February 21, 2018

Elton's History with the BRIT Awards

We celebrate this year's BRIT Awards with a look back through Elton's achievements.

Starting in 1986, Elton has won five BRIT Awards, including the first-ever BRITs Icon award. In honour of this year's ceremonies, we take an in-depth look at Elton's history with the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards.


Elton wins his first BRIT with the coveted Outstanding Contribution to Music award. Elton is feted during the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London as "one of the most innovative and creative artists" in the UK.



Elton wins the British Male Solo Artist award at the 11th BRITs ceremony. He is also nominated this year in the British Album of the Year category for Sleeping With The Past.

Elton, who is in the US at the time, submits a video thank you:

1990 was a special year for me, with the 'Sleeping With The Past' album doing so well and my first Number 1 single in Britain, which meant a lot. I'd like to say 'Thank you' to the people who've given me this award, but more to the people who bought the album and the single. It's very gratifying. That's what you do when you write a song – you just hope that people like it.
Elton John (1991)

Elton and RuPaul onstage in 1994


On February 14, Valentine's Day, Elton co-hosts the 14th annual BRIT awards with RuPaul. The two of them perform their version of Don't Go Breaking My Heart to mark its release as the second single from Elton's Duets album and Elton presents the BRIT Award for Best Selling Album and Single Act in the UK in 1993 to Meatloaf.


Elton wins his second Outstanding Contribution to Music BRIT Award on February 20. The award is presented by Sting, naming Elton as "one of the best-loved singers and performers this country's ever produced", as seen in the video below. Elton and his band perform Believe, Philadelphia Freedom and I'm Still Standing during the evening.

Elton wins Outstanding Contribution BRIT Award - 1995


Elton presents the BRIT Award for Best British Male Solo Artist to George Michael, reading an acceptance message from the singer who was unable to attend and adding, "How proud I am of [George]...he's a dear friend."


Elton wins the BRITs Freddie Mercury Award for his charitable work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The award is named after the late frontman for Queen ("who I loved a great deal and who I miss a great deal") and is presented to Elton by British Prime Minister Tony Blair at a ceremony at the White House in Washington DC (Elton was on tour in the US at the time).

Tony Blair begins his remarks by saying, "33 years ago, Elton John was struggling to make a living as a pianist in a pub..." To which Elton quips, "Now I'm a pianist here!"

Elton is also nominated in the British Single of the Year and British Male Solo Artist categories.

Elton wins the Freddie Mercury Award, presented by Tony Blair in 1998


Elton presents Eminem with his Best International MaleSolo Artist  BRIT award. During his time at the podium, Elton also thanks U2 (Best International Group) "for all their fantastic music throughout the years" and gives a strong shout out to a British Male Solo Artist nominee – "If there's a better singer in England than Craig David then I'm Margaret Thatcher."


Elton accepts his BRITs Icon Award. (Photo: JMEnternational)


Elton wins the first ever BRITs Icon Award in a special ceremony and concert at the London Palladium on September 2, 2013. The event is televised on February 13, 2014.

Interspersed with biographical film clips (with special messages from Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Ed Sheeran, Annie Lennox, Emilie Sandé, Mumford & Sons, and Billie Jean King amongst others) and on-stage questions from host Dermot O’Leary, Elton and the band perform:

★  I'm Still Standing
★  Your Song
★  Philadelphia Freedom
★  Bennie And The Jets
★  Tiny Dancer
★  Home Again
★  Rocket Man
★  Mexican Vacation (Kids In The Candlelight)
★  The Bitch Is Back
★  Sad Songs (Say So Much) [with Rod Stewart]

We’re proud to be launching our first ever BRITs Icon Award with an artist of Sir Elton’s incredible stature. He represents the very embodiment of what the BRITs Icon is all about, having achieved a level of creativity, originality, critical acclaim and global success that few others can match.
Geoff Taylor – BPI and BRIT Awards Ltd Chief Executive


Ed Sheeran won the Global Success Award in 2018, and Elton delivered a special video message to congratulate his friend, as well as thanking him for the namecheck for Tiny Dancer in Ed's Castle on the Hill!

Watch below.

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