The music industry is full of celebrities with big egos, which can lead to spectacular fights. Whether it involves band members arguing with one another, pop stars trading jabs in the media, rappers adding insults to their tracks, or angry rockers calling each other out, there is no shortage of drama between artists. Here are twelve of the most public and memorable fights between major music stars.
Elton John Versus Madonna
This famous feud began in 2004 when Elton John accepted a Q Award for songwriting. Acknowledging her earlier win, he argued, “Madonna, best live act? F— off. I think everyone who lip-syncs on stage in public when you pay like 75 quid to see them should be shot.” He struck again years later, calling Madonna “a fairground stripper.” Madonna remained uncharacteristically silent, although she did take a subtle jab at John at the 2012 Golden Globes after beating him for Best Original Song. That same year, the two finally buried the hatchet. John shared his apology to Madonna in an interview: “I was in a restaurant in the south of France and she walked in so I sent her a note saying, ‘You’ll probably never speak to me again but I am really sorry and ashamed.’ She was very gracious and accepted and we talked. We are fine.”
John Lennon Versus Paul McCartney
John Lennon and other members of The Beatles struggled for years with the fact that Paul McCartney had become the unofficial face of the group. When McCartney took over as manager, they accused him of being aimless and ineffective, and the group soon split up. In 1971, Lennon and McCartney famously traded blatant digs at each other on their solo albums. George Harrison even contributed to the track in which Lennon skewers McCartney, which is titled How Do You Sleep? Lennon also discussed the feud in interviews, calling out McCartney for bad behaviour while in the group and criticizing his music as being unoriginal. In 1974, the two reunited in a secret recording session that was notoriously disastrous and resulted in no new music. They remained distant friends until Lennon was killed in 1980, although tension remained between McCartney and Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono.