3 Musicians Who Had a Feud with Elton John

3 Musicians Who Had a Feud with Elton John | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Elton John in a promotional event for his book, Me - QueenFanOfficial / Youtube

Elton John’s interactions with his fellow musicians haven’t always been harmonious, despite his respected status in the music world. Throughout his career, Elton John has experienced tensions and rifts with some of his peers. Sometimes these clashes involved sharp words exchanged in the press, or they were simply the simmering result of two strong personalities struggling to coexist in the spotlight. Below, we delve into a trio of John’s well-known artistic squabbles, examining the origins and fallout of each disagreement.

Keith Richards


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When Elton John stepped onto the stage to join The Rolling Stones back in the ’70s, little did anyone realize it would incite a feud that’s now part of rock ‘n’ roll lore. Following what Richards considered John’s over-the-top performance, he made no secret of his displeasure. This marked the beginning of a lasting tension that has spanned several decades. Not one to hold back, Richards has taken numerous public jabs at Elton John, critiquing his stage name and publicly slamming his tribute performance of “Candle In The Wind.” These barbs from Richards have made it clear he and John are far from companions in the music industry.

The continued friction between the two might seem like typical celebrity tabloid fodder, but it also reflects a deeper rift, one that highlights divergent attitudes toward both musicianship and the public presentation. Despite this longstanding contention, both artists have maintained successful careers, largely unimpeded by their mutual disdain.

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart and Elton John’s rivalry toggled between friendly banter and genuine friction. They were both climbing the ladder of fame around the same time, often playfully jabbing at each other in the press or through their music. Elton John has described this back-and-forth as a form of encouragement, each one aiming to outdo the other’s latest success. However, when Stewart criticized Elton’s decision to start a farewell tour, implying it wasn’t truly the end, tempers flared.

Although the two icons later patched things up, claiming their tiff was mostly overblown, there’s no denying that feelings were hurt. Regardless of where they currently stand, this episodic scuffle between two of Britain’s greatest rock stars is a reminder of how easily competition can slip into conflict.

David Bowie


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David Bowie and Elton John’s relationship crumbled over time, evolving from mutual respect to eventual estrangement. Both groundbreaking in their respective rights, they enjoyed a friendly rapport early in their careers. Unfortunately, Bowie’s candid and cutting remarks about John in a magazine shifted their dynamic from friendly to frosty. John felt belittled and upset by Bowie’s words, taking them as personal critiques.

The two never quite mended their relationship before Bowie’s passing. Still, in the wake of Bowie’s death, Elton John set aside any remnant of bitterness, honoring his late colleague’s memory with sincere tributes. This act underscored the complexity of their relationship, illustrating how past disputes can be reconciled, if not in life, then in respect following a loss.