Elton John Plays His Piano At Smart Araneta On Dec. 8

Definitely a much anticipated concert event these days is that of Elton John's. Now let's know more about him:

His real name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight and he began playing the piano at the age of four. Seven years later, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, Britain's oldest degree-granting music school.

Elton John was born to be a remarkable and multi-awarded celebrity in the UK and the US. Not a lot of musicians vaunt the same number of accomplishments he successfully filed under his portfolio in a span of 40 years.

Enter the boom of disco fashion, the Rocket Man started rattling everyone's world with his penchant for first-rate music and unique character. His partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin proved to be a powerful collaboration that eventually led to blockbuster compositions and a long line globally hit records. Practically one of the biggest superstars of the early 70's, Elton John gave hippies and flower-children more than a couple of reasons to consider their heyday a prime era - his chart-topping songs such as "Your Song," "Yellow Brick Road," "Daniel," and "Bennie and the Jets."

Kids of the '80s were still exposed to a number of his top-selling songs ranging from "I'm still Standing" to "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," while '90s babies suddenly became aware of him through "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Candle in the Wind," which was re-released in 1997. It also helped that he was inducted into knighthood in between, officially making him Sir Elton John.

"Elton John Live in Manila: 40th Anniversary of the Rocket Man Tour" is presented by Manhattan Garden City. It is also brought to you by Midas Promotions and Araneta Center. Television partners are ABS-CBN and Solar Entertainment. Other media partners are Manila Bulletin, Metro and Metro Society, Radio High, Crossover. Official hotels are Manila Peninsula, Crowne Plaza Galleria and Holiday Inn. Official Transport partners are H&M Transport and Joylong Van Philippines.

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Jose Mari's New Christmas Album Inspired By OFWs

Multi-platinum recording artist Jose Mari Chan has come up with his second Christmas album titled "Going Home to Christmas," featuring 22 songs. His first Christmas album, "Christmas In Our Hearts" was released 22 years ago.

More than his avid fans and supporters, he added that part of the inspiration for "Going Home to Christmas" were the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who for him have always helped the economy of the Philippines.

He explained, "I have in mind the OFWs who have gone through a lot of trials abroad, a lot of discrimination, a lot of hardships. They long for the warm embrace of December."

He is saddened that our "kababayans" have to leave the country for better opportunities abroad but he is very proud that they help the country's economy grow yearly.

Jose Mari stressed though that there's a song for everyone in his new Christmas album. There are joyful carols, songs for the families gathered together at Christmas, prayerful songs, romantic Yuletide ballads, instrumental mood music as background for your holidays, a song for children, and even two songs in Pilipino that evoke the fiesta mood of Pasko.

"Everyone listening to my album can relate to it," said the talented songwriter-singer. "I have put my whole heart into it and had all these years to prepare every note and every word that went into the production of the CD. This is most certainly a labor of love and inspiration."

For the album he collaborated with friends like Freddie Santos, Trina Belamide, Joel Trinidad, Pinky Valdes, Father Johnny Go, S.J., Jimmy Santiago, Loren Steele and Ogie Alcasid.

He also performed with his children Liza Chan-Parpan, Jojo Chan, Michael Chan, Franco Chan, granddaughter Ramona Isabel Buñag Chan, Moy Ortiz, the CompanY, Shiela Valderrama, Teenee Chan, Cris Villongco, Hanna Flores, Noelle Cassandra, Psalmo 47, the Hail Mary The Queen Children's Choir, Trina Belamide, Ayie Oppus-Remonte, Lindie Achacoso, Kitchy Molina, Deo Fortunato Cruz, Eugene Cailao, members of the Ateneo Glee Club, Cristina de Leon and Jerome Ventinilla.

"This is my GIFT to all the music lovers that have embraced my songs these past 45 years of my career as a recording artist."

Jose Mari produced the album himself under his Signature label which is distributed by Universal Records.

• • •

Tidbits; Happy b-day greetings today, Dec. 4, go to former DOJ Sec. Raul Gonzalez Sr., Rep. Ronnie Zamora, Rep. Venice Agana, Gilda Salonga, Oskar Peralta, Ramir Arce Romero, Gilbert de Leon, Ruby Amoranto, Terry Garde, Dinggay Espiritu, Ronnie Roxas, Bobby Ongkiko, Jesus S. Legaspi, Ms. Sharon Almonte, Dennis Javier, Rosario Ng, Jennifer da Silva, Liza Cahilig Vicente and Yeng Constantino of Star Magic... Happy wedding anniversary to Ronald Joseph and Maria Regina Sunico; and Noel and Celine Bautista...

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