This Is How Elton John's Name Really Came About

Elton John is one of the most famous names in modern music history, with his unique look, distinctive voice, and easily-recognizable tunes, it's hard to find many people who have never heard the name of the British singer and composer who is often known as "The Rocketman," thanks to his signature tune of the same name. In fact, the Elton John biopic film released in 2019 was called "Rocketman" because the word is so easily identifiable with John (via IMDb).

However, before John was known as "The Rocketman" and even before he was known as Elton John, he was called something entirely different as Elton John is not the singer's birth name. Instead, he was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, and dropped out of school by the time he was 17 to pursue a music career (via Biography). Eventually, when he was starting to find success, he decided to change his name, but even the movie chronicling his life didn't get the story behind the name change right.

Elton John chose a new name on the fly

As Elton John's life played out on the movie with Taron Egerton in the title role, the film "Rocketman" told audiences that Reginald Kenneth Dwight changed his name to Elton John thanks to John Lennon, the famous Beatle. However,  Lennon had nothing to do with how the name Elton John came about. However, another singer named John did.

Reginald Dwight was a member of the band "Bluesology" and decided he wanted to branch out on his own, hence a name change, according to a 1991 interview he did with Rowan Atkinson, explaining that he chose the name Elton after a saxophone player in the band. The singer also explained his name change in a 1990 interview he did when he released his CD box set titled "To Be Continued..."

"I was in Bluesology, and we were coming back from a Long John Baldry gig somewhere, and we got a bus from London airport to London and someone said, 'We've made it now, so what are you going to call yourself?'" John said (via The Wrap). "The saxophone player in the band was called Elton Dean, a very good jazz sax player, and the only other Elton I could think of was Elton Hayes, who recorded the song 'The Owl and the Pussycat.' So I took 'Elton' from Elton Dean and 'John' from Long John Baldry. I wanted to choose a name that nobody had, and it was as quick as that."