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What Can We Learn from Elton John?

Updated on February 13, 2017

The key to success is to be true to yourself.

I have long been a fan of Elton John. Here is a rock god I can relate to.

I mean, we have so much in common. Okay, I am not white, male or English. Nor am I a global superstar, as far as I know.

Read on to find out how Elton John made his quantum leap from obscurity to global fame and fortune.

This lens also gives you an opportunity to donate to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Elton John News - News about Sir Elton John

Elton John Wedding
Elton John Wedding
Elton with George Michael
Elton with George Michael

George Michael and Elton

Elton saluted his friend, the late George Michael, as a "brilliant songwriter". Sir Elton dedicated selected playlist to George Michael on his radio show 'Elton John's Rocket Hour Show' on Apple's Beats 1.

Elton with Graham Taylor at Watford
Elton with Graham Taylor at Watford
Elton with Grahm Taylor 1970s
Elton with Grahm Taylor 1970s

Sir Elton and the Late Graham Taylor

Sir Elton John sent an emotional tribute that was read at the funeral of soccer manager Graham Taylor on Wednesday the 1st of February. The two worked together at Watford Football Club many years ago when Elton was Chairman. Taylor, who then managed the club, took Watford from the 4th Division in 1977 to the top of the 1st and the Cup Final in 1984.

Sir Elton's Talk wth Putin

Sir Elton John tried to speak with Putin about gay rights after Elton met Russians who had experienced homophobic abuse. When performing in Russia, Elton met a number of gay rights activists who told them how hard it was for them under the Putin regime. At a show in Moscow, Elton spoke out against Russia's anti-gay laws. For more about this, see "Fighting Homophobia" below..

A prankster, pretending to be Putin, then pranked Elton via a phonecall. However, Putin then genuinely agreed to talk with the star. David Furnish described Putin as "lovely".

Elton and David's wedding
Elton and David's wedding

More Elton John Facts

Elton John, Quincy Jones and George Clinton are collaborating on a new vinyl record subscription service. Click here to read more.

Elton and David married in Windsor on the 21st of December 2014, to mark the fact that gay marriage became legal in the UK earlier that year. They were already in a civil partnership, but said it was their "duty" to wed. The long-anticipated ceremony was attended by a few friends and family members including Sir Elton's mother, Sheila, with whom he had previously fallen out.

What can we learn? True love conquers all.

Tom Hardy has been named as the actor who will play Elton John in a forthcoming biopic, titled "Rocket Man". Hardy was previously seen in the film "Inception" and the Steven Spielberg series "Band of Brothers".

Sir Elton has partnered with Hollywood star Jamie Foxx to raise awareness about homeless gay young people. He says many young people leave home and head for Hollywood, where they think their dreams will be fulfilled. But the end up on the streets. Elton and Foxx have recorded a public service announcement for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which provides shelter and medical care for young people and can help them find work.

Elton John has been named ''the devil's work'' by a Russian Imam, for speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws.

Imam Seidzhagfar Lutfulli warned that people who attended Elton's upcoming Russia gigs would be "punished by God".

So what can we learn from Elton John? Have the courage to speak up for what you believe in.

Sir Elton John was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Sir Elton, who has raised millions for good causes through his Elton John AIDS Foundation, was presented with the Harvard AIDS Initiative Leadership Award, which honours individuals who have displayed "outstanding vision, leadership, and courage in the worldwide struggle against AIDS".

Sir Elton John has praised Miley Cyrus's performance at the recent Vmas, saying that she "flattened the opposition", and that's what the broadcast was about. He also said she was a big supporter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Sir Elton John is the first-ever person to be awarded the new "Brit Icon" award, for his 'lasting impact on the nation's culture''. He has called this a "tremendous honour". He performed a show for the Brits which opened with "The Bitch Is Back" and included "I'm Still Standing" and some of his classic hits such as "Bennie and the Jets", and "Tiny Dancer", as well as a song from his new album "The Diving Board".

The show included interviews with such luminaries as Ringo Starr, Annie Lennox and Elton's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. They praised his musicianship and his showmanship.

Tennis star Billie Jean King talked about Elton's generosity in recording the single "Philadelphia Freedom" for her and for the people of Philadelphia.

Newcomers such as Emily Sande, Ed Sheeran and Mumford and Sons expressed their gratitude for Elton's support.

