Elton is the third most successful artist in the history of the American charts, behind only Elvis Presley and the Beatles. He has had 56 top 40 singles in the United States, a total second only to Elvis Presley. He achieved seven #1 albums in the three-and-a-half-year period from 1972 to 1975 — a period of concentrated success surpassed only by the Beatles.
Elton was born on March 25, 1947, in Pinner, Middlesex, England, and given the name Reginald Kenneth Dwight. At the age of three he astonished his family by sitting at the piano and playing The Skater’s Waltz by ear. At the age of 11 he was awarded a scholarship as a Junior Exhibitor at the Royal Academy of Music and he attended the Academy on Saturday mornings for the next four years.
Besides his knighthood, Elton’s landmark awards include Best British Male Artist BRIT Award, 1991; Songwriters Hall of Fame (with Bernie Taupin), 1992; Officer of Arts & Letters (France) 1993; induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1994; Polar Music Prize, 1995; MusiCares Person of the Year, 2000; Kennedy Center Honor, 2004; Billboard Magazine Legend of Live Award, 2006; Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award (with Bernie Taupin), 2013; BRITs Icon Award, 2013; Rockefeller Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013 and the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Leadership Award, 2013. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music and in 2004 he became a Fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters and Composers.
Elton has won 12 Ivor Novello Awards between 1973 and 2000, been nominated for a Grammy Award 11 times (winning in 1986, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2000), and received the Grammy Legend Award in 2001. Three of his albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, including his 1970 eponymous album. Elton has 3 Oscar Award nominations (winning in 1995), and a Tony Award (with 4 nominations) for Best Original Score for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida in 2000.