I've had many people ask me over the years who my favorite singer is. I've certainly played the songs of many in my 25-plus years of radio, but when the question is asked I don't hesitate in my answer: Elton John.
It just so happens that John (whose real name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight) turned 62 this week. He was born March 25, 1947, in Pinner, Middlesex, England.
One of the reasons Elton John stands out above the rest for me is his versatility. Not only is he a singer, but a songwriter as well, and he has proven himself capable of performing pop, disco, soul, progressive rock, even country. Perhaps that is why he landed a song on the top 40 chart every single year from 1970 to 1996.
John is the son of a Royal Air Force trumpeter. He took up playing the piano at the age of four, and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music when he was 11. He began his stint in the music business with Bluesology in the mid 1960's.
Believe it or not, he failed several lead vocalist auditions with such groups as Gentle Giant and King Crimson. Even though he also failed an audition with Liberty Records, he was given lyrics left with the label by Bernie Taupin. John began writing songs from Taupin's lyrics, and the two eventually formed what would become one of the most successful tandems in music history. In 1997, his remake of his own "Candle In The Wind" became the biggest-selling single of all time, as he paid tribute to his good friend Princess Diana shortly after her tragic death.
Enjoy the music!