Sir Elton said it had meant the world to him when he received a telegram from George Harrison praising Elton's first album. He said he had felt validated and it was important for new and emerging artists to have that validation. So What can we learn from Elton John? Always remember to give back.

Sir Elton John may be appearing a fight scene in the forthcoming British movie "Secret Service".

Still More Elton John Facts

Sir Elton John has cancelled his winter charity ball for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He called his recent illness was a "wake up call" and said it was his body's way of telling him he needs to slow down.

He could have died from a serious bout of appendicitis recently. He played several gigs in agony, but didn't tell anyone. Apparently, he had been ill for weeks, but believed he was suffering from food poisoning. He had to pull out of several engagements, and says he is ''lucky to be alive''.

In 2012, he performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee after a bout of pneumonia - see below.

Elton, you need to look after yourself better. Your life is valuable plus you have two children to think about. You want to leave them minus one father?

Sir Elton John has said he longs to have a daughter, but he thinks he is too old to have another child now.

Despite having to cancel several gigs due to illness, he performed at Bestival, his first festival gig in years.

Sir Elton was praised by Sharon Osbourne for hosting the White Tie and Tiara Ball for the Elton John AIDS Foundation while seriously ill in July 2013. The photos in Hello! magazine were disappointing, as they only showed a bunch of celebs, none of the house and very little of the garden.

However, Sharon Osbourne says he was the perfect host, welcoming everyone even though he was seriously ill, which demonstrated his commitment to his charity.

Earlier that year, Sir Elton John led a star-studded St. Valentine's Day campaign to promote compassion for Aids sufferers. He said, "... medicines don't work against prejudice and discrimination. It's time to stop treating people who are most vulnerable to HiV as outcasts. Everyone deserves the chance to protect themselves. Surely we have enough love for that."

Sir Elton was recently named the celebrity charitable donor of the year. He gives to 45 charities and 30% of the income from his gigs goes to charity.

The Elton John Show - Sir Elton John took over as DJ for two hours on BBC Radio Two on August Bank Holiday Monday 2012. This culminated an Elton John season which ran over several days on Radio 2 and included archive interviews with Elton John.

Many of the tunes and artists he chose were quite obscure - Elton has always been a collector and his tastes are eclectic. He talks about playing the Q Club, a Caribbean club in London in the 1960s where he frequently played backup for visiting soul bands from the States. He also plays Grace Jones, the Beatles, the Stones and Amy Winehouse, along with his favourite artist of all time, Nina Simone. .

Sir Elton said choosing his favourites was an almost impossible task as he has so many. He could easily have played music for a week and still not fit everything in, according to the BBC website.

What can we learn from Elton John? Always remember your roots.

Sir Elton John is back on top of the U.K. albums chart for the first time in two decades with the Pnau album Good Morning to the Night.

Speaking at an AIDS conference recently, Sir Elton John said that he "should have died".

Sir Elton performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012 after a health scare. He performed "I'm Still Standing" (sitting at his piano) and two other numbers in a bright pink sparkly jacket, despite the fact he had only just recently recovered from pneumonia.

Sir Elton had been rushed to hospital with a serious respiratory infection a few days earlier, and it was later confirmed that he was suffering from pneumonia.

Sir Elton has been plagued by health issues in the past. He conquered a serious cocaine addiction and wears a pacemaker. Now that he is the father of a young son, he needs to be even more careful with his health.

He has said he could have ended up dead, like his friend Whitney Houston, if he had not got help with his addiction.

What can we learn from Elton John? It's important to look after your health.

Sir Elton recently praised Donna Summer for being a "great friend" to him and to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

My Superhero is...

I have long been a fan of Elton John. Here is a rock god I can relate to.

He is not beautiful, like a god. He does not look like the typical superstar.

I mean, we have so much in common. Okay, I am not white, male or English. Nor am I a global superstar, as far as I know.

Like him, I play the piano.

Like me, he had a parent who was dead set against him becoming a musician. But unlike me, he refused to bow to the pressure.

And like him, I wear glasses.

Whoever heard of a rock star that played the piano and wore glasses?

He broke the mould in many ways. He was one of the first superstar singer-songwriters. His dress sense is best described as unique. Of his past outfits, has been known to ask, "Did I actually wear that?".

He has been heavily influenced by African American forms including soul/R&B, boogie-woogie and even gospel. His music crosses the boundaries between many genres, including rock, pop, R&B and country, and he even experimented with Philly Soul, with mixed results. He can rock out one minute and sing a tender ballad the next.

