The Truth About Elton John's Kids

For decades, Elton John has been selling out stadiums all over the world, playing piano and singing his seemingly endless catalogue of hit songs for hoards of cheering fans who know every single word. There's no question the superstar has lived a life most people can only dream about; however, after years of trotting around the globe and playing sold-out shows, John's priorities gradually began to shift.

"I've got musicals to write, films to produce," the Oscar-nominated star told The Guardian in a 2013 interview. He continued, explaining, "None of us know how long we've got left. I could go out tomorrow and have a car crash. But you can take precautions if you want to have a longer life." Added John, "I want to grow old with my children."

Considering he welcomed his first son when he was in 60s, fatherhood was uncharted territory for John. However, the "Crocodile Rock" singer is seemingly a natural at raising his two sons with his husband, David Furnish. Here's the truth about Elton John's kids, Zachary and Elijah. 

Elton John's kids are the "best things that have ever happened" to him

Elton John is the definition of superstar, renowned for his unmistakable singing voice and incredible skill with the piano — both of which continue to garner the "Tiny Dancer" singer new generations of fans. However, while John has enjoyed decades of performing for sold-out arenas filled with fans singing every word of every song, the mega-star doesn't consider his career his greatest accomplishment. Instead, according to John himself, the best of what life has to offer lies within his two sons, Zachary and Elijah.

"Five years ago, [David Furnish and I] never thought we'd have a family," John told Extra in a 2013 interview. The singer continued, praising the American Fertility Association and crediting it with giving himself and Furnish the opportunity to become parents. "This organization has enabled us to have two children that we absolutely adore and are the best things that have ever happened to us," John gushed to Extra.

Elton John has referred to his kids as "curveballs"

Elton John and David Furnish's first child, Zachary, was born on Christmas Day 2010 via surrogate, instantly becoming the best and most treasured holiday gift the couple had ever received and making John and Furnish just one of many celebrities who've used a surrogate"We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment," John and Furnish gushed in a joint statement following their son's birth, as reported by The Guardian.

While John and Furnish certainly planned for and anticipated their firstborn's arrival in the months leading to his birth, the "Rocket Man" singer had spent the majority of his life thinking he'd never become a father — especially to two children. Speaking with Ellen DeGeneres in 2016 (via People), John revealed, "If you'd had said to me 10 years ago I'd be sitting on your show married to the man I love and have two beautiful children, I would have said, 'You put acid in my drink.'" 

The superstar continued, telling DeGeneres, "But life throws you challenges and life throws you curveballs — and great curveballs." Added John, "These two children have come along at a time I never thought I'd have children. They are the greatest thing in our lives."

Elton John's kids have a superstar godmother

There's no doubt Elton John's kids will be raised hearing unforgettable stories from their dad's rock 'n' roll heyday; however, John won't be the only singing superstar in his kids' lives. Instead, Zachary and Elijah will likely also grow up being entertained by tales of stages and superstardom from their godmother — world-renowned pop star Lady Gaga.

In April 2011, John confirmed fans' speculation when he revealed to Barbara Walters that he'd chosen the "Born This Way" songstress to be godmother to his firstborn son, Zachary, as reported by Us Weekly. "Zachary's going to inherit an incredible musical legacy from his father one day, and she will be a good person to guide him through the ins and outs of the music business, 'cause she sure knows everything about the business now," John said of Gaga. 

Following Elijah's 2013 birth, John told Extra that his second child would also grow up with Gaga as a godmother. "She's a great role model, she's young, ... she's been a great godmother so far to Zachary," John said. He continued, telling Extra, "We're all bonkers in this business, but we're human beings at the same time."

Elton John expects his kids to make their own money

Having a global rockstar like Elton John for a dad almost certainly means Zachary and Elijah will be raised surrounded by wealth, fame, and all the trappings of celebrity. Hopefully, however, they don't grow up taking the nice things that are afforded to them for granted — because, according to their superstar dad, they won't be given handouts simply for being his sons.

"They're going to have to earn their own money," John told Extra in a 2013 interview. He continued, saying, "They'll have to clean the cars, or they'll have to do something in the garden ... help around the house. And ... when they're old enough to get a car, they'll get a secondhand one and they'll pay us back." 

John explained his and husband David Furnish's reasoning behind raising their sons to make their own way in life, saying, "Everything we worked for, we did ourselves. They're spoiled enough already by living in [fame]."

Elton John's kids are always up for an adventure

"I'm Still Standing" is one of Elton John's most popular songs — and for years following his sons' births, the superstar was still singing the song at performances, too. After all, being such a musical icon means having masses of fans excitedly waiting to fill out arenas all over the globe for the opportunity to sing along to their favorite songs with their favorite artist. Luckily, however, John was often able to take his little ones along on tour.

"They're very portable," the superstar joked of his young sons to Extra. He continued, saying, "It's lovely to take them around the world. ... Zachary has already been to Australia twice before ... he's two years old."

According to John, he never wants his kids to be shielded from everyday, normal life. "They're not stuck behind the gates of a mansion," John told The Guardian in a 2016 interview. He continued, "Saturdays when I'm home, we go to Pizza Hut with them, we go to Waterstones, we go to the cinema." Added John, "I've never been a recluse, I've never hidden away. I'm on the school run."

Elton John's kids made him want to stop touring

In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Elton John revealed he was planning to step away from the spotlight. "I don't want to tour all the time," the superstar told the publication. He continued, explaining, "I want to spend time with David [Furnish] and the kids."

Despite his words, John was still touring the world during a 2016 interview with The Guardian. However, the "Bennie and the Jets" rocker assured the publication he was determined to end the touring stage of his career. "It's on the horizon," John promised. He added, "I'm hurtling towards 70, and I've made a promise to David and to my sons that I really don't want to be schlepping around the world at 72. I don't want to do tours any more that take me away from my children."

Speaking with Robin Roberts in 2018, John said his decision wasn't a difficult one to make. "There's no contest," the singer told ABC News. Added John, "I'd rather be with my children than still be playing shows. It was a very easy decision to make."

Elton John's kids are little athletes

Speaking alongside husband David Furnish to Extra in 2013, Elton John talked about the bond shared between the couple's two sons, Zachary and Elijah. "[Zachary] is a very proud brother. He loves his younger brother," John said. Discussing the unique personalities of both his sons, John continued, "Zachary is all boy. Elijah is very zen compared to Zachary; Zachary was very lively."

While their demeanors may differ, Zachary and younger brother Elijah do share some interests — namely, according to their famous father, girls and sports. Describing his sons as "girl mad," John told The Sun, "They're real boys, and they're just very athletic, normal kids."

Zachary and Elijah's athleticism likely comes from John himself, who still plays tennis "three times a week" to stay physically fit and healthy. "They're both sport mad," John revealed. He continued, telling The Sun, "It's great because sport is so social, [and] they meet lots of friends and they don't have video games. They're always outside playing and kicking a ball around."

Elton John is happy his mother never met his kids

As fans of Elton John may know, the superstar's relationship with his late mother, Sheila Farebrother, was long fraught with tension. In fact, by the time his and Furnish's first son, Zachary, was born, John was "actively avoiding" his mother, and the two didn't talk to one another for years, as noted by People.

When Farebrother passed away in 2017, John showed compassion for his mother on social media, writing (via People), "So sad to say that my mother passed away this morning ... I only saw her last Monday and I am in shock. Travel safe Mum. Thank you for everything. I will miss you so much." However, in 2019, the superstar revealed he was relieved his sons weren't going to know his estranged mother, whom John said had never expressed interest in meeting Zachary and Elijah. 

"She never liked David. She never liked anybody. She never asked to see the children," John said in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. He continued, saying, "But I'm glad they didn't meet her because she would have criticized them, like she criticized me."

The biological father of Elton John's kids hasn't been publicly revealed

Zachary, the firstborn son of Elton John and David Furnish, was born on Christmas Day 2010 via a surrogate, who would later go on to give birth to the couple's second son, Elijah. While the identity of the surrogate mother has been kept a secret, John spoke highly of her during a 2013 interview with The Telegraph, telling the publication, "She has given us two amazing gifts and we in turn have a duty of care to her and are fiercely protective of her anonymity."

However, while fans may have been interested in the identity of the boys' biological mother, they were seemingly even more curious to know Zachary and Elijah's biological father. Following Zachary's birth, John and Furnish said they both "contributed" to the process and had no real interest in discovering which one of them had fathered their son. 

"For the time being we don't have a clue who the biological father is," Furnish told OK! (via CTV News). He continued, saying, "We look at him every day and at the moment he has Elton's nose and my hands." At the time of this writing, neither John nor Furnish have publicly commented on their sons' paternity.