Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy 62nd Birthday
Sir Elton John
Commander of British Empire

b. March 25, 1947

H/T to Wiki and qlbtq:

Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and philanthropist.

In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won Grammys, an Oscar, Golden Globes and a Tony.

During the mid-1980s, John developed a close friendship with Ryan White, a teenage hemophiliac who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. White attracted international attention when he was barred from his Kokomo, Indiana middle school in 1985. John not only befriended the courageous young man but also provided financial help and emotional support for White's family.

Ryan White died on April 8, 1990. John had dedicated "Candle in the Wind," the song he and Taupin had written as an elegy for Marilyn Monroe, to Ryan at the Farm Aid concert in Indianapolis the night before Ryan's death. In a touching performance, he reprised the song at White's funeral.

John, along with talk show host Phil Donahue, was also instrumental in helping Ryan's mother Jeanne White start up the Ryan White Foundation for the prevention of AIDS. In 1992, John also established his own non-profit group, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has, to date, contributed more than $25 million to various AIDS causes worldwide. John also announced that all royalties from his singles sales would henceforth go to AIDS research.

John announced, in March 2004, that he would marry David Furnish, his partner of 11 years, because "I would like to commit myself to David," but also because of President Bush's proposed constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage. As John stated to the New York Daily News, "Bush's anti-gay marriage stance gave me the final push down the aisle I needed."

On December 21, 2005, the first day in which same-sex couples were permitted to enter into civil partnerships in Great Britain, John and Furnish exchanged vows in Windsor's Guildhall in the same room where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles were married earlier in the year. The union of John and Furnish brought enormous attention to Britain's new civil partnership law and provided John an opportunity to denounce the homophobia that prevents the recognition of same-sex couples in other countries.


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