Elton John keeps a diary. Every week, for decades now, he has carefully noted -- by hand -- his Billboard chart positions. “I’ve written them down from the word go,” says John, reeling off where his greatest-hits set, Diamonds, sits on the Billboard 200. (At the time we spoke, it was No. 32.) “I get the Billboard [albums] charts sent to me on Monday. Then I get the [Hot] 100 sent to me on Wednesday. Billboard is my bible.”
If John tallied all those entries, he’d clearly see why he’s the top male solo artist on Billboard’s list of the 125 top artists of all time. He has charted 57 songs (including nine No. 1s) in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40, and he holds the record for the most consecutive years charting a top 40 hit, at an astonishing 30. On the Billboard 200, he has landed seven No. 1 albums.
Today, the celebrations continue for John, with his sold-out Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour ongoing; his biopic, Rocketman, a global success; and his autobiography, Me, a bestseller. The Royal Mail even issued a set of postage stamps with his likeness. “I’ve probably had the greatest year of my career at 72 years of age,” he says. “I’m thrilled.”