Elton John takes angry swipe at Madonna
Pianist accuses her of lip-synching
Monday, October 4, 2004 Posted: 4:00 PM EDT (2000 GMT)
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British pop veteran Elton John took a foul-mouthed swipe at Madonna on Monday, saying she cheated her fans by miming on stage.
But the American pop superstar was swift to rubbish his accusation, saying she does not lip-synch or criticise other artists.
While collecting a song-writing award from Q music magazine in London, John suddenly launched into a tirade against Madonna when he discovered she had been nominated for Best Live Act.
"Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay 75 pounds ($134) to see them should be shot," John said in reference to ticket prices for Madonna's Reinvention tour.
"Madonna, best f---ing live act? F--- off," said the singer renowned as much for his outrageous outbursts as he is for his outlandish outfits.
"Since when has lip-synching been live?" he asked.
He ended his outburst by saying: "That's me off her f---ing Christmas card list but do I give a toss? No."
His tirade prompted a swift response from her U.S. spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg who said in a statement: "Madonna does not lip-synch nor does she spend her time trashing other artists.
"She sang every note on her Reinvention tour live and is not ashamed that she was well paid for her hard work."
And Madonna, 46, showed she was not taking John's criticism too seriously.
"Elton John remains on her Christmas card list whether he is nice ... or naughty," the statement added. Madonna lost out to British band Muse for the Live Act title.
Elton John hit the headlines in Taiwan last month when, confronted by a wall of flashing cameras at Taipei airport, he lashed out at the local media, calling them "rude, vile pigs."
"The televisions and photographers at the airport were the rudest people that I've ever met and I've been to 60 countries," the 57-year-old star said.
His partner, David Furnish, has memorably captured the flamboyant star at his most outrageous and demanding in a fly-on-the-wall documentary appropriately named "Tantrums and Tiaras."
Madonna herself is no stranger to foul-mouthed outbursts -- as the organizers of one of the world's most famous art prizes found out to their cost three years ago.
Britain's Channel Four had to apologize for Madonna's "strong language" when she presented the Turner Prize on live television.