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Gay Celebrities and Icons - The Many, Amazing Glasses of Sir Elton John, With Discography

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RedElf (Elle Fredine) is a photographer, published author, and educator. Life-long learning is key to adding value to life.

A Brief Bio:

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25th, 1947, Sir Elton Hercules John’s career has spanned four decades of devoted fans. He has sold over 200 million records,making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top-40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums.  He has won five Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Tony.

In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, and his success has had a profound impact on pop music, contributing to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll.

His is an amazing talent, able to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. His rich baritone voice (once tenor), his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the sensitive orchestral arrangements, and his incredible showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s, have all contributed to his now iconic stature.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, he was knighted in 1998, and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements.

Early Elton...

When Elton John burst onto the stage of my consciousness, sometime in the late 70s, I became an instant fan. To be sure, I was already familiar with his music. You would have to have been living in a cloister not to have heard anything from his brilliant partnership with Bernie Taupin.

"Rocket Man" (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time), and "Honky Cat" were fast becoming pillars of the pop music scene, and by 1973, he had a number one hit album in the United States with Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player, an offering of wonderful scope containing such gems as the exuberant "Crocodile Rock" and the poignant "Daniel".

To actually see the man in concert was another thing, entirely.

There are many artists to whom you can apply the adjectives "amazing", "incredible", "always unique" - there are few to whom you can apply those words at one and the same time without being accused of overindulgence in hyperbole. When you apply them to Elton John, all in the same breath, other fans will wait patiently, their faces saying plainly, "Yes...and?...surely you don't mean to stop there?"

Elton's Amazing Sense of Style

No less amazing than the man himself, his on- and off-stage attire was invariably sure to garner comment. Always the consummate showman, Elton John was a standout in an era of off-the-wall standouts - I offer the often outlandish costumes of Swedish pop super-group ABBA in evidence.

Indeed, Elton John indulged in some pretty wild garb, but his stock-in-trade quickly became his trademark funky glasses. No appearance was complete, no outfit or costume finished without his trademark eye-wear. He almost single-handedly raised up designer glasses and their counterpart sun-shades to the status of featured apparel.

Where the well-dressed dandy of bygone eras would no sooner leave the house without their spats than their trousers, so too, now, no self-respecting Elton follower would dream of setting foot outside without their own stand-out goggles.

In the late 1980s, FMR Magazine, a glossy publication dedicated to the arts and once described by Federico Fellini as the "black Pearl" of the publishing world, put forward an article that detailed some of his extensive collection of sunglasses, some jeweled, many hand-made especially for him.

A portion of the collection was being auctioned off to raise money for charity, highlighting not only his taste for the showily unique, but also his penchant for quiet philanthropy.

The pictures showed an incredible collection of eye-wear; some utterly enchanting - delicately hand-crafted and bejeweled works of art; some almost bizarre, but all completely unique, and all uniquely "Elton".

Like the man himself, each was a singular creation, quite wonderful in its own right - a unique being of both great beauty and pure whimsy, reflecting a little of its former owner's love of life and joy in performing.

Solo Studio Albums

You quickly run out of hyperbole when trying to describe a unique and prolific artist like Sir Elton, especially when words like amazing and fabulous seem to have been coined specifically for him. Can you tell I'm a fan of his music?

Here is a discography:

  • Empty Sky (1969)
  • Elton John (1970)
  • Tumbleweed Connection (1970)
  • Madman Across the Water (1971)
  • Honky Château (1972)
  • Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973)
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
  • Caribou (1974)
  • Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
  • Rock of the Westies (1975)
  • Blue Moves (1976)
  • A Single Man (1978)
  • Victim of Love (1979)
  • 21 at 33 (1980)
  • The Fox (1981)
  • Jump Up! (1982)
  • Too Low for Zero (1983)
  • Breaking Hearts (1984)
  • Ice on Fire (1985)
  • Leather Jackets (1986)
  • Reg Strikes Back (1988)
  • Sleeping with the Past (1989)
  • The One (1992)
  • Made in England (1995)
  • The Big Picture (1997)
  • Songs from the West Coast (2001)
  • Peachtree Road (2004)
  • The Captain & the Kid (2006)
  • The Diving Board (2013)
  • Wonderful Crazy Night (2016)

A Great Collaboration

Collaborations (Albums)

  • Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1986)
  • Duets (1993)
  • The Union with Leon Russell (2010)
  • Good Morning to the Night with Pnau (2012)

Another Great Collaboration

Sound Tracks and Theater Albums

  • Friends (1971)
  • The Lion King (1994)
  • Aida (1998)
  • Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (1999)
  • The Muse (1999)
  • The Road to El Dorado (2000)
  • Billy Elliot (2005)
  • Lestat (2005)
  • Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Sir Elton John's Coat of Arms

Sir Elton John's Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms Details

Granted to him in 1987, the crest includes piano keys and records. The Spanish motto, "el tono es bueno", combines a pun on the singer's name with the translation "the tone is good".The black, red and gold colours are also those of Watford FC. The steel helmet above the shield faced forwards and with its visor open indicates that John is a knight.

