Personal Life & Filmography

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Posted on Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:43pm
by John MacMillan

Member since: Tue, 01/07/2014

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Sexuality and Family

In the late 1960s, Elton John was engaged to be married to his first lover, secretary Linda Woodrow, who is mentioned in the song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight". He married German recording engineer Renate Blauel on 14 February 1984, in Darling Point, Sydney, with speculation that the marriage was a cover for his homosexuality. John came out as bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, but after his divorce from Blauel in 1988, he told the magazine that he was "comfortable" being gay.

He has revealed that he considers himself lucky to have avoided the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s that claimed the lives of prominent gay celebrities such as Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury and many of his friends and loved ones. He admitted that he did not know how he had failed to contract HIV from the risks he took with unprotected gay sex.

In 1993, he began a relationship with David Furnish, a former advertising executive and now filmmaker originally from Toronto. On 21 December 2005 (the day that the Civil Partnership Act came into force), John and Furnish were amongst the first couples in the UK to form a civil partnership, which was held at the Windsor Guildhall. Their son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, was born to a surrogate mother on 25 December 2010 in California. A second son, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, was born to the couple by the same surrogate mother on 11 January 2013. After gay marriage became legal in England in March 2014, John and Furnish married in Windsor, Berkshire, on 21 December 2014, the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership.

In September 2009, he announced his intention to adopt a 14-month-old boy, Lev, from an AIDS orphanage in Ukraine, but he was denied due to his age and marital status. Furnish stated they would continue to financially support Lev and his brother and would campaign for a change in Ukrainian law.

Elton John has ten known godchildren, including Sean Lennon, David and Victoria Beckham's sons Brooklyn and Romeo, Elizabeth Hurley's son Damian Charles, and the daughter of Seymour Stein.

In 2010, he was criticised by some Christian groups in the United States after describing Jesus as a "compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems". William Anthony Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, responded: "To call Jesus a homosexual is to label him a sexual deviant. But what else would we expect from a man who previously said, 'From my point of view, I would ban religion completely.'"

After supporting civil partnership, as opposed to same-sex marriage, in 2008, John is now a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom and argued in 2012: "There is a world of difference between calling someone your 'partner' and calling them your 'husband'. 'Partner' is a word that should be preserved for people you play tennis with, or work alongside in business. It doesn't come close to describing the love that I have for David, and he for me. In contrast, 'husband' does." In 2014, he returned to addressing the religious perspective on sexuality, claiming Jesus would have been in favour of homosexual marriage.

In 2013, Elton John resisted calls to boycott Russia in protest at the Russian LGBT propaganda law, but told fans at a Moscow concert that the Russian laws were "inhumane and isolating" and he was "deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation." In a January 2014 interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of John in an attempt to show that there was no gay discrimination in Russia, stating; "Elton John – he's an extraordinary person, a distinguished musician, and millions of our people sincerely love him, regardless of his sexual orientation." John responded by offering to introduce the President to Russians abused under Russian legislation banning "homosexual propaganda". On 24 September 2015, the Associated Press reported that President Putin called John and invited him to meet in the future about LGBT issues in Russia.Putin's call came just a few days after two phone pranksters called Elton John, pretending to be Putin and his spokesman, and causing John to erroneously thank Putin for the call on the singer's Instagram account.

Wealth

In April 2009, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated John's wealth to be £175 million (US$265 million), and ranked him as the 322nd wealthiest person in Britain. John was estimated to have a fortune of £195 million in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2011, making him one of the 10 wealthiest people in the British music industry. Aside from his main home "Woodside" in Old Windsor, Berkshire, John owns residences in Atlanta, Nice, London's Holland Park, and Venice. John's property in Nice is based on Mon Boron mountain.

Elton John is an art collector, and is believed to have one of the largest private photography collections in the world.

