Elton John is a musical icon, sure. But it's not just the music that launched the singer and songwriter into the cultural consciousness. John's over-the-top persona—most notably, his unapologetically wild fashion sense—is as much part of his legacy as songs like "Tiny Dancer" and "Benny and the Jets." And now that Rocketman has finally hit theaters, we're taking a closer look at one of the most important components of John's signature look: his sunglasses. They're bold, bright, brash, and they've been there since the beginning.
From the start of his career straight through to today, here's a look at a half-century's worth of Elton John's out-there eyewear. Enjoy.
In London, England, in 1970.
Backstage at the Crystal Palace Bowl in London, England, in 1971.
Elton John performs at Portsmouth Guildhall, on August 26, 1972.
At the Hammersmith Odeon in December of 1973.
Onstage, wearing a giant fuzzy hat, circa 1974.
Elton John performs at an open-air concert in Watford, May 1974.
Onstage at the piano, circa 1975.
Posing for a portrait wearing a shiny red jacket and matching sunglasses, circa 1975.
Elton John is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, on October 23, 1975. He is wearing a suit emblazoned with the names of stars, including his own.
John holds a press conference to announce a concert tour in 1976.
John performs live at Madison Square Garden during his "Louder Than Concorde" tour on August 10, 1976.
Out on the town, circa 1977.
Onstage, circa 1977.
In a beret and sunglasses in 1978.
Elton John performs on a tour of the former Soviet Union in May of 1979. John's concerts were the first by a western rock star in the Eastern Bloc.
Elton John at the Le Dome Restaurant in Hollywood, California, on February 22, 1980.
Leaving his hotel in Paris in 1981.
Performing in the U.S. in September of 1981.
At a Cartier even in El Kantaoui in Tunisia on March 31, 1983 . John was overwhelmed when the French brand offered him a pair of gold-plated sunglasses, which he isn't wearing in this photo.
Wearing a black-and-white tuxedo, sunglasses, and a boater hat in 1984.
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