Elton John’s Life and Career in Photos

Playing for a crowd of more than 400,000 people in Central Park, John wore a Donald Duck costume as a form of self-expression. It’s the outfit most people ask him about, he once told PEOPLE of his legendary look.

“I still have it,” he said. “It was impossible to sit in! A disaster but a landmark.”

The memorable moment took place in New York City in 1980, and was an example of John’s uncompromising promise to always be himself.

“I was stuck behind a piano,” he said. “I wanted to express myself through my outfits.”

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