Achieve success by emulating your hero.

Click here for free EFT videos.

The Energy of the Heart

Elton John Bestival 2013
Elton John Bestival 2013

Sir Elton John has said he is glad he had to work hard for success, he did not go on a reality show like the X Factor, and he is glad they did not exist in his day.

The truth is that there have always been talent contests.

Elton worked hard for success. He experienced frustration and setbacks before he made his quantum leap at the Troubador Club in Los Angeles.

But it took more than hard work and sweat. It took more than his genius talent. It took more than teamwork. All of these things contributed to his success, no doubt.

But it took more than that. It took the energy of the heart.

The human heart is amazing, and Sir Elton John has an extraordinary heart. That is one major lesson we can learn from Elton John.

Elton John 50th Birthday
Elton John 50th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Elton!

Sir Elton John's 65th Birthday

In Britain, Sir Elton John is officially of pensionable age now. But he is showing no signs of retiring. Check out the slideshows below.

Elton celebrated his 60th birthday with a performance at New York's Madison Square Garden, where he was introduced by former President Bill Clinton.

For his 50th birthday, he and his partner David Furnish dressed up in enormous 18th Century-style wigs: Elton as Louix XIV and David as a courtier.

For photos of Elton and David, see the 65th birthday slideshow below.

Elton was born on the same day as Kiki Dee, with whom he recorded the duet Don't Go Breaking My Heart in the 1970s. He surprised her with a 60th birthday party at her home.

Elton is known for his flamboyance and his extravagance. Even during the glitter era, his glorious outfits made him stand out.

He famously spent 40 million in one 20-month period which included 293,000 on flowers.

He is very generous to his friends. He is reputed to have a doorstop made from - a Faberge egg.

Well, it's really only bling, innit? Solar prestige a gammon.

His '70s costumes are legendary. His dressing as the Statue of Liberty and Donald Duck demonstrates his ability to laugh at himself.

Elton at 65 - Sir Elton John 65th Birthday Slideshows

Two slideshows celebrating Sir Elton John at 65. Isn't it great seeing these pics of him when he was so young!

Check out the videos further down the page of Elton John performing Your Song and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Those were the days.

Fatherhood for Elton

Fatherhood for Sir Elton John and David Furnish

On Christmas Day 2010. Zachary Jackson Levon - Sir Elton and his partner David Furnish's son via a surrogate mother - was born. They love being fathers and have since welcomed their second son, Elijah.

In a joint interview with Attitude magazine, Elton said: "We have had the most incredible year with him. I can't tell you how brilliant this year has been and how much love he's brought us and how much we're getting. We thought the civil partnership brought us together, but having a child has been magnificent and I never thought I would have a kid".

They now have two young sons, Zachary and Elijah, and they used the same surrogate for both children. They have vowed never to reveal her identity, saying that they "love her like a sister".

Sir Elton and David donated all of Zachary's presents from his first Christmas to a an orphanage in Ukraine, as Zach had so many gifts that they felt overwhelmed.

Sir Elton has now revealed that he longs to have a daughter.

Elton and David have bought a new, child-friendly home in L.A.

Sir Elton has previously said that he regrets having waited so long to become a dad. He called fatherhood "the most wonderful thing that you could possibly go through" and said that he shares his breakfast with Zach every morning.

How many rock stars talk about their relationships with their babies? Once again, Sir Elton is breaking the mold.

Sir Elton always said he did not want to have children, as he did not think it would be fair to bring up a child when he spends so much of his time travelling.

After failing to adopt a Ukrainian boy and his brother in 2009, he and his partner decided to produce one using a surrogate. They utilized the services of the Center for Surrogate Parenting in California.

They insist they will continue to maintain their links with the Ukrainian children.

Unfortunately, as he and his mother, Sheila, had fallen out, Elton did not even phone her when Zach was born. See also: "A Flawed Rock God", below. However, they have made peace with each other and Sheila attended Elton and David's wedding last month.

The couple have made a pact never to reveal which one of them is the biological father.

What can we learn from this? If at first you don't succeed, try another way. And never be afraid to change your mind.

Elton and David have said that they take Zachary into bed with him this morning, and that they change his nappies. Zach was pictured at the age of two sitting on Elton's knee at a football match.

