO – 25 March 2018: March 25 is the birthday of a very special talent, the miraculous Sir Elton John.
Hailed as one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century, Elton John has successfully sold over 250 million records, and is well-known for contributing music for Disney's "The Lion King".
He's amassed numerous awards throughout his long career, with three of his albums entering into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Born in England in 1947, Elton John was originally Reginald Kenneth Dwight. It seems he was born to become a musician, and was an absolute prodigy at the piano, first playing on it when he was only 4 years old.
Going against his strict father's wishes, John dropped out of high school when he was 17, pursuing his dream to become a pop musician. He started off in the band Bluesology in the mid-1960s, and eventually met his first major songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin, who helped him produce "Lady Samantha".
It wasn't long until John would attain success beyond the shores of England; his 1970 hit "Your Song" became a massive success in America, opening the doors for John to climb his way up to the immense fame he knows today.
Here's a look at 10 of Elton John's best songs, showcasing his immense variety and unmistakable talent:
"Your Song" (1970)
The breakthrough that propelled John to superstardom, "Your Song" was a charming and beloved hit that perfectly captured the thoughts and feelings of an innocent person in love. The sincerity and honesty present in this serenade, with relatable lyrics such as "It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside", likely helped ensure the song would become a critical success in both the USA and the UK, and the world had seen the star of Elton John begin to shine.
"Tiny Dancer" (1971)
This unique song takes Elton John to Los Angeles, wherein filmmaker Max Weiland recently created a unique look at the many lives that live in the city as part of a new music video for it. It's a song that truly defines the creativity and breadth of John's early career, something he was never able to quite recapture.
"Crocodile Rock" (1972)
This odd up-tempo song tells the story of a fictional lost dance, the titular "Crocodile Rock", witnessed by patrons in various diners which the wistful lyrics look back on. While John first performed the song at the Royal Variety Command Performance at the London Palladium, its best known rendition was on the set of the "Muppets", where John performed the song in a swamp filled with odd little animals. It was Elton John's first #1 hit in the USA.
"Rocket Man" (1972)
One of John's best loved singles, "Rocket Man" has endured the test of time and continues to be one of the singer's best known tracks to this date. This oddly sci-fi inspired track drew comparison to the likes of David Bowie. It's a song that captures perfectly the sense of loneliness one feels as immigrant in a foreign city, far away from home.
"Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" (1973)
A haunting track exploring Elton John's darker side, "Funeral For a Friend" emerged while John tried to imagine the music that would play at his funeral, while it flowed so well into the second half "Love Lies Bleeding"; John simply merged them together, creating the unforgettable opening to his album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".
"Candle in the Wind" (1973)
One of the biggest selling single songs of all time, and for good reason; a revised version of this classic played at the funeral of Princess Diana, who was a dear friend of Elton John. It had originally been written to honor Marilyn Monroe however. At Diana's funeral, millions wept at John's heartfelt performance, perfectly exemplifying the sheer sadness one feels at the death of a loved one. John never performed the version from Diana's funeral again, with all further performances being that of the original.
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (1976)
John might have reached the top, but it wasn't all glamorous. The pressures of producing two albums, touring, combined with his substance abuse all came to a head, and Elton John turned to music as a way of healing, expressing his darkest feelings.
"I'm Still Standing" (1983)
This second single off the 1983 album "Too Low for Zero" proved that John still had it even after the glory days of the 70s. This triumphant song proved that John could weather all the odds and survive the dark side of fame, and the cinematic music video produced for the song was unlike anything Elton John would produce again.
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (With Kiki Dee) (1993)
As good as he is solo, Elton John also proved he was capable of working in harmony as part of a duet alongside singer Kiki Dee, for this charming and unforgettable song that's wormed its way into many romantic films alike.
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (1994)
You might know Elton John best for what he contributed for Disney's "The Lion King", particularly the romantic song written for Simba and Nala's scenes together. For his musical contributions to the film, Elton John was awarded the Academy Award for 'Best Original Song' in 1994.