When you’ve lived as long as Elton John has and spent the majority of your years in the public eye, chances are you’ve got a story or two to tell.
It’s no great surprise that many of the oldest heads from the volatile, ever-unpredictable world of celebrity showbiz boast a veritable vault of secrets. Neither is it all that wild that many of these revelations eventually see the light of day at one point or another.
Yet it can’t be disputed that there are celebrities and celebrities. That is to say that there are levels to the game that separates those who are hesitant to walk down a high street for fear of being recognized and those who are out-of-this-world superstars.
Elton John, it’s safe to say, sits in the latter category. This is perhaps why the release of his memoir, Me, garnered so much attention …
Within the pages of Me, there were plenty of claims made by the iconic singer, plenty of stories retold, and plenty of hilarious, shocking, upsetting moments revisited.
Yet it was his words on the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, that have struck something of a chord online.
John told how he had met Jackson when the latter was still a young boy, before going on to describe how the years changed the Thriller singer in all manner of ways, none of them positive.
“I’d known Michael since he was 13 or 14,” Elton wrote. “He was just the most adorable kid you could imagine. But at some point in the intervening years, he started sequestering himself away from the world and away from reality, the way Elvis Presley did.”
Elton went on to affirm his belief that Jackson’s transformation may have largely been down to his prolonged use of prescription drugs.
“God knows what was going on in his head,” Elton continued, “and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking that the poor guy had totally lost his marbles.”
The Your Song artist added: “I don’t mean that in a lighthearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around.”
Jackson infamously became the center of a mass media storm after he was accused of sexual abuse against minors – a dark cloud that has never really been disassociated with his name, even now, many years after his passing.
As for those rumors, John said simply: “For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to cope with the adult company at all.”
Of late, the 75-year-old John has been troubled with a number of health issues.
He was forced to postpone and reschedule many of the dates on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour until 2023 in a bid to aid his recovery.
Earlier this week, reports emerged suggesting that Elton had declined an offer to perform at King Charles’s coronation concert. He famously performed Candle in the Wind at Princess Diana’s funeral, but will not be appearing at the ceremony to officially confirm her ex-husband’s position as the new monarch of England.
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