John's career took off after he teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin in 1967 and began creating what's become one of the most successful catalog of hits in music history. Starting with 1971's "Your Song," John's impressive string of hits spanned well into the 1990s.
During this time, John also launched a successful career as a composer of musicals like "The Lion King," "Aida" and "Billy Elliott." More recently, he threw himself into philanthropic work, particularly through his Elton John AIDS Foundation.
John will celebrate his birthday at a party at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The bash, which will benefit his AIDS Foundation, includes a special performance by the godmother of his two sons, Lady Gaga.
Franklin, of course, is the Queen of Soul. A pastor's daughter, she developed her powerful voice singing gospel at her dad's Detroit church before turning to secular music. Her career skyrocketed after she signed to Atlantic Records in 1967, scoring early hits like "Respect," "Chain of Fools," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think."
Franklin continued to rack up major hits through the 1980s; in 1987 she was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. An 18-time Grammy winner, Aretha held the record for the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a woman until this past week, when she was eclipsed by rapper Nicki Minaj.
Franklin recently revealed that she plans to retire at the end of 2017, although she's also recording a new album with contributions from Stevie Wonder.