Elton John’s recently-released memoir Me is full of juicy stories, not just from the musician’s own eclectic history but his interactions and relationships with other celebrities. In one passage, John gives his opinion on the (now resolved) feud between Lady Gaga and Madonna. John has ties to both pop stars: He and Madonna had a very infamous falling out, while Gaga is godmother to his two sons.
“I used to make fun of [Madonna] for lip-synching on stage, but the problem really started when she ran Gaga down on an American chat show,” he wrote, referring to Madonna’s ABC News interview in 2012, in which she called “Born This Way” “reductive” when speaking about similarities to her own hit, “Express Yourself.
“I got that Gaga’s single ‘Born This Way’ definitely sounded similar to ‘Express Yourself,’ but I couldn’t see why she was so ungracious and nasty about it, rather than taking it as a compliment… particularly when she claims to be a champion for women,” John wrote. “I think it’s just wrong — an established artist shouldn’t kick down a younger artist right at the start of their career.”
John also opened up about his public falling out with Madonna. Following her comments about Gaga, John called her a “fairground stripper” and said her career was over, unaware the comments would make it to TV.
“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,” he wrote. “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. Still, I shouldn’t have said it. I apologized.”
Madonna and Lady Gaga have since made peace, posing for a photo together at Madonna’s Academy Awards party in February following Gaga’s Oscar win.
John’s memoir Me was published last week.