After five decades, more than 300 million records, and more than 50 hits on the Top 40 chart, the legendary singer and pianist is retiring. Here’s everything you need to know about his fabulous career, his net worth, and his outrageous fashion sense.
- 1 Elton John’s net worth would have you singing, too
- 2 Very few musicians have a higher net worth than Elton John
- 3 How did the “Madman Across the Water” achieve such a high net worth?
- 4 More than a singer, Elton John rocked a piano like no one else
- 5 An Elton John hit parade: “Your Song,” “Tiny Dancer”, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” and more
- 6 A sky-high net worth is just one of Elton John’s many accomplishments
- 7 Elton John is a serious dog lover
- 8 There’s Something About the Way You Look Tonight: The “Rocket Man” singer’s one-of-a-kind closet
- 9 “Madman Across the Water,” “Rocket Man,” and “Sharon”–the many nicknames of Sir Elton John
- 10 Tiny Dancer(s): The singer, his lifelong partner, and their adopted sons
- 11 The Farewell Tour: One last chance to hear the singer perform hits like “Candle in the Wind 1997” and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”
Elton John’s net worth would have you singing, too
One of Elton John’s most-loved hits is the song “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” but after 300 million albums sold (not to mention concert tickets, souvenirs, etc.) the beloved British singer could afford to say “hello” to a golden-brick driveway. According to TheRichest.com, Elton John’s net worth is a staggering $480 million. That’s a LOT of pairs of gaudy sunglasses.
Very few musicians have a higher net worth than Elton John
As you might imagine, having a net worth of nearly half a billion dollars puts the singer of such hits as “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Your Song” in some fairly elite company. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney tops the list with $1.28 billion, and Broadway icon Andrew Lloyd Webber is right behind him with $1.2 billion. After that, you have Herp Albert (no shame if you’re under the age of 50 and just said, “Who?”), a trio of hip-hop artist/producers (Dr. Dre, Sean Combs, and Jay-Z), John Lennon (still earning millions almost 40 years after his death), Madonna, Emilio Estefan (husband of Gloria Estefan, part owner of the Miami Dolphins NFL football team, and a huge force in Latin music), and Sir Elton. He may have called himself a “Madman Across the Water” in one album title, but he seems more like a mad genius to us.
How did the “Madman Across the Water” achieve such a high net worth?
Four words: longevity and staying power. Elton John has been wowing listeners with his incredible artistry and ability for almost fifty years. For comparison, the Beatles’ original albums all came out during a single ten-year stretch (1960-1970), and Elvis’ career lasted barely two decades before its tragic end. Even current superstars like Beyonce and Kayne West have only been going for just over 20 years, less than half as long as Elton John. With a marathon career like his, John has collected a list of achievements so massive it boggles the mind. — He’s sold more than 300 million records worldwide. — He’s had more than 50 hits on the US Top 40 chart, including nine songs that hit number one. — He had at least one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a mind-blowing 31 consecutive years. — He sold 33 million copies (and counting) of “Candle in the Wind 1997” alone. — He’s played more than 3,500 concerts and thrilled fans of songs like “Your Song” and “Tiny Dancer” all over the world by performing in more than 80 countries. — He’s won five Grammy awards and been nominated for 28 more. He’s also won five Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, a Tony, and too many additional awards to list. — On top of all that, his album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album in history to enter the Billboard chart at number one. — He has collaborated with a dizzying array of fellow musicians, from operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti to rapper Eminem to grunge band Alice in Chains. Given this list of achievements, it’s no surprise that John’s net worth ranks among the highest of any musician on the planet.
More than a singer, Elton John rocked a piano like no one else
No one would ever call Elton John an average singer. Just listen to his falsetto on “Tiny Dancer” or “Rocket Man” or the way he belts out “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” for proof of his pipes. But he’s no one-trick pony. One of the things that sets him apart is his total mastery of the piano. Sure, the history of music has plenty of great piano players: Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Leon Russell, and Billy Joel just to name a few. But Elton John, who started playing piano when he was only three years old, could tickle the ivories as well as any of them. Want proof? Just check out the video below of John performing his hit “Levon” from the album Madman Across the Water. John’s piano part doesn’t dominate the song, but it’s always there, bubbling and churning and helping turn what could be a fairly typical ballad in lesser hands into a groovy, meaningful tune.
If you want more proof (or just want to see an amazing pianist at the top of his game), check out this ripping extended version of “Take Me to the Pilot” recorded on John’s 1998 tour of Japan. It starts off sounding like simple noodling, but by the time you reach the 3:20 mark, John has created a pulsing sonic juggernaut of rhythm and melody.
