While some of Elton’s peers may have been hoping Justin Bieber would fall from grace following incidents of bad behaviour, the Rocket Man is pleased to see the 21-year-old’s career is going from strength to strength.
Justin is enjoying global success with latest record Purpose, which has spawned hit singles including Sorry and Love Yourself, and Elton insists the singer deserves to be treated as a respectable artist.
“He was rebelling because he was like, ‘For f**k’s sake, why haven’t I had a life?’” Elton told The Sun. “I think it’s the best news, that he’s made a really classy pop record. He’s a very, very good singer.
“He was literally clinging by his fingertips to the White Cliffs of Dover wasn’t he? And a lot of people were willing him to fall but not me.”
Justin isn’t the only young star Elton has been rooting for in recent years. The 68-year-old musician makes time for some of his other favourite singers, even inviting them over to his house so he can give them advice.
“I try and keep up with Tom Odell, Sam Smith and James Blake,” he remarked. “I’ve had them all here for lunch or tea.
“I have no agenda with them and I don’t manage them. I’ve just said, ‘Listen, I’m always here, use me if you want.’
“People were like that to me… George Harrison sent me telegrams and Leon Russell was so sweet to me. These were people I loved and admired and it made the difference.”
Elton is currently promoting his new album Wonderful Crazy Night and despite having a host of hit records under his belt, he shows no signs of slowing down just yet.
He still feels passionate about making music and feels he has plenty more to achieve in his career.
“I’m not finished yet!” Elton exclaimed. “I’m more interested in keeping going. I have so much more to do.
“I’m not nostalgic. I don’t think about my place in music history at all.
“I know my own worth as a musician. And if I know that I’m a good musician and a good writer and a good artist, that’s all that matters to me.
“It’s up to others to judge me but I know the piano playing on my new record is pretty f**king special!
“You have to keep trying to improve as you get older. Look at Leonard Cohen. That comeback at 75 was astonishing.”
Elton also describes the Rolling Stones‘ frontman Mick Jagger as an “extraordinary professional” and is full of admiration for his energetic presence on stage, adding he hopes the group continues to tour for many more years.