Elton and David have raised the profile of surrogacy. Nicole Kidman also recently had a child via a surrogate. Elton is said to have received advice from Ricky Martin, whose twins by a surrogate were born last year.

Elton has spoken about the fact that his father was cold and emotionally unavailable, although he later went on to start another family and reportedly was a great father. Elton has spoken of his disappointment that his father never came to see him perform.

What can we learn from Elton John? Your relationship with your father can affect your entire life.

Elton at the Troubadour

People still speak about Elton John's appearance at the Troubadour Club in 1970. His album, 11/17/70, is a live recording from his first appearances there.

The Troubadour was a club in L.A. for singer-songwriters. Crosby, Stills and Nash hung out there, as did James Taylor, Carly Simon and Jackson Browne. Some of the regulars included Glen Frey, who eventually became The Eagles.

Very few people had heard of this strange young man from England. He appeared very shy. But then he tore it up! He kicked back the piano stool and gave a performance that was all "Elton". By the end of the evening, he was a star.

What can we learn from Elton John? To achieve success, you have to take risks and put yourself out there. See "How Elton Made His Quantum Leap" below.

Making a Quantum Leap

How Elton made His Quantum Leap

Elton John was working as a clerk in a record store, as well as gigging with his band, travelling around in a battered old van. A year later, he was a global superstar.

How did he do it? He decided to go to L.A. for his first trip to the U.S.A. He only had three gigs booked, at the Troubadour (see above), but he got a great review for one of them and the rest is history.

Elton trusted his intuition and followed his heart. He knew he loved music, he didn't know what would happen, but he was prepared to take a risk.

What can we learn from Elton John? To make a quantum leap, you have to be willing to take risks. See also: Making a Quantum Leap.

How can you make a quantum leap in your career or business? You need to trust your intuition. You will receive guidance when you tap into your inner wisdom. For more about this, see The Higher Self.

Unfortunately, Elton may not have been entirely ready for his quantum leap, and he became addicted to drugs, developed bulimia and made several suicide attempts. He has gone through a healing process which has led to his becoming more complete as a person.

What can we learn from Elton John? Even when we are enormously successful, in order to be happy, we need to have balance in our lives.

Shyness and Bullying

Sir Elton John Was Buillied as an Adult

At the age of 23, Elton John suddenly achieved extraordinary fame. An extremely shy young man, he found himself invited to all the best parties and meeting some of his idols including the Beatles and George Best. He found it difficult to copes with social situations, and learned that cocaine gave him the confidence he needed to join in with the conversation.

Can you imagine anyone bullying Elton John? Sir Elton recently revealed that he was bullied as an adult, both physically and psychologically. He has said that he was bullied by three people who were close to him, both in his personal life and in his career, and that they took advantage of his shyness. The fact that he was famous and a global superstar did not protect him.

When we see the footage of him performing on the Old Grey Whistle Test and other early TV appearances, remember that this shy young man was being bullied.

Sir Elton is now working on an anti-bullying campaign with his close friend Lady Gaga.

A Flawed Rock God

I have tremendous admiration and respect for Sir Elton's honesty and courage.

Despite ongoing conflict with his father, he honoured his talent and stuck to doing what he loves. As a young girl growing up, I found this very inspiring.

He had a lot of support from his mother and they were very close for many years, but unfortunately, they have now fallen out and have not spoken for three years. See also: Congratulations, Elton.

David Furnish made a film, Tantrums and Tiaras, that showcased Elton's temper in a less than favourable light.

Elton reconciled with his father before the father's death. Unfortunately, he fell out with his mother, with whom he had been close for many years, and who stood by him before and after he became famous. Happily, they appear to have reconciled, and she attended Elton and David's recent wedding.

One gets a sense of a superstar who is flawed, and sometimes vulnerable, and not afraid to admit it. I would argue this is also reflected in his music.

For images of happier times with Elton and his mum, check out the 65th birthday slideshows above.

Although he had all the sex and drugs he wanted in his rock and roll lifestyle, he now uses his global fame and considerable fortune to help others.

Overcoming Addiction

How Elton John Overcame His Addictions

Sir Elton John has overcome multiple addictions. He now says he wasted a huge part of his life due to drugs, and that he was too self-absorbed to realize the danger or the damage he was doing to himself.

He has spoken candidly about the fact that, when he was heavily into cocaine, he did radio spots warning people against drugs.

