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The Best of the Best

Elton John : Biography

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.




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