13 fabulous facts about Elton John (including the $400m he’s raised to fight HIV/AIDS)

Elton John | Photo: Universal Music Group

1. Firstly, he has at least six homes

In Atlanta, London, Windsor, Nice and Venice, according to the Telegraph. And there’s this one in LA.

2. From Ed Sheeran to Eminem, his list of celebrity friends is exhaustive

Elts has, of course, been a close confidant of everyone from the Spice Girls to Lady Gaga to Kelly Osbourne. He’s also known for his friendship with Ed Sheeran, whose manager formally worked with Elton’s management company, Rocket Entertainment.

Of course, the Rocketman’s 2001 Grammys duet with Eminem – known for his homophobic lyrics – prompted a lot of controversy. However, the pair remain firm friends.

Speaking on the Graham Norton Show in 2017, Elton even revealed the present the Stan rapper sent him for his civil partnership to David Furnish: ‘It shows you how homophobic he isn’t — we had two diamond-encrusted cock rings on velvet cushion.’

 

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3. He’s been sober for 30 years

As detailed in the opening of the new Taron Egerton-starring rock biopic Rocketman (read our review here), Elton struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol at the height of his fame – as well as sex and shopping, while also suffering from bulimia – before entering rehab and taking a different road. ‘I still dream, twice a week at least, that I’ve taken cocaine and I have it up my nose,’ he told NPR in 2012. ‘It’s very vivid and it’s very upsetting, but at least it’s a wake-up call.’

4. He gives his sons £3 pocket money every week – and £1 goes to charity

Elton and David have two sons: Zachary, 8 and Elijah, 6. The dads have been instilling them with charitable values from the beginning. ‘They get £3 pocket money, but £1 is for charity, £1 is for saving and £1 is for spending, they get three coins and put them in separate jars,’ he told The Guardian in 2016.

 

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5. He has helped raise an astonishing $400m for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, formed in 1992 from his kitchen table

Perhaps Elton’s most impressive achievement is his tireless work to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. Elton has said he set up the foundation after meeting Ryan White, an American teenager who was banned from school in the 80s after being diagnosed with AIDS.

Elton told Personal Health News that Ryan and his mother ‘quite literally saved my life. Losing Ryan on April 8, 1990, and watching Jeanne and Andrea deal with their grief with such profound grace and humility motivated me to finally take control of my life, get sober, and find new purpose in my determination to honour Ryan’s extraordinary legacy’.

In 1992, that new purpose turned out to be the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

6. He’s personally appealed to Vladimir Putin to improve the situation for LGBTIs in Russia

When Elton publicly claimed he’d spoken to the Russian leader on the phone to ask for a meeting to discuss LGBTI rights, it turned out to be a prankster. The ensuing media attention prompted Putin to call him, and while a meeting was mooted, it never came to be. Elton did, however, meet with senior Russian ministers to press them on the issue in 2018.

 

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7. His tantrums are legendary

Awoken by a storm, he reportedly once demanded his management do something about the weather, publicly slammed Madonna at the 2004 Q Awards for her miming (‘that’s me off her Christmas card list, but do I give a toss?’) and called photographers ‘rude, vile pigs’ the same year. His wobbly temper was famously captured in the 1997 documentary Tantrums and Tiaras, directed by his husband David [pictured above].

8. As are his sexcapades

He told The Guardian in 2012: ‘I went to Russia in 1979 and I knew we were being watched all the time: I had an interpreter that they’d clearly set up. Actually, I ended up having sex with him on the roof of my hotel.’

9. One year, he was responsible for 2% of all global record sales

His total sales are in the region of 300 million. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which was released in 1973 and sold 30 million, is considered his magnum opus.

 

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10. His double A-side Candle in the Wind 1998/Something About the Way You Look Tonight is the second highest-selling single ever

The moving ballad Candle in the Wind was originally released in 1974 as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. It was re-released 24 years later as a tribute to Elton’s close friend Princess Diana, with proceeds going to the various charities she supported. It has sold over 33 million copies worldwide; only Bill Crosby’s White Christmas has sold more.

11. He has loads of work by LGBTI artists

His homes are or have been adorned with pieces by Keith Haring, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Henry Scott Tuke plus photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and David LaChapelle.

