Elton John Disses The Voice for Producing "Nonentities"; Says He "Wouldn't Want to Be Justin Bieber"

Music veteran sounds off in a new radio interview on the pitfalls of fame facing the Biebs and how TV talent showsThe Rocket Man is blasting The churn out would-be popsters who disappear the next day

By Josh Grossberg Jul 03, 2013 5:39 PMTags
Justin Bieber, Elton JohnAdam Berry/Redferns via Getty Images; Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Rocket Man is blasting The Voice.

In an interview with the BBC Radio 4, Elton John expressed his utter lack of respect for the talents the highly rated music competition has produced since it first hit the airwaves, calling the contestants "nonentities."

"The Voice is all about watching the judges, it is in America," Sir Elton's quoted as telling Radio 4's Today program (via the U.K.'s Telegraph). "Nobody on The Voice in America has had a hit record. They're nonentities."

Ironically, the 66-year-old John admitted to never watching The Voice or any other music talent show, but nonetheless insisted that such pop star factories cannot sustain themselves given their mission to find the next big thing.

"Television and video have done a lot of damage to music," the "Sad Songs" singer said. "They've propelled people into stardom that aren't ready for it, you know, and it can't sustain it. And they're only as good as the next song."

John added: "I hate that, I hate people being cast aside."

The music legend cited as an example Scottish singer-songwriter Michelle McManus, who won the second season of ITV's Pop Idol in 2003 but failed to parlay that title into long-term success as she was soon dropped by her record label and management.

"It breaks my heart to see people like Michelle McManus who won Pop Star, whatever it was, it is not fair," he remarked.

John also dished about his latest album, The Diving Board, which addresses the hazards of achieving stardom at a young age—a theme that he suggested might serve as a caution for Justin Bieber in particular.

"Unless you have got real gravitas and you have earned your corn, it is going to be hard for you to stay sane, it is going to be hard for you to maintain your career and you may end up being a bitter nonentity," Elton said.

And John would know a little something about the pitfalls, having shot to fame at 23, only four years older than the "Boyfriend" singer is now. However, the crooner was quick to sympathize with Bieber.

"I wouldn't want to be Justin Bieber or any of those young artists, it is tough on them," John acknowledged.

As for his personal life, the father of two revealed that he and partner David Furnish intend to tie the knot officially when gay marriage becomes legal in England.

"I will be there on the first day it happens," he revealed.

He also remarked that raising their two children together—2-year-old Zachary and 5-month-old Elijah—might force him to curtail his heavy touring schedule of 120 shows a year.

But if you ask Sir Elton, it's a sacrifice worth making.

"I can't be away from them, things will have to change," he said.