At one point, his addiction was so strong that he would pass out, be woken up by someone and, having turned blue, would be helped into bed, but half an hour later, he would be looking for more cocaine. Elton could have died, but one day, he realized he needed to get help beating his addiction.

Elton turned to drugs as a way of dealing with his extreme shyness, saying that when he took cocaine, he was able to join in with conversations. Click here to read more about Elton's experiences with shyness and being bullied.

Elton has spoken candidly about the fact that, when he was heavily into cocaine, he did radio spots warning people against drugs.

Elton's abuse of drugs and drink probably contributed to his throat problems. He can now no longer hit the high notes on such classics as Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road or Someone Saved My Life Tonight. It may also have been a factor in his having to have a pacemaker fitted.

Concerned about his weight, he developed bulimia.

He has beaten his addictions to alcohol and drugs, and been dry for over 20 years.

Sir Elton spoke in a recent issue of Saga magazine about driving himself to every meeting in London, in order to overcome his multiple addictions.

He has said that Billy Joel needs to return to rehab as there is more work to be done there. He stated that Billy Joel was angry with him for saying this, but Joel denied that he was angry.

Sir Elton revealed the fact that one of the most difficult things about being in rehab was that he didn't know how to use the washing machine and was too embarrassed to ask anyone.

Sir Elton has supported and advised many people in the public eye who were battling addiction. He has recently stated that he was asked to support Whitney Houston, but was unable to help her, and was devastated when he learned of her death. See below for his tribute to Whitney.

What can we learn from Elton John? Be willing to admit when you have a problem, and be willing to ask for help.

Sir Elton's Tribute to Whitney Houston

Sir Elton John Could Have Died Like Whitney Houston

Having heard of her death several hours earlier, Sir Elton stopped during his concert that night to pay tribute to Whitney Houston.

He called her a "lovely angel" who had "one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard in my life."

Sir Elton has said he could have ended up dead like Whitney. Click here to read about how Elton John overcame his addictions.

Go here for a video of Stevie Wonder performing at Whitney Houston's funeral.

Books about Elton John - Books about Elton John's life and work

Giving a Helping Hand

Elton Helps Out His Friends

Elton recently recorded an album, The Union, with Leon Russell, one of his early influences and inspirations. Russell is just one of a string of people Elton has helped both professionally and in their private lives. Elton and Russell performed together live at the Electric Proms. See below for a video of them.

Russell has now made so much money from The Union that the bank turned down two of his checks - they thought it was terrorist money - and cancelled his credit card.

When James Blunt found himself alone in a hotel room in Denver on his birthday, he got a phonecall from Elton, who was performing that night. Elton invited James to join him in his dressing room and James helped him choose the outfit for that night's performance. James had previously supported an Elton John tour of Latin America.

His Rocket label helped Neil Sedaka make a comeback in the '70s, when Elton provided backing vocals for the single "Bad Blood" which, of course, was a Number One hit.

He helped Cliff Richard make a bid for Stateside stardom.

Elton has always been known to help out his friends. He counselled John Lennon and Yoko Ono when they split, helping them to reconcile. Elton is godfather to their son Sean. He also sang on Lennon's single "Whatever Gets You Through the Night".

Since recovering from his addiction, other celebrities including Robert Downey Jr. and, most recently, Elton's guitarist Davey Johnstone, have turned to him for advice and support.

Elton lent his house to Liz Hurley to recover from giving birth to her son with Steve Bing. Elton is godfather to Liz's son, too, and gave her away at her wedding to Arun Nayar in 2007.

Support with Addiction

Here are some sites that give support with recovery from addiction.

Gay Icons

Sir Elton named former Watford and England manager Graham Taylor as a gay icon for an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. He also named Caribbean pianist Winifred Atwell, whose performances he called "an inspiration".

Sir Elton has admitted that he married Renate Blauel in 1984 in the hope that she would turn him straight. But he is now happily committed to his partner, David Furnish. For some lovely pics of Elton and David, see the 65th birthday slideshow above.

Sir Elton prefers the term "civil partnership" rather than marriage . He does not see the point of gay people being married. In the UK, unlike in the States, civil partnership confers the same legal rights and benefits as marriage.

Fighting Homophobia

Sir Elton said he had met with a lot of gay and lesbian people in Russia who told him about verbal and physical abuse they had suffered.

At his Moscow show, Sir Elton John spoke out against Russia's new anti-gay laws. He said he loved going to Russia had always received a warm welcome there, and he spoke of building "a future of equality, love and compassion". He also said that he recognised that foreigners were treated differently in Russia, while gay people who lived there were under a lot of pressure.

