After nearly five decades of touring the world, Sir Elton John, 70, recently announced that he'll be taking a step away from the stage following his three-year tour, Farewell: Yellow Brick Road. While many were initially shocked, Elton's reasoning was something no one could compete with: he simply wants to spend more time with his children and husband, David Furnish, 55.
Elton John and David Furnish in October 1996.
WHO IS DAVID FURNISH?
David, a Toronto native, is a filmmaker, producer, and director. He famously directed Elton's documentary Tantrum & Tiaras in 1997. Other films of David's include Pride and Predator, Gnomeo and Juliet, and It's a Boy Girl Thing.
HOW DID THE COUPLE MEET?
Elton and David met in 1993. "I went back to my house in Windsor for a while," Elton told Parade."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?" One of the people at the dinner party was his future husband, David. "I was attracted to David immediately," Elton reflected. "He was very well dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner."
Elton John and David Furnish after their civil partnership ceremony in 2005.
And one dinner led to 24 years (and counting) of love. Twelve years after meeting, Elton popped the question at a dinner party at one of their Windsor homes in May 2005. On December 21, 2005, they were one of the first U.K. couples to form a civil partnership. They got married nine years later — to the date — once gay marriage became legal in the U.K.
23 years ago when I met this extraordinary man, I never dreamed that one day I would be able to legally marry the man I love. 2 years ago that dream became a reality. I want to thank everyone that fought to make that dream possible. I also want to thank all the wonderful friends and family who loyally stand by us and support us every day. @eltonjohn @whereloveisillegal #ShareTheLove
THEIR LIFE TOGETHER
Today, David serves on the board of the Elton John AIDS charity and is a contributing editor to Tatler and a regular columnist for GQ.
Together, Elton and David use their voices for good, working on behalf of the AIDS Foundation. Every year, they host a black tie event to raise millions of dollars for the foundation that's near and dear to Elton's heart. In 2014, the couple was honored with the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award.
When reflecting on their relationship, Elton told Zane Lowe that their love for one another has "gotten better and better and better."
"Our love has grown stronger and stronger," he said in the interview. "And you have to work at it, you know you're married."
Elton John and David Furnish at the 23rd annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party in 2015.
The couple has two children born to a surrogate: Zachary Jackson Levon, born December 25, 2010, and Elijah Joseph Daniel, born January 11, 2013.
"Our boys came into our life at a late time," Elton told Good Morning America. "I've never experienced anything like it, being a father and being a parent. There's no contest. I'd rather be with my children than playing shows."
Both Elton and David can't stop gushing about the joys of being a parent. "If you'd had said to me 10 years ago I'd be sitting on your show married to the man I love and have two beautiful children I would have said, 'You put acid in my drink," Elton told Ellen DeGeneres. "But life throws you challenges and life throws you curveballs — and great curveballs. These two children have come along at a time I never thought I'd have children. They are the greatest thing in our lives."
It's safe to say that their two young children also keep their fathers humble. "They're not that keen on what I do. They are kind of more interested in their Legos, which is fine with me," Elton said.
Glitz and glamour aside, the couple is adamant about giving their children as normal of a life as possible. They've been vocal about how they'll force their children to earn money, learn the value of hard work, and pay their way through life. After all, Elton didn't sell 300 million albums by relying on someone else.
"At the end of the day, our life is the same as everyone else's," David told CTV. "We're sitting around the table, looking at the newspapers, drinking coffee, watching television, playing with the dogs, and playing with the kids."
All the while, their kids have traveled the world, stayed in the finest hotels, and hung out with their godmother, Lady Gaga. Now that the kids are starting school, Elton and Furnish agree that it's time to settle down. "I don't want to be traveling away from my children," Elton told Good Morning America. "They need me. I need them much more than the tour or doing another show."