Won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London at age 11; dropped out in 1964 to pursue a music career.
In 1971, he became the first artist since the Beatles to have four albums on Billboard's top-10 chart simultaneously; starting with 1972's Honky Chateau, he released seven consecutive albums that went to No. 1.
Made his film acting debut in 1975's Tommy.
Formed the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992; since then, profits from his singles have gone to the foundation.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
In 1997, his remake of "Candle in the Wind" in honor of the late Princess Diana became the biggest selling single of all time.
Collaborated with lyricist Tim Rice on five songs for the soundtrack of Disney's animated The Lion King (1994), which sold over 7 million copies. The movie was subsequently turned into a Tony-winning musical that debuted on Broadway in 1997.
Was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.
Was so moved by the 2000 film Billy Elliott that he agreed to score the stage adaptation; Billy Elliott the Musical had its Broadway debut in 2008.
Recruited his idol Leon Russell for their album The Union (2010); Cameron Crowe filmed the musical collaboration for the documentary, The Union, which opened the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011.
Teamed with Lady Gaga for "Hello, Hello," the theme to his animated feature Gnomeo & Juliet (2011); later asked her to be godmother to his son Zachary.