The authorities have been put under increasing pressure by anti-gay activists and there was speculation that Elton's tour would be cancelled.

In an anit-gay rant which was secretly filmed, a college lecturer recently said he disliked Elton John because of his "gayism". Mark Walcott, a lecturer at Newham College in East London, said that gay people were trying to turn children gay, and compared gays to the KKK. He said that Elton John should never run a school [has Sir Elton ever expressed any interest in running a school?].

Sir Elton phoned Jay-Z to thank him for his stance on gay marriage. Jay-Z is the first major rap and hip-hop star to endorse gay marriage publicly, saying, "What people do in their own homes is their business... It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple".

A photo of Sir Elton with David Furnish and their beautiful baby boy, Zach, was recently published on the cover of US magazine. One shop in Arkansas covered it up with a "family shield", presumably to prevent people from being offended by this photo of two gay men and their baby son.

In this day and age, it's a shame that such attitudes still prevail. By producing his son via a surrogate, Sir Elton is breaking down barriers.

Lifting Your Mood

Sometimes listening to your favourite music can be a powerful way to lift your mood.

Elton's music always does it for me.

For more ways to lift your mood, visit Fabulous Success.

Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton's classic double album.
Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
The story of Elton's early career. Includes Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Elton has said that the music on this album reflects the fact that this period of his career was characterised by bitterness and frustration. But there are also upbeat tracks such as "We All Fall in Love Sometimes".
Tumbleweed Connection
Tumbleweed Connection
Country Comforts and much more.

Elton John + Lady Gaga Video - Elton performing live at the Grammies with Lady Gaga

David Needs to Chill

David Furnish Blasts Madonna following the Golden Globes

It seems Sir Elton doesn't need to throw tantrums anymore - he has David Furnish to do it for him.

David is now saying he "freaked out" when the remarks he posted on his Facebook page hit the headlines. David, a word to the wise: If you don't want people to read something, DON'T put it on Facebook!

David had said Madonna "should quit movies" after she won the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song, beating Sir Elton to the prize.

David was quoted in the New York Post as saying "I think it was a fluke... When this happens you have to question the integrity of the awards."

Before the awards ceremony, Sir Elton had said Madonna didn't stand a chance.

But Madonna sought to bring harmony following Elton's and her earlier remarks about each other on the red carpet. She is quoted as saying, "I hope [Elton] speaks to me for the next couple of years. He's known to get mad at me. He's brilliant and I adore him, so he will win another award. And I don't feel bad!"

David now claims his comments were "blown out of proportion", saying on his Facebook page "My passion for our film 'Gnomeo & Juliet' and belief in Elton's song really got my emotional juices going. But I must say for the record that I do believe Madonna is a great artist."

Sir Elton John has forgotten about more awards than most artists will ever win.

Chill, David. Take a deep breath and chill.

Billy Elliot Wins 10 Tony Awards

Sir Elton was highly moved by the film Billy Eliot. He related it to his difficulties with his own father.

He subsequently wrote the score for the stage musical of Billy Elliot, which has walked away triumphantly with 10 Tony awards.

Sir Elton stated that he thought the American public had taken this musical to its heart because of the current economic decline. Billy Elliot is set during the 1980s, when Britain was suffering under Thatcherism, and depicts scenes from the miners' strike.

Sir Elton went on to add that he felt "despondent" at the thought of returning to Britain. With members of the BNP being elected here, who can blame him? America has its first-ever African American President in Obama.

Sir Elton reportedly wept tears of joy following Obama's election victory. David Furnish was quoted as saying Elton was "crying down the phone".

Your Song Video - Classic Elton John Video

A very young Elton wearing an ordinary shirt and jeans sings his way into our hearts.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Video

Another classic - Elton on The Muppet Show.

What can we learn from Sir Elton John?

Sir Elton has recently had his story published in a book entitled Dear Me: A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self.

I am a firm believer in learning from, and being inspired by, the example of successful people. For more about this, see Do You Think Like a Success?

So what can we learn from Elton's success?

It's important to stay true to oneself. No matter how well-meaning our parents and other loved ones may be, we have to make our own decisions and honour our own integrity.

Celebrate your own uniqueness.

If you've got it, flaunt it. If you haven't, flaunt it even more!

