During the mid-1980s, Elton developed a close friendship with
Ryan White, a teenage haemophiliac who contracted AIDS through
a blood transfusion. Ryan would attract international attention
after his middle school, in Kokomo Indiana would ban him from going
to school for fear he may infect other students and or teachers.
Elton not only became close friends with Ryan but would later provide
finical help and emotional support for Ryan's family as well.
Elton dedicated "Candle in the Wind," (the song he and
Bernie Taupin had written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe), to Ryan
at the Farm Aid concert in Indianapolis the night before Ryan's
death. When Ryan sadly died on 8 April, 1990, in a tender and moving
performance, Elton would sing the song at Ryan's funeral. Elton,
along with talk show host Phil Donahue, would help Ryan's mother
Jeanne, to start up the Ryan White Foundation for the prevention
of AIDS. Elton's interest in AIDS would lead to the creation of
the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992.
By 1991, Elton was sober. 'Two Rooms', a film documentary was
released, described the unusual method Elton and Bernie used to
produce Elton's hit records (with Bernie writing on his own and
Elton later putting music to the lyrics - neither of them being
in the same room at the same time). 'Basque' won Elton a Grammy
Aware for Best Instrumental Composition that same year.
In 1992, Elton established the aforementioned AIDS Foundation
(which would contributed over $25 million to various AIDS causes
worldwide) and announced that he would donate all royalties from
his single sales to AIDS research. This same year, would begin
recording again, releasing 'The One'. Peaking at number eight on
the US charts and going double platinum, the album became his most
successful record since 'Blue Moves', and sparked a new comeback
for Elton. It was at this time that he and Bernie signed a record-breaking
publishing deal with Warmer/Chappell Music for an estimated amount
of $39 million US dollars. Also, in 1992, Elton would perform 'Bohemian
Rhapsody' and 'The Show Must Go On', with Queen at the Freddie
Mercury Tribute Concert, an AIDS charity event held at Wembley
Stadium, London in honour of Queen's late lead singer Freddie Mercury,
who succumbed to AIDS on November 24, 1991. In September of that
same year, Elton performed 'November Rain' with Guns N' Roses for
the 1992 MTV Video Awards at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles,
California. Elton and Bernie Taupin were inducted into the Songwriters
Hall of Fame this same year.