Born on May 22, 1950, Bernie grew up in rural England with a love of literature, nature, history, music and poetry, instilled by his mother and grandfather. His flair for writing was evident, as was his fascination with the American West. At the age of 17 Bernie submitted samples of his poetry to Liberty Records in response to an advert in the New Musical Express, and was introduced to a composer called Reg Dwight. The friendship and musical collaboration between Reg and Bernie blossomed and flourished into Elton John and Bernie Taupin, one of the world’s greatest and most successful songwriting partnerships. Elton is on record as saying that, “without Bernie Taupin there would be no Elton John,” and their songwriting partnership remains as rock-solid as ever. In 1993, Bernie achieved one of his dreams when he bought a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley in California, where he lives with his wife and two children. As a working ranch, he raised and road cutting horses and competed in the rodeo circuit. He truly became the brown dirt cowboy until injury cut that career short. Except for working with Elton about one month a year, Bernie spends all his creative time in the ranch’s indoor racquetball court he converted into his painting studio. In 2015, Bernie Taupin artworks have been successfully exhibited in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Aspen. As can be seen in often the titles and content of his creative output, Bernie describes his passion for America thus: “I have the fondest memories of growing up in Lincolnshire, but life takes us all on different roads and mine has taken me to my own personal Shangri-La. I love my adopted country with a passion and feel in my heart that this is where I belong.”