An Elton John hit parade: “Your Song,” “Tiny Dancer”, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” and more
Over his career, Elton John has seen 57 of his songs hit the Billboard Top 40 chart in the US, putting him ahead of every artist except Elvis Presley. John has even more Top 40 hits in the UK (69). It all started in 1970, when “Your Song” hit the chart, peaking at #8. It was actually John’s second single (his first, “Border Song,” had peaked at #92) but it would be far from his last. The following is a quick year-by-year look at John’s US Top 40 hits and their chart positions. 1970: “Your Song” (8)
1971: “Friends” (34), “Levon” (24)
1972: “Rocket Man” (6), “Honky Cat” (8), “Crocodile Rock” (1)
1973: “Daniel” (5)
1974: “Bennie and the Jets” (1), “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (2), “The Bitch is Back” (4), “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (1)
1975: “Philadelphia Freedom” (1), “Someone Saved My Life Tonight (3), “Island Girl” (1)
1976: “Grow Some Funk of Your Own” (14), “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (1), “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” (6)
1977: “Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)” (28)
1978: “Ego” (34), “Part-Time Love” (22)
1979: “Mama Can’t Buy You Love” (9), “Victim of Love” (31)
1980: “Little Jeannie” (3)
1981: “Nobody Wins” (21), “Chloe” (34)
1982: “Blue Eyes” (12), “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)” (13)
1983: “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” (4), “I’m Still Standing” (12), “Kiss the Bride” (25)
1984: “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” (5), “Who Wears These Shoes?” (16), “In Neon” (38)
1985: “Nikita” (7), “Wrap Her Up” (20)
1987: “Candle in the Wind (w Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)” (6)
1988: “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That” (2), “A Word in Spanish” (19)
1989: “Healing Hands” (13), “Sacrifice” (18)
1990: “Club at the End of the Street” (28)
1991: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (w George Michael)” (1)
1992: “The One” (9), “The Last Song” (23)
1993: “Simple Life” (30)
1994: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (4), “Circle of Life” (18)
1995: “Believe” (13), “Blessed” (34)
1997: “Candle in the Wind 1997” (1)
1999: “Written in the Stars (with LeAnn Rimes)” (29) Whew! As huge as that list is, it would be far longer if it included songs that didn’t crack the Top 40, such as “Pinball Wizard” and “Tiny Dancer,” or songs that performed well on other charts. For example, John’s 1997 single, “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” failed to appear on the Billboard Top 100 or Top 40 charts, but skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
A sky-high net worth is just one of Elton John’s many accomplishments
We’ve already talked about Elton John’s decades-long domination of the pop charts. But he’s achieved substantial success in other musical arenas as well. For starters, he teamed with lyricist Tim Rice to compose the soundtrack for a little film titled The Lion King (you may have heard of it). No fewer than three songs from that film were nominated for Best Original Song at 1995’s Academy Awards (also called the Oscars). “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” brought home the Oscar, edging out “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.” In fact, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” netted the duo a Golden Globe as well.
Elton John later teamed with Tim Rice to take Broadway by storm. First came the live-theater musical version of The Lion King, which became the most financially successful show in Broadway history and earned the duo a Tony award nomination. Two years later, Elton John and Tim Rice would actually win a Tony for writing the score to the musical Aida. If you’re keeping score, that means Elton John has now conquered not just radio, but movies and live theater as well.
Moving away from music-related achievements, it’s worth mentioning that Elton John is also a real, true-to-life knight. Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the honorary title Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995, then went on to grant him a full knighthood in 1998. So how does one become a knight in these modern times? Not by donning a suit of armor and slaying dragons or storming castles, it turns out. (Which is actually kind of a bummer. Who wouldn’t love to see Sir Elton hit the stage in a full suit of armor and toting a sword? He’s one of the few people on Earth who could probably rock that getup and make it look totally natural.) In Elton John’s case, Queen Elizabeth II bequeathed knighthood upon him in honor of his extensive charity work. He’s raised many millions of dollars for AIDS prevention, education, and treatment over the years. His charitable foundation procures funding from many sources, including celebrity donors such as David and Victoria Beckham, Charlie Sheen, and Sting, but it is perhaps best known for two annual events: the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party in Los Angeles, California, and his White Tie & Tiara Ball in Berkshire, England. Moving from knights to “Hornets”, Elton John is a lifelong fan of European football (soccer to US fans), and particularly the Premier League’s Watford Football Club, whose nicknames include “The Hornets,” “The Golden Boys,” “The Yellow Army,” and “The ‘Orns.” In fact, John purchased a substantial financial stake in the team in 1976 and became the team’s chairman, a position in which he would serve for many years. He also functioned as the team’s president and director at various times, and though his role with the team is diminished these days, he remains an enthusiastic fan and is said to still hold a financial interest in the team.
