Even in the midst of a farewell tour, Sir Elton John continues to enjoy massive global success, proving himself as pop's most vivacious knight.
Since his very first hit Your Song in 1971, Elton has scored 7 Number 1s on the Official Singles Chart, from 32 Top 10s and a total of 67 Top 40 hits. He's also landed seven chart-topping albums and collaborated with some of music's biggest legends and rising stars; his upcoming album The Lockdown Sessions (released October 22) sees him team up with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lil Nas X and Miley Cyrus, Stevie Wonder and Stevie Nicks.
The album's lead single, Dua Lipa collaboration Cold Heart (Pnau Remix), is a perfect example of Elton's unfearing approach to innovate - mashing up his hit songs Rocketman and Cold Heart over a wistful disco beat. The song is currently competing for Number 1 on this week's Official Singles Chart.
Sir Elton also claims the honour of having the UK's biggest selling single of all time. His double-A side of Candle In The Wind 1997 / Something About The Way You Look Tonight – which the star performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales – has sold 4.94 million copies.
A truly stellar music career that shows no sigh of slowing down, but when it comes to the digital age of streaming, how do his classics hold up?
Elton's most-streamed song in the UK, according to Official Charts Company data, is Tiny Dancer, with 111m plays. The track, taken from his fourth album Madman Across The Water, tops the list despite never being officially issued as a single. A reworking of the song by British rappers Ironik and Chipmunk took it to Number 3 in 2009 (that version places 30th in his all-time streaming chart), while recent years have seen the original enjoy a boost in plays after featuring heavily in his acclaimed biopic Rocketman.
Close behind at Number 2 is his festive single Step Into Christmas, with 110m streams, while two more signature hits Rocket Man (107m) and Your Song (102m) place at 3 and 4 respectively. The defiant I'm Still Standing rounds off the Top 5 with 85m plays to date.
As his latest album demonstrates, Elton has never shied away from collaborating. His most popular duet is Don't Go Breaking My Heart with British singer Kiki Dee, ranking at Number 6 with 69m streams. Just behind at 7 is George Michael collab Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (54m). The pair first performed the song at the Live Aid concert in 1985, though it was their surprise performance of the track at London's Wembley Arena in 1991 that led to its single release.
Other popular Elton collaborations include posthumous 2Pac hook-up Ghetto Gospel at 8 (38m), Save Rock And Roll with Fall Out Boy at 21, and 2002 chart-topper Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word with Blue, at 25.
Recent Elton releases that appear in his Top 40 most-streamed include Sine From Above, a duet with Lady Gaga on her Chromatica album (27), his cover of Pet Shop Boys' It's A Sin with Years & Years, performed at this year's BRIT Awards (30), and current smash Cold Heart (Pnau Remix) with Dua Lipa (24).
Elton John's Official Top 40 most-streamed songs
|1||TINY DANCER||ELTON JOHN|
|2||STEP INTO CHRISTMAS||ELTON JOHN|
|3||ROCKET MAN||ELTON JOHN|
|4||YOUR SONG||ELTON JOHN|
|5||I'M STILL STANDING||ELTON JOHN|
|6||DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART||ELTON JOHN & KIKI DEE|
|7||DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME||GEORGE MICHAEL FT ELTON JOHN|
|8||GHETTO GOSPEL||2PAC FT ELTON JOHN|
|9||CROCODILE ROCK||ELTON JOHN|
|10||BENNIE AND THE JETS||ELTON JOHN|
|11||GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD||ELTON JOHN|
|12||ARE YOU READY FOR LOVE||ELTON JOHN|
|13||CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT||ELTON JOHN|
|14||I GUESS THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES||ELTON JOHN|
|16||SATURDAY NIGHTS ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING||ELTON JOHN|
|17||CANDLE IN THE WIND||ELTON JOHN|
|19||CIRCLE OF LIFE||ELTON JOHN|
|20||SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY YOU LOOK/CANDLE||ELTON JOHN|
|21||DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME||ELTON JOHN|
|22||SAVE ROCK AND ROLL||FALL OUT BOY FT ELTON JOHN|
|23||SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD||ELTON JOHN|
|25||COLD HEART||ELTON JOHN & DUA LIPA|
|26||SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD||BLUE FT ELTON JOHN|
|27||PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM||ELTON JOHN|
|28||SINE FROM ABOVE||LADY GAGA & ELTON JOHN|
|29||(I'M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN||ELTON JOHN & TARON EGERTON|
|30||TINY DANCER (HOLD ME CLOSER)||IRONIK/CHIPMUNK/ELTON JOHN|
|31||IT'S A SIN||ELTON JOHN/YEARS & YEARS|
|32||HONKY CAT||ELTON JOHN|
|33||SOMEONE SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT||ELTON JOHN|
|34||THE BITCH IS BACK||ELTON JOHN|
|35||I WANT LOVE||ELTON JOHN|
|36||FACE TO FACE||GARY BARLOW & ELTON JOHN|
|37||SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH)||ELTON JOHN|
|38||SONG FOR GUY||ELTON JOHN|
|39||THE SHOW MUST GO ON||QUEEN & ELTON JOHN|
|40||PINBALL WIZARD||ELTON JOHN|
©2021 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
Article image: Gregg Kemp