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Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, November 12, 1999


Elton John
to play Blaisdell
Arena in January


By Tim Ryan


Editor's note: Some information in this article appeared online at and

Reginald Kenneth Dwight, the second-biggest solo record seller in U.S. history -- better known as Elton John -- will make his first Hawaii appearance in more than two decades with two concerts at the Blaisdell Center Arena Jan. 7-8 at 8 p.m.

Tickets for John's Medusa Tour solo acoustic concerts are $45 and $65 and go on sale Nov. 20 at the Blaisdell box office and all Tickets Plus outlets.

The singer, well known for dozens of hits in three decades like "Benny and the Jets," might be singing a special rendition, "Benny and the Mets." Benny Agbayani, St. Louis High School-Hawaii Pacific graduate and New York Mets outfielder, is being invited as a special guest to the concert by promoter Tom Moffatt, who will ask John to sing the special tribute.

Moffatt has been pursuing the John concert for several months, originally hoping to have the flamboyant performer for New Year's Eve, but the singer opted for Las Vegas and a few million dollars for two performances.

In terms of sales and lasting popularity, John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s.

John sustained his popularity by charting a Top 40 single every single year from 1970 to 1996. Many of his songs -- including "Your Song," "Rocket Man," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" -- have become contemporary pop standards.

His first Top 10 U.S. single was "Your Song."

Between 1972 and 1976, John and songwriter Bernie Taupin's hit-making machine was virtually unstoppable with a four-year streak of 16 Top 20 hits in a row, including "Crocodile Rock," "Daniel," "Benny and the Jets," "The Bitch Is Back" and "Philadelphia Freedom." "Honky Chateau" began a streak of seven consecutive No. 1 albums -- "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" (1973), "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (1973), "Caribou" (1974), "Greatest Hits" (1974), "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" (1975), "Rock of the Westies" (1975) -- that all went platinum.

In 1994, John collaborated with lyricist Tim Rice on songs for Disney's animated feature "The Lion King." One of their collaborations, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

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