From Wikimedia.com

Film and Stage Awards

Academy Awards

  • 1995: Best Original Song (won) for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" The Lion King
  • 1995: Best Original Song (nominated) for "Circle of Life" from The Lion King
  • 1995: Best Original Song (nominated) for "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King

Tony Awards

  • 1998: Best Original Musical Score (nominated) for The Lion King
  • 2000: Best Original Musical Score (won) for Aida
  • 2009: Best Score (Music and/or Lyrics) (nominated) for Billy Elliot the Musical
  • 2010: Best Play (nominated as producer) for Next Fall

Music Awards

Grammies

  • 1971: Best New Artist (nominated)
  • 1971: Album of the Year (nominated) for Elton John
  • 1971: Best Contemporary Male Vocalist (nominated) for Elton John
  • 1972: Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture (nominated) for Friends
  • 1974: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Daniel"
  • 1975: Album of the Year (nominated) for Caribou
  • 1975: Record of the Year (nominated) for "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
  • 1975: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
  • 1976: Album of the Year (nominated) for Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
  • 1976: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
  • 1977: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (nominated) for "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Kiki Dee
  • 1980: Best R&B Vocal Performance - Male (nominated) for "Mama Can't Buy You Love"
  • 1983: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Blue Eyes"
  • 1985: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Restless"
  • 1987: Record of the Year (nominated) for "That's What Friends Are For", performed by Dionne Warwick & Friends (award shared with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder)
  • 1987: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (won) for "That's What Friends Are For", performed by Dionne Warwick & Friends (award shared with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder)
  • 1988: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Candle in the Wind" (live)
  • 1992: Best Instrumental Composition (won) for "Basque", performed by James Galway
  • 1993: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (nominated) for "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" with George Michael
  • 1983: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "The One"
  • 1995: Song of the Year (nominated) for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King
  • 1995: Song of the Year (nominated) for "Circle of Life" from The Lion King
  • 1995: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (won) for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King
  • 1995: Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (nominated) for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King
  • 1995: Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (nominated) for "Circle of Life" from The Lion King
  • 1996: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Believe"
  • 1997: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (won) for "Candle in the Wind 1997"
  • 1999: Grammy Legend Award
  • 2001: Best Musical Show Album (won) for Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida (award shared with Guy Babylon, Paul Bogaev & Chris Montan (producers), Tim Rice (lyricist) and the original Broadway cast with Heather Headley, Adam Pascal, and Sherie Rene Scott)
  • 2002: Best Pop Vocal Album (nominated) for Songs from the West Coast
  • 2002: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "I Want Love"
  • 2003: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (nominated) for "Original Sin"
  • 2005: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (nominated) for "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" with Ray Charles
  • 2011: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (nominated) with Leon Russell for "If It Wasn't for Bad"

Recent Sightings

Not content to confine his talents and interests to the world of music, Sir Elton has also made a number of film appearances:

Filmography

  • Born to Boogie, US (1972) as himself with Marc Bolan and Ringo Starr
  • Tommy, UK (1975) as Pinball Wizard
  • The Muppet Show (1978) (season 2) guest appearance as himself
  • Spice World, UK (1997) as himself
  • Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras (1997) autobiography as himself
  • The Simpsons (1998) (season 10) guest appearance as himself
  • The Country Bears, US (2002) as himself
  • Elton John: Me, Myself & I (2007) autobiography as himself
  • Nashville (2016) (season 4) guest appearance as himself
  • The American Epic Sessions (2017) as himself
  • Kingsmen: The Golden Circle (2017) as himself
  • Rocketman (2019) Musical/Biopic

Some Great Pairings...

Like pairing fine wine with an equally wonderful dish, musicians will often team up for a special duet or two. Sir Elton has sung with the greats including Billy Joel, and Shania Twain. He has appeared in concert and on network television, in stereo telecast, in com-cast, in simulcast and in pod-cast.

