The music of Sir Elton John is to be celebrated with a new set of Royal Mail stamps to mark the artist’s 50 years in show business. The British music icon is only the second solo artist to be bestowed with the honour, following on from David Bowie in 2017.
Eight of the new Elton stamps feature images of his most popular album covers. Among the records are his 1972 breakthough Honky Chateau which featured the legendary ‘Rocket Man’.
Other albums honoured by the collection include Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – known for hits such as ‘Bennie And The Jets’, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ and ‘Candle In The Wind’.
The rest of the albums featured on the stamps include Caribou, 1975’s Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, Made In England and Songs From The West Coast. Visit the Royal Mail official website to see all the stamps in detail.
Four other stamps, which are available in a miniature sheet, will celebrate Elton John’s incendiary live performances. They include images from the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1973, his now legendary show at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 1975, the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace in London in 2012, and his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2018.
Elton John said: “To say I was surprised when Royal Mail got in touch is an understatement. Never did I think I’d appear on a stamp…! It’s wonderful, a great honour.”
Philip Parker, of Royal Mail, said: “Elton is one of the most successful British solo artists of all time. He has recorded some of the best-known songs in pop history such as ‘Candle In The Wind’ and ‘Rocket Man.’
“Our stamps issued today showcase some of his most iconic albums, and celebrate his fantastic musical contribution.”
The first commemorative stamp was issued for the British Empire Exhibition in 1924, but they were rare before 1965 when Tony Benn, the then Postmaster General, issued new criteria for what could appear on stamps. Since then, six to nine sets of commemorative stamps have been issued each year but few – apart from those celebrating members of the Royal Family or British sporting success – feature living people.