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Rock & Pop Music

Elton John – Rocket Man

Elton John – Rocket Man (Official Music Video) with sheet music

Rocketman is a 2019 biographical musical film based on the life of British musician Elton John. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, it stars Taron Egerton as Elton John, with Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Sheila Eileen. The film follows John in his early days in England as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his musical partnership with Taupin. The film is titled after John’s 1972 song “Rocket Man“. The sheet music is available in our Library.

The film had been in development since the 2000s before it was announced in 2013 that Focus Features acquired the rights to the film and director Michael Gracey and actor Tom Hardy were set to direct and star in the project respectively. After Hardy and Gracey left the project following creative differences between Focus and John that halted an initial production start in fall 2014, the project languished for several years until Paramount Pictures and New Republic Pictures took over as distributor in April 2018, where Egerton and Fletcher signed on. Principal photography began in August 2018 and was completed later that year. John served as executive producer, while his husband David Furnish produced the film through their Rocket Pictures, alongside Matthew Vaughn‘s Marv Films.

Rocketman premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May 2019, and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019 and in the United States on 31 May 2019. It grossed $195 million worldwide against its $40 million budget and received largely positive reviews from critics, with general praise for Egerton’s performance, the costume design and musical numbers. The film was the first by a major studio to include a gay male sex scene. For his performance, Egerton received numerous nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. John and Taupin also won Best Original Song at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, Best Song at the 25th Critics’ Choice Awards, and Best Original Song at the 92nd Academy Awards for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again“, and earned four nominations at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, including Outstanding British Film.

Rocket Man” (officially titled “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)“) is a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and originally performed by Elton John. The song first appeared on Elton John’s 1972 album Honky Château and became a hit single, rising to No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 6 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

On 30 August 2019, the song was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of 600,000 digital downloads and streaming equivalent sales. With sales of 3 million in the US the song was certified 3 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Rolling Stone lists it at No. 245 of its 500 greatest songs of all time.

Sir Elton Hercules John CH CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. Collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967 on more than 30 albums, John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including seven number ones in the UK and nine in the US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US. His tribute single “Candle in the Wind 1997“, rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts. He has also produced records and occasionally acted in films. John owned Watford F.C. from 1976 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2002. He is an honorary life president of the club.

Raised in the Pinner area of Greater London, John learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967. He met his longtime musical partner Taupin in 1967, after they both answered an advert for songwriters. For two years, they wrote songs for artists including Lulu, and John worked as a session musician for artists including the Hollies and the Scaffold. In 1969, John’s debut album, Empty Sky, was released. In 1970, his first hit single, “Your Song“, from his second album, Elton John, reached the top ten in the UK and the US. John has also had success in musical films and theatre, composing for The Lion King and its stage adaptation, Aida and Billy Elliot the Musical.

John has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 49th on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era. In 2013, Billboard ranked him the most successful male solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists, and third overall, behind the Beatles and Madonna. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. He was knighted by Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998. John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.

John has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a year later he began hosting his annual Academy Awards Party, which has since become one of the biggest high-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over £300 million. John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005; they married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014. Presenting John with France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’honneur, in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron called him a “melodic genius” and praised his work on behalf of the LGBT community. In 2018, John embarked on a three-year farewell tour.