Look after your friends. Give them emotional as well as practical support.

Do what you can to help others, especially those less fortunate than you.True happiness is found not in luxury and pleasure, however outrageous, but in helping others.

Be willing to admit to your own mistakes, shortcomings and flaws.

Be willing to ask for help when you need it.

Forgive others when you can, and work towards reconciliation.

Look after your health.

Show your emotions. It's okay for a man to cry.

And above all, have fun, and rock and roll!

Friendship with Ryan White

In 1992, Elton John met a young boy named Ryan White, who was dying of AIDS. This meeting was to change Elton's life. He met a family who were dignified in their suffering, and a young person who refused to blame others or poison his heart by carrying resentment.

Ryan campaigned for more research into HIV and AIDS, and raised awareness about the condition throughout the U.S.A.

Elton subsequently founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation (see below).

Elton John AIDS Foundation

Speaking at an AIDS conference yesterday, Sir Elton John said that he "should have died".

Sir Elton was speaking on the subject of "Can Public-Private Partnerships Help Those who Think Globally, Act Locally?".

As reported in the Guardian, Sir Elton said that cience and money would not be enough to beat the epidemic, he said: "We need love. If that word makes you a bit uneasy - if you associate it with Disney and schmaltz, let's call it something else." Compassion or kindness were two suggestions. But he added: "It's been three decades of this epidemic, and we have seen how human beings react when those around them become HIV positive."

He had previously said he was the luckiest person in the world because he did not contract HIV, and that he did not take the risks seriously even though he saw his friends die all around him.

He had also said previously that his friendship with Ryan White saved his life.

Sir Elton John has said the late Donna Summer was a great friend to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and that it is a "total disgrace" that she was never inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Click here to read Sir Elton John's tribute to Whitney Houston.

Sir Elton guest-edited the newspapers the Independent and i on 1st December 2011, to raise awareness for World AIDS Day. All profits will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Well done to Sir Elton for trying, and for bringing AIDS issues to a wider audience.

Among other things, the paper reported that an EU trade deal could mean that cheap anti-HIV medicines (ARVs) will no longer be available to people in Africa. The medicines, which are manufactured in India, could soon be priced out of reach of the majority of African people in a deal that would protect the pharmaceuticals' patents by barring Indian companies from reproducing gerneric versions of the drugs.

Sir Elton stated that he was "compelled not by despair but by hope" and that, although many millions of people have benefited from AIDS campaigns and treatment, he is aware that there is still a $10 billion funding shortfall in terms of what is needed for the care, treatment and support of people living with HIV and AIDS.

On another note, we also learned that Sir Elton has not had sex with anyone in the U.S. administration and that he likes a chocolate biscuit in the morning.

Elton's charity ball on 30th October 2010 raised $900,000 for his AIDS Foundation. When Lily Allen had to pull out of a scheduled performance due to illness, Elton wheeled out a piano and performed a 45-minute set.

Through his work with his AIDS Foundation, Elton found true happiness through dedicating time and enrgy to helping others.

In Uganda, which is often held up as an example of leading-edge practice in treating HIV and AIDs, doctors are now finding the infection rate has gone up dramatically. This is because, for many years, the emphasis has been on treatment rather than prevention.

As Ben Franklin said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". This is still true even though we have converted to metric. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is currently funding projects to help prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV, through sex education and health education.

The Ugandan government has now announced that it is making gay sexual activity illegal. This will be a further blow and is likely to increase the stigma around HIV and AIDS.

In South Africa, mine workers are often still living and working in appalling conditions. For more on this, see Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom.

They are separated from their faimlies for many months of the year, and often use prostitutes, which contributes to the spread of AIDS.

For many years, AIDS workers in Africa have promoted a programme of A, B and C: Abstinence, Be faithful to your partner, use Condoms. But while people have practiced A and B, the C message has often been lost. Women have found that, although they are faithful to their partners, they still contract HIV because their partners are having unprotected sex with others. The fact that the Pope, on his recent visit to Africa, stated that people should not use condoms is unlikely to improve the situation.

The Pope has now said that for gay people's rights to be respected was against "natural law". I wish he would stop speaking about things he knows nothing about [Zhana].

Sir Elton recently opened a branch of his AIDS Foundation in South Africa with Annie Lennox.

Click here to donate to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

What have you learned from Sir Elton's example? How has he inspired you? Please take a few moments to share your thoughts.


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