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PRS for Music honours Elton John's first gig 

2 June 2010

One of the nation’s most-loved musicians and successful artists of all time - Sir Elton John – has been honoured by a PRS for Music Heritage Award.

A special plaque was erected at Northwood Hills this bank holiday weekend where Sir Elton, then known as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, first performed at the Namaste Lounge, formerly The Northwood Hills Hotel, in 1962 – aged just 15.

PRS for Music set up the Heritage Award last year to recognise the unusual ‘performance birthplaces’ of famous bands and artists. Sir Elton John is the fifth artist to be given the honour of receiving the permanent plaque.

The plaque was unveiled at the Namaste Lounge in Northwood Hills on Saturday May 29th in front of VIP guests including:

• George Hill, Landlord of The Northwood Hills who booked and hired Sir Elton for his first gig

• Northwood Hill locals who attended Sir Elton’s first gigs

• Members of Lunch Around The World, Elton’s fans fundraising for the Elton John AIDS Foundation

• International fans heading to the UK from as far afield as the USA

• The Worshipful the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon Cllr David Yarrow and Mrs Rita Kilroy

At the age of 15, with the help of his mother and stepfather, Sir Elton John became a weekend pianist at The Northwood Hills, playing Thursday to Sunday nights for £25 a week and tips. Known simply as "Reggie", he played a range of popular standards, including songs by Jim Reeves and Ray Charles.
PRS for Music Director, Simon Darlow, who unveiled the award said: “It’s impossible to sum up the enormous contribution that Sir Elton John has made to the UK and the international music scene, as a brilliant composer, a consummate musician and a generous benefactor to worthy causes.  It is an honour and a privilege to be able to honour him and Namaste Lounge today with the PRS for Music Heritage Award.” 

Sir Elton John said: "I am delighted and honoured to receive this recognition from PRS for Music. We often forget what a significant and important part British musicians, writers and composers and performers have played in the history and development of music. Thank you."

In his five-decade career, Sir Elton John has sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. His single ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ has sold over 37 million copies, and is the best selling single of all time.  He had 7 consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 6 UK No. 1 albums and 56 Top 40 singles, including 8 No. 1 hits. His numerous awards include Best British Male Artist Brit Award, 5 Grammy Awards, 11 Ivor Novello Awards, 2 Tony awards and an Oscar.

For more information please go to www.prsformusic.com/heritageaward

Namaste Lounge:
Within the splendour of Northwood Hills, there remains a historical building which, even today, is remembered as the beginning of a journey of a genius- Sir Elton John.

This is where the history was made; thus the external Architecture is the same as depicted on the sleeve of Sir Elton’s album “Captain Fantastic”.
In order to keep up with the times, the internal décor of the Northwood Hills Pub has been quintessentially modernized, with the addition of a beer garden at the rear of the Pub. Indeed, gourmet of spicy Indian food to cater for the ever-changing palate of not only the locals, but, people from far afield, is also catered for, hence, the name Namaste – (warm greetings) Lounge.

Maintaining the tradition and Northwood Hills’ association with music, artists from all walks of life perform on Saturdays. Not to forget Contemporary and Classic music on Fridays with the assistance of a Disc Jockey.

We at Northwood Hills Pub (Namaste Lounge) pride ourselves with the knowledge that this is the place where Sir Elton John started his journey to stardom.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £537.4m in 2015, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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