Cover of “Daniel” (Written by Elton John/Bernie Taupin) – 2023 Cover

Daniel” is a song written by English musician Elton John and songwriter Bernie Taupin, and performed by John. It was first released on John’s 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player.

In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 4 in the official chart.[2] In the United States, the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts (only held from number one by “My Love” by Paul McCartney and Wings) and No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts[3] for two weeks in the spring of 1973.

In the US, it was certified gold in September 1995 and platinum in May 2018 by the RIAA. In Canada, it became his second No. 1 single, following “Crocodile Rock” earlier in the year, holding the position for two weeks in the RPM 100 national singles chart.[4] John and Taupin received the 1973 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.[5] The song appeared on the soundtrack of the 1974 film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.


Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics after reading an article in either Time or Newsweek about a Vietnam War veteran who had been wounded, and wanted to get away from the attention he was receiving when he came back home.[6] The last verse in the original draft was cut from the final version, which has led to some speculation on the contents.[7]


Cash Box said that the “fascinating lyrics by Bernie Taupin will make you want to listen over and over again.”[8] Record World called it “a natural smash, and one of [John’s and Taupin’s] best pennings in a while.”[9]


Chart performance

Weekly charts[edit]Chart (1973)Peak
positionCanada RPM 100 Top Singles[4]1Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[10]2Dutch Top 40[11]14Dutch Single Top 100[12]15German Singles Chart[13]27Irish Singles Chart[14]4New Zealand Singles Chart[15]2Norwegian Singles Chart[16]8South African Singles Chart[17]7Swiss Singles Chart[18]5UK Singles Chart[2]4US Billboard Hot 100[3]2US Billboard Easy Listening[3]1US Cash Box Top 100[19]2Zimbabwean Singles Chart[20]2
Year-end charts[edit]Chart (1973)RankAustralia[21]55Canada[22]19US Billboard Hot 100[23]48US Cash Box Top 100[24]44


RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[25]Silver200,000
United States (RIAA)[26]Platinum1,000,000
 Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


Grammy Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1974“Daniel”Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[27]Nominated

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