Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer-songwriter, composer and pianist.
In his four-decade career, John has sold more than 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. His single "Candle in the Wind 1997" has sold over 37 million copies, becoming the best selling single of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent and work include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the sensitive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others, and the on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.
Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him as the most successful male solo artist on "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists". (#3 overall, behind only The Beatles and Madonna)