Elton John became the chairman and director of Watford F.C. in 1976, after supporting the team since his youth. John appointed Graham Taylor as manager and invested large sums of money as the club rose three divisions into the English First Division. At their height, the club finished runners up in the First Division to Liverpool in 1983 and reaching the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 1984. John sold the club to Jack Petchey in 1987, but remained president. Ten years later, John repurchased the club from Petchey and once again became chairman. He stepped down in 2002 when the club needed a full-time chairman, but continued as president. Although no longer the majority shareholder, John still holds a significant financial interest. In 2005 and 2010, John held a concert at Watford's home stadium, Vicarage Road, and donated proceeds to the club. He has remained friends with a number of high-profile players in football, including Pelé and David Beckham. From late 1975 to 1976, John was a part-owner of the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. On 13 December 2014, he appeared at Watford's Vicarage Road with his husband and sons for the opening of the "Sir Elton John stand". He called the occasion "one of the greatest days of my life".
As part of his farewell tour, in June 2019, John was presented with France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'honneur, by President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Macron called John a "melodic genius" and one of the first gay artists to give a voice to the LGBT community. On 25 June 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed John as one of hundreds of artists whose master recordings were reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire.More Info
A longtime tennis enthusiast, he wrote the song "Philadelphia Freedom" in tribute to his friend Billie Jean King's World Team Tennis team, the Philadelphia Freedoms. King was a player-coach for the team at the time. John and King remain friends and co-host an annual pro-am event to benefit AIDS charities, most notably the Elton John AIDS Foundation, of which King is a chairperson. John, who maintains a part-time residence in Atlanta, Georgia, became a fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball team when he moved there in 1991.More Info
On 26 January 2017, it was announced that John would compose the score for the Broadway musical version of the novel The Devil Wears Prada and its film adaptation, with Kevin McCollum as producer and Paul Rudnick writing the lyrics and story. The timeline for the musical is yet to be announced. In June 2017, John appeared in the award-winning documentary The American Epic Sessions, directed by Bernard MacMahon. In the film, he recorded live on the restored first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s. John composed and arranged a lyric by Taupin, “Two Fingers of Whiskey”, written specially for the film, live on camera with the help of Burnett and Jack White. Danny Eccleston in Mojo pointed out that “in one of the series’ most extraordinary moments, Elton John arrives toting a box-fresh lyric by Bernie Taupin and works it up in an instant, the song materializing in front of the viewers' eyes before John and Jack White go for the take. There's the magic right there.” “Two Fingers of Whiskey” was released on 9 June 2017 on Music from The American Epic Sessions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.More Info
John released The Union on 19 October 2010. He has said the album, a collaboration with American singer, songwriter and sideman Leon Russell, marked a new chapter in his recording career, saying: "I don't have to make pop records any more." He began his new show The Million Dollar Piano at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, on 28 September 2011, and performed it there for the next three years. He performed his 3000th concert on 8 October 2011 at Caesars. Also in 2011, John performed vocals on "Snowed in at Wheeler Street" with Kate Bush for her album 50 Words for Snow. On 3 February 2012, he visited Costa Rica for the first time, performing at the recently built National Stadium.More Info
In 1993, John began a relationship with David Furnish, a former advertising executive and now filmmaker originally from Toronto. On 21 December 2005 (the day the Civil Partnership Act came into force), John and Furnish were among the first couples to form a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, which was held at the Windsor Guildhall. After gay marriage became legal in the United Kingdom in March 2014, John and Furnish married in Windsor, Berkshire, on 21 December 2014, the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership.More Info
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