A special plaque will be erected in Northwood Hills 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 will be 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
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 Chairman, Ellis Rich said: 'It’s hard to sum up the incredible contribution that Sir Elton John has made to the UK and the international music scene. He is without a doubt one of the finest musicians the country has ever produced so it’s a real privilege to be able to honour him today with the PRS for Music Heritage Award.'
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.
If you were present at the first gigs and are interested in attending the plaque unveiling ceremony or if you have photos of the performances, Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please go to www.prsformusic.com/heritageaward