There are different types of rock stars - they can be incredibly talented, temperamental, or wild. Elton John in the '70s was all three. The piano-playing, funky-glasses-wearing musician - whose birth name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight - became known around the world, cranking out 12 studio albums in a single hazy decade. The '70s turned out to be the first chapter in a long story for John, as he later became a responsible father and accomplished performer.
The man behind the piano is no stranger to feuds, fury, and fabulous music. These are the wildest Elton John stories from his years of partying as the legendary "Rocket Man."
When Diana, Princess of Wales, suddenly passed in 1997, the United Kingdom was left stunned by the loss. During a massive memorial service in the royal's honor, John performed a special version of his classic song, "Candle in the Wind," featuring altered lyrics to celebrate the late princess.
The song proved popular, and John recorded it as a single. According to Entertainment Weekly, the track reached the top of the charts, and its proceeds went to the late royal's favorite charities. Since then, John has sworn not to perform the song again unless Princess Diana's children - Princes William and Harry - specifically requested him to sing it.
When it comes to his past controversies and feuds, John offers few apologies. However, according to Rolling Stone, John regrets not showing more support during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. To make amends, John has spent the decades since raising hundreds of millions for AIDS research.
John has also criticized Vladimir Putin for implementing hostile legislation that negatively impacts Russia's LGBTQ+ population. He later received a call from Putin in response.
In 1979, Cold War tensions flared, and there was much enmity between the Western and Eastern centers of power. Those living in the Soviet Union couldn't legally purchase rock music records and tapes - so it's surprising that John later became a smash hit there.
According to the Washington Post, after months of negotiations, the Soviet Union allowed John to appear at the October Concert Hall, where he performed a legendary show and three encores for a roaring crowd of roughly 4,000 fans. Despite the political tension, John welcomed his warm reception. He told The Guardian that he even became friendly with his government-sanctioned interpreter.
John and Bernie Taupin are a legendary collaborative pair, going all the way back to John's first album. According to The Guardian, John and Taupin prefer working independently instead of side by side. Taupin writes batches of lyrics alone, and John only reviews them when he's in the recording studio. After reading Taupin's work, John tries to compose music for the words.
John told The Guardian, "If I haven't got it within 40 minutes, I give up." He claimed that the element of surprise has kept his work relationship with Taupin exciting for more than 40 years.