Sir Elton John making a Red Deer stop

Sir Elton John will be bringing his extensive collection of hits to the Centrium on April 25.

Showtime is 8 p.m. for the performance, which sold out in a mere two minutes.

A former student of the Royal Academy of Music in London, the man born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947 left school and began his path in the industry. His first band, Bluesology, was formed in 1961.

He would later take his stage name from the Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and their frontman, Long John Baldry.

Elton John was introduced to Bernie Taupin in 1967 by Ray Williams at Liberty Records. In 1968 they became staff songwriters for Dick James’ DJM label, farming out music to budding pop stars.

The duo’s prolific nature was established early in John’s career. By the time his self-titled breakthrough album and hit Your Song had introduced him to an international stage in 1970, they had honed their skills to such a degree that Bernie could present Elton with a lyric and he could compose to it within the hour.

In the period between 1970-76, they made 14 albums including Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across The Water, Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy. Amongst these, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album ever to enter the Billboard chart at number one.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, with its string of American number one hit singles and unbroken two-month run at the top of the Billboard Top 100, became an all-time classic.

In the late 1970s Elton’s partnership with Taupin came to a temporary standstill, and he worked with other lyricists. His 1977 sessions with Philly Soul producer Thom Bell gave him with a number one UK hit in 2003 with Are You Ready For Love, when it was re-released due to demand from influential British DJs.

In 1980 Elton and Bernie were reunited for the album 21 At 33. The album reacquainted Elton with the Top 10 and was followed by Jump Up! with the smash single Blue Eyes and Lennon tribute Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny). This return to peak form continued with Too Low For Zero, the home of two of Elton’s live favourites to this day, I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues and I’m Still Standing.

In 1992 in the U.S.A., and in 1993 in the UK, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation; his charity dedicated to work on behalf of those around the world suffering from HIV and related illnesses.

The 1990s saw him rise to new heights. His collaboration with Tim Rice on music for Disney’s The Lion King garnered not only a best male pop Grammy but also his first Academy Award. Elton has since collaborated with Rice again on the Broadway smash Aida.

The late 1990s were a time of personal tragedy for Elton, with the loss of his good friends fashion designer Gianni Versace and Diana, Princess of Wales. Only one artist can have the biggest selling single of all time, and since 1997 Elton has held that record. Candle in the Wind 1997, Elton and Bernie’s tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, has sold well over 33,000,000 copies.

Four decades since the 1969 release of his first album, Empty Sky, Elton John is still creating some of the finest music of his career. The 2001 album Songs From The West Coast gave him another hit single with I Want Love, and then in 2005 the release of Peachtree Road, including three new songs from Billy Elliot The Musical gave him another hit single with the Billy Elliot song Electricity.

-Weber

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