(CNN)Here’s a look at the life of Elton John, award-winning singer, composer and pianist.
Personal:Birth date: March 25, 1947 Birth place: Pinner, EnglandBirth name: Reginald Kenneth DwightFather: Stanley Dwight, a Royal Air Force officerRead MoreMother: Sheila (Harris) DwightMarriage: David Furnish (2014-present); Renate Blauel (1984-1988, divorced)Children: Born via surrogate with David Furnish: Elijah Joseph Daniel, Zachary Jackson LevonOther Facts:Won a piano scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at age 11.Officially changed his name to Elton John in 1967. The name was inspired by members of his early band, Bluesology. The saxophone player was named Elton Dean, and the lead singer was named Long John Baldry. Nominated for three Academy Awards and has won once.Nominated for 34 Grammy Awards and has won five times.Nominated for four Tony Awards and has won once. Early in his career, he was known for whimsical costumes and wild glasses. He’s taken the stage wearing a duck suit, a sequined baseball uniform and a Ronald McDonald outfit. He wore the colorful clothes to help create a spectacle and offset his shyness onstage. He is the third most successful Billboard Hot 100 artist of all time, according to the magazine’s tally of sales for music released between 1958 and 2015. Only the Beatles and Madonna rank higher. John’s tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. The song is the best-selling physical single of all time in the US. Proceeds from record sales were donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which issued grants to a variety of charities. Timeline:1967 – Starts working as a songwriter for Liberty Records. This is the beginning of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin.