John, the superstar singer-songwriter, multiple Grammy Award winner and consummate entertainer, will be in concert in Abu Dhabi on March 29. In his five decades in the music business, the legendary showman has scored major successes with his albums, stage and film soundtracks, film roles and live performances.
Known, especially early in his career, for his flamboyant glasses and costumes, John - who turns 65 on March 25 - was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The native of Pinner, north-west London, was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996, and Queen Elizabeth made him a knight for "services to music and charitable services" in 1998.
As one of the most successful artists ever, the performer holds a number of music industry records. Candle in the Wind 1997, for example - a rewritten and re-recorded version of his 1973 hit that was released as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales - is the best-selling single in Billboard history.
John's film and stage achievements include the songs (with Tim Rice) for the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King, and (again with Rice) the music for the Disney production of Aida in 1999.
With his partying days long behind him, John has settled into a life of luxury, fine living and philanthropy, built around a still-robust touring schedule. He established the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992, and it has raised more than US$150 million (Dh550mn) for HIV/Aids programmes in 55 countries, largely supported in recent years by his famous White Tie & Tiara Ball.
John and his civil partner, David Furnish, have six homes: in Holland Park, west London; Berkshire; Nice; Venice; the Hollywood Hills; and Atlanta, Georgia in the US. They have a 15-month-old son, and John also has 10 godchildren, including Sean Lennon and David and Victoria Beckham's sons Brooklyn and Romeo. M magazine looks at some of John's passions, possessions and achievements in advance of his appearance here.
Elton John with the percussionist Ray Cooper, Yas Arena, March 29, tickets Dh295-525-695, see http://thinkflash.ae for more information and to purchase
I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO... smash a guitar over someone's head. You just can't do that with a piano. THE GREAT THING ABOUT ROCK 'N' ROLL IS... that someone like me can be a star. I'D LIKE TO... break the rules a little bit more as I did in the 1970s, I should try a little bit more now. I WANT TO... bring my songs and melodies to hip-hop beats. It may be a disaster, it could be fantastic, but you don't know until you try. I'M AT THE STAGE WHERE... I don't think I can write pop music any more. It was OK when I was 25 or 26, but not any more. I like to do my little side projects. I WILL NEVER... sing Candle in the Wind again in public unless Diana's sons ask me to. I AM SO HAPPY... being a father. I've never felt anything like it in my life.