Iconic performer Elton John has had hit after hit over the decades. The Rocketman performer has had a tumultous life, one made much sweeter when he met future husband David Furnish.
After almost 30 years together, Elton John and David Furnish has become one of the most famous same-sex celebrity couplings. They continue to work together to break stigmas and support worthy charities. Here’s how they found love.
The legendary musician met the Canadian filmmaker and former advertising executive back in 1993, and the love connection was instant. At the time, John was newly sober after a decade of substance abuse. He had left his home in Atlanta to return to his estate in Windsor, England and decided to host a dinner party.
“I wanted to meet new people so I rang up a friend in London and said, ‘Could you please rattle some new people together for dinner here Saturday?’” he told Parade in 2010. Furnish had accompanied a friend on the evening, thinking it was going to be a dull affair. It was anything but, as the pair had an immediate attraction.
“I was attracted to David immediately,” John told Parade. “He had a real job, his own apartment, a car. He was independent. I didn’t need to take care of him. I thought, ‘God, this is new territory for me — someone wants to be with me just because he likes me.’ I knew he was the one because he is not afraid of me. He always tells me exactly what he thinks.”
The very next evening, they met up again for a one-on-one dinner at John’s home. One dinner led to more, and they quickly fell in love.
The pair eventually began working together. In 1997, Furnish made his directorial debut with Elton John: Tantrums and Tiaras, a documentary about the musician that earned a BAFTA award.
In 2005, Elton John popped the question while hosting a dinner party at their Windsor home. At the time, however, marriage was not legal for same-sex couples. They then made history by becoming one of the first couples in the UK to form a civil partnership on December 21, 2005.
On December 21, 2014, nine years exactly to the date, the pair officially tied the knot when gay marriage was made legal in the UK.
This was not the first marriage for Elton John. He was engaged to Linda Hannon in 1970 before cancelling the wedding days before the ceremony. He later married sound technician Renate Blauel from 1983 to 1987. John had already come out as bisexual in 1976. Soon after their divorce, he told Rolling Stone Magazine that he was gay.
Throughout the course of their 27-year relationship, philanthropy has been close to their hearts. John is head of the Elton John AIDS Charity, and David serves on its board. Together, they work to break the stigma and raise awareness and funding for the AIDS crisis and programs around the world. Every year, their black tie charity event raises millions of dollars for the foundation.
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Epic fundraising for @ejaf last night with £4.4 million raised to end HIV/AIDS. Huge thanks to #EdSheeran for a brilliant set after dinner. Thanks also to @grahnort @rudimentaluk and #NicoleParker for also entertaining us. Title sponsor @bulgariofficial and dear friends Bob and Tamar Manoukian deserve thanks for their generous support. Thanks to everyone who supported us so spectacularly last night by buying tickets, making pledges and contributing to the liveliest auction. Together, we will end AIDS!! @eltonjohn @teddysphotos Photos by: @gregwilliamsphotography