Happy Birthday Elton John: Relive the Iconic Musician’s Best Moments

by Katie Maloney

Happy Birthday, Elton John! Here are a few of the music icon’s most memorable career moments.

Undoubtedly, music would not be the same without Elton John. His songs influenced music and culture around the world for decades. And today, the musical icon turns 74. So, to honor such a special day, we are listing a few of Elton John’s greatest career moments.

When He Landed His First Hit Song

Elton John released his debut album, Empty Sky in 1969. But it wasn’t until the following year when he released his second album, Elton John, that he landed his first hit song. “Your Songsoared to the top of the charts in both the UK and the US. The song is a love song about a man offering what he can give to the person he loves and hoping they’ll accept it. During the song, Elton sings, “Oh, I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do. My gift is my song and this one’s for you. And you can tell everybody this is your song. It may be quite simple but now that it’s done, I hope you don’t mind. I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words. How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”

“Your Song” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 and is still covered by artists including Ellie Goulding and Lady Gaga. The song was even featured in the 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge.

Elton John’s “Your Song”

When Elton John Became a Fashion Icon

You can’t talk about Elton John without also talking about his over-the-top gorgeous costumes. Elton carved a spot for himself in the fashion world with his brightly colored outfits adorned with large feathers, sequins, and animal prints. One of his first custom-made outfits was made by Anett Murray, the wife of his then-bass player Dee Murray. Anett had already sewn patches onto some of Elton’s jeans so he asked her to make him a whole stage outfit. The rest is glorious-stage-costume history.

Elton John performs at an open-air concert in May 1974 in Watford, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

When He Was Proud of Who He Loved

Elton announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005. They married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014. By openly proclaiming that he was proud of who he loved, Elton paved the way for other people who were previously afraid.

When He Revealed Everything in His Book Me

The 350-page autobiography reveals everything you ever wanted to know about Elton’s hair, cocaine addiction, and decades of fame. Elton worked with ghostwriter, Alexis Petridis for three and a half years before publishing the book in 2019. The book landed on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2020.

When He Scheduled His Final Tour

Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is ongoing. Elton kicked off his final tour in 2018 and it’s scheduled to run through January 2023. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a temporary hold on the tour. But, even at 74, it doesn’t seem like Elton is slowing down. Once artists are safe to tour again, Elton will finish up his farewell to fans.