The music business provides a perfect brew for animosity: talent, competition, outsized egos and loads of money at stake.
Perhaps that's why there are so many feuds between music's biggest artists. Latest case in point: Elton John and Madonna.
After feuding off and on the last few years, John made perhaps his harshest remarks about the Material Girl. In an interview for Australian TV that aired on Sunday night, John not only declared her career "over," but he said she looked like a "fairground stripper."
In the interview aired on Australia's Channel 7 program Sunday Night, John said of Madonna, "Why is she such a nightmare? Her career is over, I can tell you that. Her tour has been a disaster and it couldn't happen to a bigger [expletive]."
He added, "If Madonna had any common sense, she would have made a record like 'Ray of Light,' stayed away from the dance stuff, and just been a great pop singer and made great pop records, which she does brilliantly. But no, she had to prove that she was like…" There, John trailed off, but then continued, "And she looks like a [expletive] fairground stripper."
At the Golden Globes earlier this year, John and his partner David Furnish publicly dissed Madonna after she beat John for the Best Original Song trophy. John has also taken public swipes at Madonna in the past for allegedly lip-synching on stage. For the most part, surprisingly, Madonna has kept her cool and hasn't really risen to the bait.
But plenty of others have. Click through to see six other music feuds.
|Madonna vs. Gaga|
Madonna may be tight-lipped about her feud with Elton John, but not so with Lady Gaga. At a May 31 concert in Tel Aviv, Madonna performed a mash-up of her 1980s hit "Express Yourself" and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." "I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way. Express yourself," Madonna sang. Gaga responded to Madonna for stirring up the "haterade" at a concert in New Zealand: "It sometimes makes people feel better about themselves, to put other people down, or make fun of them, or maybe make mockery of their work, and that doesn't make me feel good at all." The feud began in January when Madonna dissed Lady Gaga's sort of-sound-alike track and described it as "reductive" to ABC News' Cynthia McFadden. Before that, the two pop goddesses joked while sharing the "Saturday Night Live" stage, but now the two seem to be waging in a worldwide cold war of epic proportions. Elton John also complained about Madonna's treatment of Gaga. "She's been so horrible to Gaga," he said referring to his son's godmother.
|Tupac vs. Biggie Smalls|
In the annals of music history, there is perhaps no bigger feud than that of West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur and East Cost rapper Biggie Smalls. The two rivals traded disses in their music while their label mates stoked the hate, touching off the infamous West Coast-East Coast rivalry. The animosity reached its peak in the mid 90s, when hip hop music was populated by images of guns, gangs and violence, and culminated in the still unsolved murders of Shakur in September 1996 and Biggie in March 1997.
|Paul McCartney vs. Michael Jackson|
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson once recorded the 80s hit songs "Say, Say, Say" and "The Girl Is Mine." But their close relationship ended when the King of Pop bought the publishing rights to the Beatles' songs for $47.5 million in 1985. Afterward, McCartney often complained publicly of "having to pay" every time he performed songs such as 'Hey Jude.' Then, rumors circulated before Jackson's untimely death in June 2009 that the singer had left the catalog to McCartney in his will. But after Jackson's death, McCartney set the record straight: "The report is that I am devastated to find that he didn't leave the songs to me," McCartney wrote on his website. "This is completely untrue. I had not thought for one minute that the original report [about the will] was true, and therefore the report that I'm devastated is also totally false." McCartney said in the posting that he and Jackson may have "drifted apart," but "we never really fell out."
|Katy Perry vs. Lily Allen|
When Katy Perry described herself in 2008 as the "fatter version of Amy Winehouse and the skinnier version of Lily Allen," it wasn't surprising that Allen didn't see it as much of a joke. Allen responded by slamming Perry for not writing her own songs and then threatened to post Perry's phone number on Facebook. Perry then called a truce to the feud, but not before both sides basked in the publicity the feud generated.
|Eminem vs. Moby|
In 2002, DJ/musician Moby called rapper Eminem "misogynistic" and "homophobic." Eminem struck back, calling Moby a "36-year-old bald-headed fag," then went on to parody the artist in his video, "Without Me." The tension continued when Moby was seated behind Eminem at that year's MTV Video Music Awards. Em denounced Moby from the stage amid boos from the crowd. Then, in 2005 after the feud appeared to have died down, Moby accused Eminem of having "blood on his hands" after an Eminem fan and impersonator was convicted of murdering a woman and stuffing her in a suitcase, much like the rapper does in his video "Stan," in which he pretends to murder a woman he put in the trunk of a car.
|Courtney Love vs. Dave Grohl|
Soon after Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide, his widow Courtney Love and former Nirvana band mates appeared to be working out the details of his estate until the relationship collapsed amid lawsuits and public sniping. Love claimed that drummer Grohl, now of the Foo Fighters, used to hit on her and that Cobain never liked him anyway. Grohl cracked on Love's well-known drug use and slammed her in Foo Fighter songs, "I'll Stick Around" and "Let It Die." Their war of the words doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. As recently as April, Love accused Grohl of hitting on her daughter with Kurt Cobain, Frances Bean Cobain. Grohl dismissed the accusation as "another hateful twitter rant" by Love, and even Love's 19-year-old daughter denied that Grohl had ever approached her in anything other than a platonic way.