Elton John has battled some demons in his lifetime and gleaned some hard-fought wisdom for his efforts.
So who better to flash a warning sign at today's most successful young pop stars?
"I look at Miley Cyrus and I see a meltdown waiting to happen. And she's so young!" John reportedly told The Australian, which billed the Grammy winner's comments as "advice for candles in the wind"—a reference to John's famed ballad about Marilyn Monroe.
"But," he added, regarding Miley, "she's got two records in the top 20, so who is going to stop her?"
"Maybe it's a British thing, but I can spot a car crash before it happens," John continued. "I was in my dressing room in Las Vegas when they announced that Michael Jackson was playing 50 dates at the O2 [Arena in London]. I turned to my agent and said: 'He won't do a single one of those.'"
Presumably John was not bragging about his keen foresight. (And he obviously didn't intend to pile on Miley right when her breakup news was making the rounds—such is timing.)
"I could tell you he was going to die," the "Rocket Man" singer reportedly went on about Jackson. "He'd been doing drugs for so long, he'd been a mess for so long—and I've known Michael since he was 12 or 13—that it was never going to happen. Everyone was saying it was going to be great and I was saying, 'Hello? Are you looking at the real thing here?'"
Meanwhile, John also had something to say about a particularly close friend of the family, Lady Gaga.
"With Gaga—who I love, she's the godmother to our children—I'd like to be able to talk to her right now, but I can't get through to her," he said, though he didn't clarify whether he meant literally or figuratively.
"And there are times when you have to listen," John said. "When your persona begins to take over your music and becomes more important, you enter a dangerous place. Once you have people around you who don't question you, you're in a dangerous place."
Figuratively, not literally.
"When you get famous you get complacent," he added. "You stop listening to new things. But my album's sound reflects the fact that all the things I love at the moment are stripped down. Lorde had a big U.S. hit with a song called 'Royal.' It's just her voice and a drum machine, and it's beautiful in its simplicity. It's the kind of direction Gaga should be going in."
Valuable advice, perhaps. But maybe John just hasn't heard all the recent "Applause."