In 2000, he admitted to spending £30 million in just under two years—an average of £1.5 million a month. Between January 1996 and September 1997, he spent more than £9.6m on property and £293,000 on flowers. In June 2001 John sold 20 of his cars at Christie's, saying he didn't get the chance to drive them because he was out of the country so often. The sale, which included a 1993 Jaguar XJ220, the most expensive at £234,750, and several Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, and Bentleys, raised nearly £2 million. In 2003, John sold the contents of his Holland Park home—expected to fetch £800,000 at Sotheby's—in a bid to create more room for his collection of contemporary art which includes many works of art by Young British Artists such as Sam Taylor-Wood and Tracy Emin. Every year since 2004, John has opened a shop called "Elton's Closet" in which he sells his second-hand clothes.

Other

By 1975, the pressures of stardom had begun to take a serious toll on him. During "Elton Week" in Los Angeles that year, he suffered a drug overdose. He also battled the eating disorder bulimia. In a CNN interview with Larry King in 2002, King asked if John knew of Diana, Princess of Wales' eating disorder. John replied, "Yes, I did. We were both bulimic."

A longtime tennis enthusiast, he wrote the song "Philadelphia Freedom" in tribute to long-time friend Billie Jean King and her World Team Tennis franchise of the same name. John and King also co-host an annual pro-am event to benefit AIDS charities, most notably Elton John's own Elton John AIDS Foundation, for which King is a chairwoman. John, who maintains a part-time residence in Atlanta, Georgia, became a fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball team when he moved there in 1991.

Watford Football Club

Elton John became chairman and director of Watford Football Club in 1976, appointing Graham Taylor as manager and investing large sums of money as the club rose three divisions into the First Division. The pinnacle of the club's success was finishing runners up in the First Division in 1983 and reaching the FA Cup Final a year later. He sold the club to Jack Petchey in 1987, but remained their lifelong president.

In 1997, he re-purchased the club from Petchey and once again became chairman. He stepped down in 2002 when the club needed a full-time chairman although he continued as president of the club. Although no longer the majority shareholder, he still holds a significant financial interest. In June 2005 he held a concert at Watford's Vicarage Road ground, donating the funds to the club, and another concert in May 2010. For a time, from late 1975 until 1976, he was also a part-owner of the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. On 13 December 2014, he appeared at Watford's Vicarage Road with David Furnish, and his sons Zachary and Elijah for the opening of the "Sir Elton John stand". He described the occasion as "one of the greatest days of my life".

AIDS Foundation

Elton John has been associated with AIDS charities since the deaths of his friends Ryan White and Freddie Mercury, raising large amounts of money and using his public profile to raise awareness of the disease. For example, in 1986 he joined with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder to record the single "That's What Friends Are For", with all profits being donated to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The song won John and the others the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager). In April 1990, John performed "Skyline Pigeon" at the funeral of White, a teenage haemophiliac he had befriended.

He founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 as a charity to fund programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention, for the elimination of prejudice and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals, and for providing services to people living with or at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. This cause continues to be one of his personal passions. In early 2006, John donated the smaller of two bright-red Yamaha pianos from his Las Vegas, Nevada show to auction on eBay to raise public awareness and funds for the foundation.

To raise money for his AIDS charity, he hosts annually a glamorous White Tie & Tiara Ball, to which many famous celebrities are invited. On 28 June 2007, the 9th annual White Tie & Tiara Ball took place. The menu consisted of a truffle soufflé followed by Surf and Turf (filet mignon with Maine lobster tail) and a giant Knickerbocker glory ice cream. An auction followed the dinner held by Stephen Fry. A Rolls Royce 'Phantom' drophead coupe and a piece of Tracey Emin's artwork both raised £800,000 for the charity fund, with the total amount raised reaching £3.5 million. Later on in the event, John sang "Delilah" with Tom Jones and "Big Spender" with Shirley Bassey. The 2011 guests included Sarah, Duchess of York, Elizabeth Hurley and George Michael (who performed "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" in a duet with John), and the auction raised £5 million, adding to the £45 million the Balls have raised for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Filmography

  • Born to Boogie, US (1972) as himself with Marc Bolan and Ringo Starr
  • Tommy, UK (1975) as Pinball Wizard
  • Spice World, UK (1997) as himself
  • Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras (1997) autobiography as himself
  • The Country Bears, US (2002) as himself
  • Elton John: Me, Myself & I (2007) autobiography as himself
 

Attribution

Elton John - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elton_John

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