For more than 50 years, Sir Elton John has enchanted the hearts and ears of music lovers worldwide. With his boisterous ballads, emotional love songs, and endlessly quotable lyrics, John has continuously proven himself to his audiences, gaining fans of all ages and backgrounds — including tons of celebs. In honor of his 68th birthday this year, let's reminisce about the English singer's incredible life. Can somebody cue up "Your Love," please?
Long before he rocked magenta sunglasses and sequined suits, Elton John was a young up-and-comer from Middlesex, England. In this picture, John was just 21, still wearing a with plain glasses, but he was already an accomplished musician. That year, he signed with DJM Records as a songwriter alongside lyricist Bernie Taupin, with whom John has continued to work throughout his career.
By the mid-1970s, John was performing in increasingly elaborate costumes, many of which incorporated satin, silk, sequins, and feathers — a wise career move that would become part of his brand.
Being one of music's greats meant John performed and partied alongside some of the biggest names in the business, including and Diana Ross.
Not only did Elton John perform at Dodger Stadium, he did it in his own unique way: wearing a sequined baseball outfit.
For his 40th birthday, John opted to go all out with his outfit, donning an elaborate design worthy of Marie Antoinette's court.
John's friend circle has never been reserved strictly for musicians — in fact, one of his dearest pals was the late . Of their friendship, he , "In the end with Diana, she trusted the wrong people. She didn't trust the people she should have trusted: her true friends."
"Can you feel the love tonight?" asks the timeless Lion King ballad. The judges over at the Academy Awards clearly could, as John took home the statue for Best Original Song for his work on the Disney classic.
After Princess Diana's tragic death in 1997, John played at the beloved royal's funeral, singing "Candle in the Wind" in remembrance of his longtime friend. The rewritten version of the song was released and became an instant hit, selling 33 million copies. As a tribute to the princess's philanthropy, John donated all proceeds to Diana's charities.
On top of being a remarkable musician, John has continuously tried to help those living with HIV and AIDS by founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. To raise money for it, he hosts an annual White Tie & Tiara ball, inviting his famous friends to mingle, dine, and bid on auction items.
Having been with his partner David Furnish since 1993, John was more than ready to make their relationship legally recognized when the Civil Partnerships Act was passed in 2005. And once England legalized gay marriage in 2014, the pair wed on the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership — finally, a "happy ever after" ending!
The happy couple welcomed their first son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, in 2010 and their second, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, in 2013, completing their family — and making for a set of seriously adorable guys in tuxes!