 

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12. He writes music, not lyrics

From Your Song to Rocketman, the words to most of Elton’s biggest hits are the brainchild of Elton’s longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. The guys have worked together for over 50 years and according to Elton ‘I’ve never had an argument with him in my life.’ Bernie’s also written for Olivia Newton-John, Rod Stewart and even the Red Hot Chill Peppers!

13. Finally, his work ethic is literally unbelievable

He is a prolific tourer – this month he is playing 14 shows on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour all over Europe, while also promoting Rocketman. He has played at least 3,000 live shows in 75 countries across 40 tours and 1970!

See also

Rocketman review: How gay is the Elton John biopic?

This is why Tom Hardy lost out on playing Elton John in Rocketman

Author: Jamie Tabberer

The post 13 fabulous facts about Elton John (including the $400m he’s raised to fight HIV/AIDS) appeared first on Gay Star News.

Rocketman is the first major studio film with gay male sex and people love it

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman

Rocketman, the upcoming biopic of Elton John, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday (16 May) to rave reviews.

When the movie finished screening, the audience — which consisted of John, leading star Taron Egerton, and director Dexter Fletcher — burst into applause.

Footage of the event showed Egerton tearing up as people roared with applause around him.

The movie, when it’s released in the coming weeks in the UK and US, is set to both make history and win over many fans.

Gay male sex depicted for mass audiences

Rocketman is not the first movie released on the big screen to depict gay male sex (or at the very least show a little before cutting away). Before it, Brokeback Mountain and Call Me By Your Name, both nominated for Oscars, broke such ground.

Smaller production banners, however, released those two movies (Focus Features and Sony Pictures Classic, respectively).

Paramount is releasing Rocketman — making it the first major studio to release a movie with gay male sex aimed at general, mass audiences. Elton John, after all, is not a niche figure in the music world.

Scenes in Rocketman depict frank conversations about John’s sexuality, oral sex, same-sex kissing, and one bedroom sex scene. This is in contrast to criticism Bohemian Rhapsody received for shying away from Freddie Mercury’s sexuality.

What the critics are saying

Critics are praising the film for a variety of things, namely Egerton’s performance and its honoring of Elton John’s legacy.

‘He’s brilliant, an electrifying presence,’ wrote John Nugent for Empire Magazine of Egerton. ‘Helpfully, he can really sing, too.’

Justin Chang of the LA Times also applaued him, writing: ‘He doesn’t disappear into the role, exactly, but he accomplishes something nearly as remarkable, which is to locate subtle depths of feeling in a character we first see wearing a devil-horned chicken costume.’

The film is also, inevitably, going to draw comparisons to Bohemian Rhapsody, which Fletcher completed after Fox fired Bryan Singer.

Dan Wooton of the The Sun said there is no comparison: ‘If Bohemian Rhapsody were the cheeseburger of music icon biopics, then Rocketman is the sirloin steak – with lobster on the side.’

Time Out’s Phil de Semlyen also said it’s clear Fletcher ‘saved all his best stuff for Rocketman’.

Semlyan also adds that the film’s sex scene between Egerton and Richard Madden ‘feels like a progressive moment, a significant step forward in this retro rush of a musical’.

Not everyone, however, thinks the film goes far enough in its representation.

Change describes the scenes as ‘brief and isolated’ and ‘the mere fact that they exist at all… will probably earn the movie more praise for candor than it deserves’.

Rocketman hits theaters in the UK on 24 May and in the US on 31 May.

See also

Taron Egerton: It was ‘important’ to authentically portray Elton John’s sexuality in Rocketman

Taron Egerton insists ‘kissing a man on film is no less appealing than a woman’

This is why Tom Hardy lost out on playing Elton John in Rocketman

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post Rocketman is the first major studio film with gay male sex and people love it appeared first on Gay Star News.

Taron Egerton and Elton John Perform ‘Rocketman’ Together at Cannes: WATCH

As rumored, Taron Egerton and Elton John performed Elton’s hit “Rocketman” for an audience at the premiere of the biopic of the same title at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Rocketman is generating rave reviews, and Elton burst into tears after the premiere. Apparently Egerton burst into tears as well.

The post Taron Egerton and Elton John Perform ‘Rocketman’ Together at Cannes: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.