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Elton becomes a Dad ... at 63

ELTON John has become a father at 63. The singer and his 48-year-old partner David Furnish became the proud parents of a surrogate son on Christmas Day.

The boy, named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, is the first for the British pop star and the Canadian filmmaker, who have been together since the early 1990s.

The child was born to a surrogate mother in California, the star's publicist confirmed.

"We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment," the pair were quoted as saying.

"Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents."

The baby boy weighed seven pounds, 15 ounces, and no further details about the surrogacy arrangement were be disclosed.

The pair, who entered into a civil union in 2005, tried to adopt an AIDS-infected orphan in Ukraine last year, but were thwarted by government regulations.



Inspired

Their son's middle name is a possible nod to John's 1971 song Levon, whose lyrics were written by his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin and inspired by Levon Helm, the drummer and singer for The Band.

The child is the singer's first. He was married to female recording engineer Renate Blauel for four years, but the couple divorced in 1988.

The entertainer has become godfather to a number of celebrity offspring in recent years, however, including Liz Hurley's son Damien Charles, and David Beckham and Victoria Beckham's sons Brooklyn and Romeo.

He is also godfather to John Lennon's son Sean.

News of the pop star's son comes after his recent TV admission that he was "very close" to being killed by drugs. The revelation was made in a TV interview with Piers Morgan.

He said: "I would have an epileptic seizure and turn blue, and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I'd be snorting another line.

"This is how bleak it was, I'd stay up, I'd smoke joints, I'd drink a bottle of Johnnie Walker and then I'd stay up for three days and then I'd go to sleep for a day and a half, get up, and because I was so hungry, because I hadn't eaten anything, I'd binge and have like three bacon sandwiches, a pot of ice cream.



Shudder

"Then I'd throw it up, because I became bulimic and then go and do the whole thing all over again. That is how tragic my life was.

"And I'm not being flippant when I say that, when I look back I shudder at the behaviour and what I was doing to myself ... it just takes over your whole psyche, this stuff."

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