Saturday, August 7, 1976

Elton John & Kiki Dee hit #1 with “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

Elton John & Kiki Dee

Writer(s): Elton John & Bernie Taupin (as Ann Orson & Carte Blanche) (see lyrics here)


Released: June 21, 1976


First Charted: July 2, 1976


Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 15 HR, 17 RR, 11 AC, 1 CL, 16 UK, 13 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.0 UK, 2.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 62.7 video, 366.71 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Elton John and Bernie Taupin proved to be one of the most reliable, hit-making songwriting teams in the 1970s, landing #1 songs with “Crocodile Rock,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” and “Island Girl.” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was the pair’s fifth trip to the top in the United States, but their first time in the UK. Technically, it isn’t credited to them since they wrote it under the pseudonyms Ann Orson and Carte Blanche. Billboard ranked it the #2 song of 1976 behind Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Silly Love Songs.”

When Elton John launched Rocket Records in the mid-‘70s, Kiki Dee was the first artist signed to the new label. Elton said, “It just seemed natural that we should try and write something for her – she really is an incredible singer.” KL However, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was reportedly offered first to Dusty Springfield, but she was too ill at the time and had to decline. WK

Kiki explained that she and Elton were big fans of Motown duets by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and “thought we’d do one ourselves.” KL They considered covering a Motown song, “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” by the Four Tops, SF but opted for an original instead. Elton recorded the song in Toronto, SF singing Kiki’s parts in a high-pitched voice, and then sent it to her in London. KL The song was recorded during sessions for Elton’s Blue Moves, but didn’t appear on that album.

The two made a video where they just sang the song together around the microphone. Kiki said of the piano man, “I don’t think Elton’s ever recorded standing up and I don’t think he quite knew what to do with his hands. When you consider all the cross-cutting in today’s videos I think our video is quite sweet. It’s just us in a TV studio.” KL


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Elton John
  • DMDB page for parent album Greatest Hits Volume II
  • BR Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 440.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 49.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 222.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 4/3/2021.

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