On This Day, October 11, 1997: Elton John hits #1 with tribute to Princess Diana

On This Day, October 11, 1997…

Elton John landed at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Candle in the Wind ’97,” a tribute to his close friend, the late Princess Diana.  

Elton first performed the song, a reworking of his 1974 single, at Diana’s funeral that September. He then recorded the track, with proceeds going to the Diana, Princess of Wales Fund. The song was released as a double A-side single with “Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” from Elton’s album The Big Picture.

The track spent 14 weeks at #1 in the U.S, and topped the charts in 20 different countries, including the U.K., Japan, Australia and more. It went on to become the first single to earn Diamond certification by the RIAA for sales of 10 million copies. 

“Candle in the Wind ’97” is also the second highest-selling physical single of all time, behind Bing Crosby‘s 1942 classic “White Christmas,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and has sold more than 33 million copies worldwide.

The track also earned Elton a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

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