For over 50 years, Bernie Taupin has been the voice behind Elton John's music.


Over the past few decades, Elton John has been responsible for some of the world’s greatest hits.

From ‘Rocket Man’ to ‘Crocodile Rock’ to ‘Candle in the Wind’, the 72-year-old’s songs have proved to be timeless.

But behind the scenes, there was another voice behind Elton John.

After all, Elton John is not just Elton John.

Take a look at the trailer for Rocketman below. Post continues after video.

Since they first met in 1967, Bernie Taupin has been the other half of ‘Elton John’.

Behind the scenes, the lyricist and singer collaborated with the musical legend on more than 30 albums, writing the lyrics to the vast majority of the singer’s extensive discography.

But with Taupin the quiet half to John’s colourful flamboyance, the songwriter has largely stayed out of the limelight.

Now, with movie Rocketman recounting Elton John’s story, the pair’s long-running partnership is back in the spotlight once again.

At the 2020 Golden Globes, Elton John’s song, ‘I’m Gonna Love Me Again’, won the award for Best Original Song.


It was the first time in 52 years that the pair had shared an award together.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever won an award with him, ever,” John said. “We never won a Grammy – we never did anything [award-winning] together except for this.”

“This is really sweet,” Taupin added. “This is not just about a song we wrote for a movie. It’s about a song we wrote for a movie that deals with our relationship. And it’s a relationship that doesn’t happen very often in this town. It’s a 52-year-old marriage.”


The beginning of Taupin and John’s partnership began in a fairly similar manner to what is shown in Rocketman.

In 1967, John, then going by his given name of Reg Dwight, responded to an ad in a music magazine calling for new talent.

John, who was then 20 years old and an organist in the band Bluesology, auditioned at Liberty Records’ London office.

After failing the audition, John admitted to music producer Ray Williams that while he could write music, he struggled to write lyrics.

bernie taupin elton john
The songwriting duo first met in 1967. Image: Getty.

Acknowledging his talent in writing music, Williams gave John an envelope full of poems from someone who had answered the same ad and also failed the audition – Bernie Taupin.

After reading the poems, John contacted Taupin and the rest, as they say, is history.

John, who is played by Taron Egerton in Rocketman and Taupin, who is played by Jamie Bell, had a unique approach to songwriting. In fact, even today, they rarely work on songs in the same room together. Instead, Taupin writes the lyrics on his own before John puts them to music.

bernie taupin elton john
Taron Egerton as Elton John and Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin in Rocketman.

“When I first started working with Bernie, it was exactly the same as it is now," John said in 2016.

"I would get a lyric, I would go away and write the melody and play it to him. That’s never changed. It’s the same thing now and it’s as exciting now as it was then."

Although the process is still largely the same, Taupin now occasionally joins the performer in the studio.

In 2015, Taupin told Rolling Stone that there has been more collaboration between the pair in recent years.

"I don’t want you to think it's a cold connection. We do get together and discuss things." Taupin said, adding that he often joins the performer in the recording studio.

"He likes my presence, though I’m not sure why. But yeah, I’m there waving the flag."

In the same interview, Taupin also shared how the pair have been able to work together so closely for so long.

"We live such separate lives," he said.

"We are two separate people. I think had we been the same kind of personalities and been in close proximity of each other these past years, I think there probably would have been a more acrimonious kind of thing between the two of us. We do talk on the phone a lot, but not a tremendous amount, and it’s usually about record collecting."

"We live such separate lives,"bernie taupin elton john
"We live such separate lives." Image: Getty.

John agreed: "It's extraordinary that we’ve never had an argument or a difference of opinion over a song," he told Cameron Crowe, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

"It’s quite touching. When you consider all the wonderful relationships that have broken up because of personal or professional differences, and relationships that have prematurely come to an end – we have learned to give and take."

For songwriter Taupin, his musical partnership with John has been more like a marriage.


During their partnership, which has lasted over 50 years, Taupin has been married four times and divorced three times.

Since 2004, he has been married to Heather Kidd, whom he has two daughters with – Charley Indiana and Georgey Devon.

bernie taupin elton john
Bernie Taupin has been married to Heather Kidd since 2004. Image: Getty.

Along the way, however, John has always been a constant.

"I cry when I sing this song, because I was in love with Bernie, not in a sexual way, but because he was the person I was looking for my entire life, my little soulmate," John told Rolling Stone about their 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.


"That relationship is the most important relationship of my entire life," he added.

"In a way, years later, I ended up being Captain Fantastic and he ended up the Brown Dirt Cowboy: Here, I'm living my fabulous lifestyle, collecting paintings, and Bernie is interested in horses and bull riding and sh*t like that."

Over the years, working with John has understandably earned Taupin a fortune.

The 69-year-old is estimated to be worth a whopping $70 million.

But unlike John, who is a household name across the world, Taupin has been able to stay relatively anonymous – a factor he considers a blessing.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Taupin admitted that being able to stay out of the spotlight has been one of the things he's most grateful for.

bernie taupin elton john
Bernie Taupin, Elton John and Taron Egerton. Image: Getty.

"In the early 70s, I would get recognised because my picture was on the album covers a lot. My name does still get recognised," he said.

"I go places and give a credit card or give my name at the airport, and someone will recognise the name and the gushing begins. But I couldn't live [Elton's] life. I would rather drill myself in the head with a nail gun than do what he does."

"I don't think he ever liked the fame," John said of Taupin. "He was always the quiet one and the more thoughtful one. I was always the one that said, ‘Let’s go out!’ I used to go out with Divine and dance at clubs. We’d both burn the candle at both ends, but I did it far more than he did.”

After over 50 years of music collaboration, it's safe to say the world wouldn't be the same if Elton John and Bernie Taupin had never met.

Feature Image: Getty.

For more on this topic:

Sign up for our weekly "TV and Movies" newsletter. Every week, our Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik gives you a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews.