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Me

Elton John's Official Autobiography

By Elton John
13-minute read
Audio available
Me by Elton John

Me (2019) is Elton John’s autobiography. These blinks reveal the singer’s troubled childhood and his struggles with addiction. They also explore his path to stardom, and the celebrity drama he’s encountered on the way.

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Sir Elton John, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is an English singer, songwriter, and composer. He’s one of the world’s best-selling music artists, and has sold over 300 million records. John has also received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, and an Academy Award.

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Me

Elton John's Official Autobiography

By Elton John
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Me by Elton John
Synopsis

Me (2019) is Elton John’s autobiography. These blinks reveal the singer’s troubled childhood and his struggles with addiction. They also explore his path to stardom, and the celebrity drama he’s encountered on the way.

Key idea 1 of 8

Elton John had an unhappy relationship with his parents.

Elton John has hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank. He’s also got a back catalogue that’s bulging with hit records. But before the fame and fortune, Elton was a regular, working-class boy. He was born in 1947, and raised in social housing in the London suburbs. And he didn’t have any adoring fans back then, either. In fact, Elton spent his early years without much love or affection.

The key message in this blink is: Elton John had an unhappy relationship with his parents.

When Elton was a kid, he spent most of his time trying to avoid a spanking.

His father, Stanley, punished him for everything. From the way he took off his school blazer to the way he ate celery, Elton could never get anything right. And he was terrified of his mum, Sheila, too. Not surprising, considering she potty trained him by beating him with a wire brush. She hit Elton until she drew blood. He was just two years old.

Stanley and Sheila fought with each other, too. They separated when Elton was eleven, but Elton believes they should have split up much sooner. But, in 1950s England, divorce was a dirty word.

After his parents split, Elton’s father remarried and had more children. Stanley was warm and loving toward his new family. But his cold, critical attitude toward Elton never changed. When Elton became successful, his dad never congratulated him. He never bothered to see him play live, either. When Stanley died in 1991, the two hadn’t spoken for years. Elton didn’t go to his funeral.

Elton did keep in touch with his mother, but she was controlling and volatile for the rest of her life.

Later in life, Sheila turned her temper on Elton’s household staff. She screamed at his cleaners and humiliated his housekeeper. She went through Elton’s receipts too, trying to find out what he was spending. Even though her son was a multi-millionaire, she berated him for buying gifts for his friends.

Sheila’s worst outburst happened in 2005, on the day Elton married his long-term boyfriend, David Furnish. His mother told the other wedding guests that she didn’t agree with same-sex marriage. Looking back, Elton believes her resentment didn’t stem from homophobia. She was just angry that David would now have more influence over her son’s life than she did.

Once he became famous, Elton could buy almost anything he wanted. But he could never purchase his parents’ approval.

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