Elton John is a serious dog lover
Another facet of John’s personality that few people know is that he absolutely adores dogs. He has reportedly had more than 20 canine companions over the years, which sounds like a case of pure puppy love to us. Trying to guess Elton John’s favorite breed of dog is as difficult a task as choosing his best song. The singer has reportedly shared his home with Border Terriers, a Labrador Retriever, and an Irish Wolfhound. However, if you were to ask us which individual dog was Sir Elton’s favorite, we’d have to guess his Cocker Spaniel, Arthur. The black-and-white canine served as best man (or should that be “best dog”? Or maybe “best man’s best friend”?) in John’s 2005 civil partnership ceremony with now-hubby David Furnish. Not only that, but Arthur is also credited with playing “woof-bells” on John’s album The Captain and the Kid. Leave it to Elton John to have a dog who’s musical as well as adorable.
There’s Something About the Way You Look Tonight: The “Rocket Man” singer’s one-of-a-kind closet
There’s no actual evidence that “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” was written about Elton John’s various stage costumes, but it wouldn’t shock us if it had been. These days, John tends to favor brightly colored suits and fancy glasses, so he still has an eye-catching sense of style. But in his younger years, he wore outfits so wild that even circus clowns might think he should maybe take it down a notch. Wigs, feathers, fruit, and lots and lots of sequins were common features in Sir Elton’s tour costumes.
Thanks to outfits like these, Elton John fit in better on The Muppet Show than any human being before or since.
And that’s not even counting the times he wore a Donald Duck costume.
He even got his own set of Nike shoes.
But don’t write Elton John off as a fashion wannabe. He’s inspired a new collection from Gucci. Yes, THAT Gucci.
Sequins, Sunglasses and Shell Suits – Elton inspires Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection – Elton JohnRead more at eltonjohn.comSource: Sequins, Sunglasses and Shell Suits – Elton inspires Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection – Elton John
“Madman Across the Water,” “Rocket Man,” and “Sharon”–the many nicknames of Sir Elton John
Everyone has nicknames. Granted, you might not always like the nicknames you’ve been given, but you definitely have some. But Elton John has proven to be quite the overachiever in the realm of nicknames as well. In fact, some of his are legitimately awesome. “Rocket Man” is perhaps the singer’s best-known nickname, and easily one of the coolest. He came by this nickname naturally–it’s the title of one of his most popular songs, one of four Top-40 hits he had in 1972 (the other three were “Tiny Dancer,” “Honky Cat,” and “Crocodile Rock”). The “Madman Across the Water” is one of John’s lesser-known nicknames. It also came from one of the singer’s own works. It’s the title of his fourth studio album, which released in 1971. Speaking of album titles, “Captain Fantastic” is another of John’s cooler nicknames, courtesy of his 1975 album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. “Hercules” is actually Elton John’s middle name, which he chose at the same time he changed his name to Elton John (his birth name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight). However, he’s not named after Hercules, the strongman from myths and legends. He’s named after Hercules, the horse on the British sitcom Steptoe and Son (which purportedly inspired Sanford & Son in the US). For most guys, the nickname “Sharon” would probably rank among their least favorites. But in Elton John’s case, the nickname “Sharon” was given him by good friend blues singer Long John Baldry, so he didn’t mind a bit. While few casual fans recognize Baldry’s name (even though Elton chose the last name “John” in honor of him), many more know Elton’s beloved friend and fellow music legend Rod Stewart, to whom Baldry gave the nickname “Phyllis.” “Reg” is arguably Elton John’s more accurate nickname, seeing as how it’s actually a shortened version of his birth name, Reginald. However, “Sir Elton John” is easily his best nickname because it’s not actually a nickname at all, but his actual title. In fact, thanks to the whole “getting knighted by Queen Elizabeth II” thing, his full proper name is Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). Which you have to admit, rolls off the tongue a little more impressively than “Reginald.”
Tiny Dancer(s): The singer, his lifelong partner, and their adopted sons
In addition to being one of the biggest stars in musical galaxy, Elton is a devoted family man. Though he didn’t become a father until fairly late in life, one look at his Instagram account makes clear his husband, David Furnish, and their two sons, Zachary and Elijah, are the center of his world.
Check out those red shoes. Someone’s got a bit of his dad’s fashion sense.
The Farewell Tour: One last chance to hear the singer perform hits like “Candle in the Wind 1997” and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”
In a move that sounds exactly like something Elton John would do, the singer recently announced that he was going to retire from touring once and for all … right after completing an absolutely massive “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. The tour begins in September 2018 and will end three years and more than 300 concerts later. If you’d like to see the Madman Across the Water perform all your favorite hits, from “Your Song” and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” to “Rocket Man” and (of course) “Candle in the Wind 1997”, check his website now for tour dates and tickets! Better do it quick, though. Some dates are already selling out.
EltonJohn.comElton John’s official web site and tour information pageSource: EltonJohn.com