Tish Hyman on Elton John: 'He's A Pioneer, A Straight Up Legend'
June is a time to honor the LGBTQ community’s rich history and highlight its remarkable achievements. To celebrate Pride Month, Billboard asked modern music stars to pen essays about their favorite queer icons, and how their sounds, lyrics and overall images influenced a new era of artistry.
Elton John. There is so much to say about him. He’s a pioneer, a straight up legend. His musicianship is uncanny; his ability to accomplish it all while being true to himself, a flamboyant gay man, is second to none. My favorite song of his is "Bennie and the Jets," from the 1974 album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I also love the rendition of "Don’t Go Breaking My Heart" he did with RuPaul. That was dope.
Let’s not forget the time Elton performed Stan with Eminem at the Grammys. That performance was iconic. One of biggest rappers in the world on stage with Elton. They broke barriers that night. That performance said to the world, "It's ok to be who you are and f----in kill it."
I have yet to go to his annual AIDS Foundation Oscar viewing party, but again, it's another way he’s using his celebrity to help those in need. How you help others when you don’t have to defines who you are as a person. I think everyone should aspire to be a little bit more like Elton.