Meaning of “Nikita” by Elton John

Nikita is a song performed by legendary English singer and songwriter Elton John. The lyrics of Nikita, which are set against the backdrop of the Cold War, tell the story of a man (Elton John) falling in love with a border guard from the Communist East Germany. However, he is unable to meet with his love interest simply because of the Berlin Wall, which prevents him from entering into the country (East Germany).


Facts about “Nikita” by Elton John

  • Nikita was written by Elton John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.
  • The production of the song was done by English music producer Gus Dudgeon, who gained worldwide fame for producing numerous Elton John songs. It is worth noting that Dudgeon, along with his wife, died tragically in 2002 in a car accident.
  • English singers George Michael and Nik Kershaw sang backing vocals on the song. Eton John and Scottish guitarist Davey Johnstone also sang backing vocals on the song.
  • Nikita was recorded in January 1985 and released on October 29th, 1985 and in February 1986 in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively as the first single from Elton John’s nineteenth album titled Ice on Fire.
  • The song topped the charts in many countries across the world, including Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. On the UK Singles chart, the song peaked at the 3rd position, whereas on the US Billboard Hot 100 it peaked at number 7.
  • The woman who played the role of Nikita (Elton John’s love interest) in the music video of Nikita is English actress, model and former athlete Anya Major. Due to the massive success of Nikita and her subsequent popularity for her role in the music video, Major later recorded and released a spin-off song in 1986, which was titled “Moscow Nights”.
  • In 2012, Nikita songwriters Elton John and Bernie Taupin were sued fr by a South African songwriter named Guy Hobbs. According to Hobbs, John and Taupin stole the lyrics of Nikita from a song he wrote in 1982 titled “Natasha”. The court ruled in favor of John and Taupin and dismissed the suit that same year.
  • The name Nikita in Russia and some other places in Eastern Europe is given to males. According to Elton John (who came out as gay years after the release of the song), he was aware that Nikita is a male name when he wrote the song.

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