He and his amazing glasses have shared the stage with Kiki Dee and the inimitable Miss Piggy. Most recently, however, he has appeared on Elvis Costello's television show, Spectacle, with Diana Krall. I would like them to have the last words....

Even with the ad, it's great

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 RedElf

Comments

RedElf (author) from Canada on February 18, 2012:

Oh, wow! Sir Elton John is playing a concert up here, and I would love to see him, but can't get tickets. Ah, well. I'm sure you'll have a blast!

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on February 17, 2012:

RedElf,

For Valentine's Day, my husband gave me tickets to the Elton John concert! OMGoodness, I am thrilled. I stopped back to read this again to brush up my knowledge base of this great artist.

Should I wear Madonna gloves to Elton John's concert? Or do you think that would offend him? :)

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 26, 2010:

Nice to meet you ZackW.Van! I think there are a few collectors out there you'd have to beat off just to get in line for those ;)

ZackW.Van from Wisconsin Area on April 25, 2010:

Love Elton John and I love this article.

I'd kill for a pair of those orbiting sunglasses!

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 10, 2010:

Thanks, GmaGoldie! Nice of you to stop by and comment.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on April 10, 2010:

What a great brand!

RedElf (author) from Canada on September 25, 2009:

Greetings tim-tim! Thanks so much for the invitation! I will def stop by ;)

Priscilla Chan from Normal, Illinois on September 25, 2009:

OMG!Love Elton John! I love the songs he sings. In fact, I had a pencil drawing of him in one of my hubs. Please feel free to visit. Love him:)

RedElf (author) from Canada on August 09, 2009:

Hey, tantrum. Nice to see you. He has always been one of my faves, too. Glad you enjoyed the hub, and thanks for commenting.

tantrum from Tropic of Capricorn on August 09, 2009:

Great hub about 1 of my favoutite composers! Enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

RedElf (author) from Canada on June 25, 2009:

Thanks so much ethel - so glad you dropped in to comment :)

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 25, 2009:

Can take him or leave hin but enjoyed your hub

RedElf (author) from Canada on June 23, 2009:

Thanks so much, Enelle. Always a pleasure - loved Liberace hub - moving tribute to a true gentleman.

Me too, Candie - that Muppet episode was one of my faves...and nobody has pipes like Elton! Wish I could have posted some of the FMR pix (copyright) but if you have a chance to check out that issue of the magazine, you'll really enjoy seeing his collection.

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on June 23, 2009:

He's the whole package baby!! I've always loved his wiperblade glasses. His stint with the muppets was too fun! It's gotta be humbling to yak with a fozzy bear who is also brilliant!!

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on June 23, 2009:

sixtyorso says:8 hours ago

He is incredibly talented and I think he follows the showmanship of Liberace who was another LGBT entertainer, who sadly, ultimately sucumbed to Aids.

It is rumored that Elton John stated that Liberace was his hero and was the first gay person he had ever seen on television.

I have to say that Elton certainly has a better singing voice :D

Great Hub RedElf - awesome tribute

RedElf (author) from Canada on June 23, 2009:

Elton is amazing! Thanks for stopping by earnestshubs - appreciate your comment.

I love him too, Writer Rider. What can I say...my mom once decided that I collected candlesticks (and there's a hub in there somewhere, lol).

ralwus - how nice to see you again, my dear. Yes, he flits with the best of them, and such a talent, too.

sixtyorso, I love "Candle In The Wind", too. Lovely tribute.

Thank you, princessa. He is one of the great ones, for true.

Yes, FP, he has a great set of pipes. Always glad to see you stop by...

Feline Prophet on June 23, 2009:

All his histrionics and bizarre get-ups can't hide the fact that he has an absolutely amazing voice!

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on June 23, 2009:

Another great hub in honour to an incredibly talented and original artist!

Clive Fagan from South Africa on June 23, 2009:

He is incredibly talented and I think he follows the showmanship of Liberace who was another LGBT entertainer, who sadly, ultimately sucumbed to Aids.

I think his revised "candle in the wind" for the late Diana was brilliant.

ralwus on June 23, 2009:

Quite the talent he is and so, so flaming. LOL

Writer Rider on June 23, 2009:

Love Elton John. Great, fabulous music. As far as his glasses are concerned, the old adage about how our purchases becoming weirder the more cash we have to burn comes into play.

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on June 23, 2009:

Love Elton, I remember when he came to Australia.

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