Friday, October 3, 2008

Out in Film: Elton John

Idol worship: Elton John, recording artist/composer.

- In his 40-year recording career, he has sold over 200 million records, making him as one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive #1 albums and nine #1 hits, and has won five Grammy Awards. His "Candle in the Wind 1997" (dedicated to the late Princess Diana) became the fastest- and biggest-selling single of all time, eventually selling over 33 million copies worldwide.

- He won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and a Grammy for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King. Two more songs from the movie, "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata", were also Oscar nominated. Other films that he has composed original songs for include Friends, Lethal Weapon 3, The Muse, The Road to El Dorado, Mona Lisa Smile and the upcoming Gnomeo and Juliet (which he is also producing).

- His existing songs have also provided some memorable movie moments, such as in Four Weddings and a Funeral ("Crocodile Rock"), Almost Famous ("Tiny Dancer"), Moulin Rouge! ("Your Song") and 27 Dresses ("Bennie and the Jets"), and he memorably sang "Pinball Wizard" onscreen in Tommy. Another memorable acting appearance was as the head of the "Gay Mafia" on Will & Grace.

- In addition to the original songs, he composed new numbers for The Lion King's Broadway incarnation, receiving his first Tony Award nomination. He won the Tony for his all-original score to Aida (which also garnered him another Grammy for its cast album), and has also scored the stage adaptations of Anne Rice's Lestat and the current Billy Elliot.

- Of his many other accomplishments (including being inducted into the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and the Disney Legends Award, and being knighted), his most important has been his charitable works, including founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992.

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