3 Artists Who Had Beef With Elton John

Elton John may be one of the most beloved musicians in the world, but he’s also had a few bad interactions with fellow artists. Musicians at a certain level of fame often create rivalries, whether genuine or fabricated, and even the Rocket Man himself isn’t immune. Let’s look at a few artists who had “beef” with Elton John.

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1. Keith Richards

This is probably the most public and well-known beef involving Elton John. The Rolling Stones had once invited the pianist on stage back in the 1970s, only for John to allegedly vamp in the background for most of their set. This apparently annoyed Keith Richards and the resulting feud has lasted almost a lifetime.

Richards talked smack about John’s real name in the 1980s. He also talked smack about his version of “Candle In The Wind” in 1997, and also talked smack about his performance at Princess Diana’s funeral. That’s a certified hater in my book.

2. Rod Stewart

This “beef” has historically been more of a healthy rivalry, according to Elton John himself.

“We were rivals in the sense that we were both happening at the same time,” John told Graham Norton in an interview. “He a little bit before me.”

However, Rod Stewart did say some things that caused a temporary rift between the two musicians. Back in 2018, Stewart told Andy Cohen that he had some negative thoughts about John’s retirement from touring. He noted that he believed it was “dishonest” and “strictly a money grab”. The resulting feud lasted a few years before they made up, but the two have remained distant ever since.

[See Rod Stewart Perform The Greatest Hits in 2024]

3. David Bowie

This beef was more of a falling out than anything. Back in the two artists’ heyday, they were friendly with each other, though not exactly friends. They were simply becoming famous around the same time in the early 1970s.

Unfortunately, that friendliness went south after Bowie called Elton John a “rock and roll queen.” The comment was allegedly meant to be rude. It was also a bit strange considering Bowie’s own penchant for androgyny. John considered the comment to be “snooty” and that he “wasn’t his cup of tea.” John didn’t hold onto the feud too tightly, though. After Bowie passed away, John went on to say only kind things about him.

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