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Elton John was born Reginald Dwight in London. His father wanted him to go into banking but recognized his musical gifts and supported his training at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1967, he met his long-term songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and not long after changed his name to Elton John, derived from the Bluesology sax player Elton Dean and a rock-star friend Long John Baldry. When Jack Robinson photographed him on November 6, 1970, the twenty-three year old Elton John had become internationally known just that year. Just a month before, he had released his third album, Tumbleweed Connection. Clearly, even by this time his trademark appearance— the baby-face framed by oversize eyeglasses, and multi-colored garb— was already established. The feature in Vogue on January 1, 1971 points out the role of Elton in the shift from electric guitar to piano-based music, noting his recent show piano-to-piano with Leon Russell at the Fillmore East. He “plays music touched by the blues and the classics, sings a conversational shout to suit his look, at twenty-three, of a hip Christopher Robin (sideburns like kiss curls).”
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