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Elton John's birthday: celebrate with our top ten Rocket Man facts
1. He may have changed his name from Reginald Kenneth Dwight to Elton John, but do you know what his adopted middle name is? No? It's Hercules.
Not after the hero of mythology, but after the horse named Hercules on the British sitcom "Steptoe and Son". The name Elton John was inspired by Soft Machine saxophone player Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.
2. Elton credits Watford Football Club, where he was twice chairman, with helping him kick his addictions. "Graham Taylor would sit me down and say, 'You're drinking too much'," he said in 2004. "If I hadn't had Watford, I really don't know what would have happened to me..."
3. Elton John has mooned Michael Caine and Simon Cowell. There may be others, but we cannot confirm that at this stage.
4. He has a pacemaker.
5. Elton John once ran onstage during an Iggy Pop concert dressed in a lifelike gorilla suit.
Unfortunately Iggy failed to see the funny side. He believed he was being attacked by an actual gorilla and fled the stage to hide behind his drummer.
6. His parents were alarmed by his music. His father wanted him to concentrate on classical pieces whereas his mother did not like his often raucous playing style.
7. The Elton John Aids Foundation has raised more than $100m (£52m) since it was established in 1992.
8. There are two things Elton particularly likes to have when he's touring. "It's very important to have two tiaras when you're on the road," he said. "You never know when you'll be invited to something really formal."
9. He once had a balloon promoting a Rod Stewart concert shot out of the sky.
10. When buying CDs, he is said to enjoy ordering multiples of each, so that he can have a copy in each of his homes. He makes it a point of principle never to accept a free CD as he doesn't want the promotional sticker on it. He enjoys logging his new purchases in a book and filing them away in alphabetical order, just as he used to do in his bedroom in the family home in the north-west London suburb of Northwood, where he would keep his singles and LPs in protective brown-paper bags.
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