Elton John Had His Own “More Popular Than Jesus” Moment
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Well-known musicians have often become engaged in controversy, provoking debate and criticism in equal measure. Like the enthusiasm sparked by John Lennon’s well-known declaration that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” Elton John faced a similar tempest that revealed a very private part of his life.
Elton, who is well-known for iconic classics like “Daniel,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” created waves in 1976 when he came out as bisexual. This admission was compared to the controversy surrounding Lennon’s declaration years earlier by his close associate Bernie Taupin, who called it “a little bit like our version of Lennon saying The Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ. It was a temporary hiccup.”
The choice for Elton to come out as gay was not without its challenges. His openness caused a brief uproar among supporters as well as critics in a society that is less accepting of different identities. However, this setback turned out to be temporary, as Elton and Taupin went on to achieve great success following the scandal. Bernie Taupin noted that the upheaval was only momentary and emphasized that their careers flourished in spite of the initial criticism.
Reflecting on John Lennon’s Statement
A glance back at John Lennon’s 1966 interview reveals the deep historical roots of such controversies. Lennon’s remark reflected uncertainties about the future of rock ‘n’ roll compared to established religious beliefs. While not intended to assert superiority over Jesus, the statement incited outrage, particularly in the conservative South of the United States.
The Beatles and Elton John both weathered these storms of criticism and came out stronger and more resilient. Their unwavering dedication to sincerity in their personal and musical endeavors is proof of the lasting influence of truth in creative expression. Their reputations as musical titans and pioneers of honesty have not been damaged, even in the wake of the initial shockwaves.
In the vast tapestry of music history, these moments serve as reminders that honesty, even in the face of controversy, can elevate artists to legendary status. Their stories resonate through time, inspiring generations to embrace their true selves without apology.