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Sir Elton: The Definitive Biography

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He was born Reginald Kenneth White in 1947, and he began his career in his teens pounding the piano in a pub. The world, though, would know him as Elton John, the name that for the past three decades has epitomized rock-music superstardom. From blockbuster albums like Friends and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the 1970s to award-winning scores in the nineties for the film an He was born Reginald Kenneth White in 1947, and he began his career in his teens pounding the piano in a pub. The world, though, would know him as Elton John, the name that for the past three decades has epitomized rock-music superstardom. From blockbuster albums like Friends and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the 1970s to award-winning scores in the nineties for the film and Broadway show The Lion King and the current stage hit Aida, Elton John has never failed to dazzle his audiencesand never more so than at the funeral of his close friend Diana, Princess of Wales, when he moved an entire nation with his poignant and powerful performance of "Candle in the Wind 1997" ("Goodbye England's Rose"). Epically conceived and masterfully told, Philip Norman's biography of the inimitable, legendary Elton John searches out the man behind the performer in glittering costumes and sky-high boots. Norman explores the draining addictions, the failed marriage, attempted suicides, a multimillionaire's supposed money troubles. He examines Elton's compulsions and coming out; he illuminates the creative drive that continues prodigiously and brilliantly to produce new music. What emerges is a frank, sympathetic portrait so truthful that Elton himself has said, "He's got me spot on.""


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He was born Reginald Kenneth White in 1947, and he began his career in his teens pounding the piano in a pub. The world, though, would know him as Elton John, the name that for the past three decades has epitomized rock-music superstardom. From blockbuster albums like Friends and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the 1970s to award-winning scores in the nineties for the film an He was born Reginald Kenneth White in 1947, and he began his career in his teens pounding the piano in a pub. The world, though, would know him as Elton John, the name that for the past three decades has epitomized rock-music superstardom. From blockbuster albums like Friends and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the 1970s to award-winning scores in the nineties for the film and Broadway show The Lion King and the current stage hit Aida, Elton John has never failed to dazzle his audiencesand never more so than at the funeral of his close friend Diana, Princess of Wales, when he moved an entire nation with his poignant and powerful performance of "Candle in the Wind 1997" ("Goodbye England's Rose"). Epically conceived and masterfully told, Philip Norman's biography of the inimitable, legendary Elton John searches out the man behind the performer in glittering costumes and sky-high boots. Norman explores the draining addictions, the failed marriage, attempted suicides, a multimillionaire's supposed money troubles. He examines Elton's compulsions and coming out; he illuminates the creative drive that continues prodigiously and brilliantly to produce new music. What emerges is a frank, sympathetic portrait so truthful that Elton himself has said, "He's got me spot on.""

30 review for Sir Elton: The Definitive Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Enchantment (Katherine Quirke)

    This is a sensitive and articulated unauthorised biography of Elton John. In fact Elton has favorably stated that this is quite an accurate account of his life. Only Elton can fill in the gaps. For compelling reading by Philip Norman and for a great insight to the life of a legendary music star.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I'm about a third of the way through. Disappointed so far. This book is a bit tedious putting way too much emphasis on irrelevant facts. I want to know about Elton, not just a chronological listing of all the gigs and people he met that got him where he is. What’s he like? I still don't have a real sense of him. I'll keep going, but I must admit to skimming a few pages in the process of finishing this book. Gave up... Elton really should have written his own biography. I think they are much bett I'm about a third of the way through. Disappointed so far. This book is a bit tedious putting way too much emphasis on irrelevant facts. I want to know about Elton, not just a chronological listing of all the gigs and people he met that got him where he is. What’s he like? I still don't have a real sense of him. I'll keep going, but I must admit to skimming a few pages in the process of finishing this book. Gave up... Elton really should have written his own biography. I think they are much better when they are written in the first person or maybe it is just that I prefer them that way.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    #110 of 120 books pledged to read during 2018 Philip Norman wrote a good biography of the Beatles many years ago, but this 1991 book (with an updated 1998 section to include Princess Diana's funeral) is just loaded with factual errors. Not only that, the author thought every album I liked was terrible, and vice versa, so that didn't help any. Look elsewhere for a good biography of Elton John.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Young

  5. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Ellis

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leah K

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

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    Marc

  10. 5 out of 5

    Neil Barrington

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steven Svymbersky

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alice

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Thiel

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pandu AT

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jo

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    Olivia Pitman

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane

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    Karen

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    Polina Kordik

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jodell Josserand

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

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    Tracy Christiansen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom Griffith

  25. 4 out of 5

    A Sharkus

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Raatikainen

  27. 4 out of 5

    LC

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tarja B

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Greig

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gina

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