Member Spotlight: Sir Elton John

Theatre Musician Spotlight

After decades of commercial chart success, Local 47 member Sir Elton John has also achieved enormous success in musical theatre composing the music for “The Lion King” and “Billy Elliot the Musical.”

The pop star and composer wrote the songs for the original 1994 Disney film “The Lion King” that was augmented for its 1997 Broadway incarnation by songs from Lebo M (who had provided choral arrangements for the film), and has proven to be a major force in musicals. He continued his winning streak with the score for “Billy Elliot,” one of the top British musicals of the century.

Winner of six Tony awards, “The Lion King” is officially now the top grossing entertainment – in any media – of all time. It set this record in 2014, overtaking the previous holder of this title, “The Phantom of the Opera,” when it achieved worldwide grosses of more than $6.2 billion. That makes it more valuable than any single Harry Potter film… or “Titanic”… or any of the “Star Wars” films. (By way of comparison, the highest grossing film in history is “Avatar,” with nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.)