Sir Elton John has criticised Madonna for acting “nasty” towards Lady Gaga and not taking the similarities between the latter’s track Born This Way and her own song Express Yourself “as a compliment.”
In his new tell-all memoir Me, which is full to the brim with shocking stories and celebrity encounters from his 50 years in showbusiness, the 72-year-old said that while the two singles “definitely sounded familiar,” he “couldn’t see why [Madonna] was so ungracious and nasty about it.
“Particularly when she claims to be a champion for women,” he added. “I think it’s just wrong – an established artist shouldn’t kick down a younger artist right at the start of their career.”
During an interview with ABC News back in 2012, Madonna said that Born This Way felt “reductive” when compared to Express Yourself. John responded to her comments at the time, defending Gaga - who is the godmother to his and husband David Furnish’s two sons - and describing the Like a Prayer singer as a “fairground stripper.”
He touched upon his reaction in his book, recalling: “I was furious and I said some pretty horrible things about her to a TV interviewer in Australia, a guy I’d known since the Seventies called Molly Meldrum.
“You can tell from the footage that it wasn’t part of the interview, that I was just sounding off to an old friend between takes.
“They broadcast it anyway, which brought that particular old friendship to a very swift conclusion,” John - whose real name is Reginald Dwight - stated. “Still, I shouldn’t have said it. I apologised.”
Madonna isn’t the only person the Rocketman singer discussed in his book. He also touched on his time time spent with Michael Jackson and described the King of Pop as “a disturbing person to be around.”
"God knows what was going on in his head, and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles,” he wrote candidly. "I don’t mean that in the lighthearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill."