Elton John
After 40 years in the music industry, living legend Sir Elton John is still standing—and taller than ever. He's sold more than 250 million albums worldwide, won five Grammys®, earned a Best Song Oscar® for The Lion King's "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and has the best-selling single of all time, "Candle in the Wind." Now, he's left his mark on the Great White Way, where his Broadway hit Billy Elliot earned him a Tony® and continues to sell out theaters.

Growing up in the London projects, Elton says he never could have dreamed of such success. "Music was something I grew up with and I loved passionately and I always wanted to be involved in," he says. "I never really imagined being a singer. I was an organ player in a band, and I got fed up while doing that."

Elton says he then auditioned at a record company, which was also looking for songwriters. "I said I couldn't write lyrics and they said, 'Well, there's some lyrics from a guy from Lincolnshire,' who turned out to be [Elton's longtime collaborator] Bernie Taupin," he says. "I started writing songs for other people and nobody recorded them, and so in the end I recorded them myself and became a recording artist, which wasn't on my radar. Everything that happened after that was the biggest surprise."