Lifestyle & Human Interest

Elton John Opens Up About Disgust over Today's Musicians


Is the quality of popular music in today’s top charts declining year after year? Sir Elton John believes so, with the exception of a handful of artists.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio, the 71-year-old music giant opened up about his disgust of today’s generations of musicians.

John also gave his two cents about which artists have what it takes to rise to the top.

John is certainly no stranger to producing music that leaves a lasting imprint on his fans. He began touring in 1970 and is finishing out his career with a massive run of performances in Las Vegas.

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John is admittedly frustrated with the shallow songwriting skills of many of today’s musicians. He told BBC the artists who “write the real songs are going to have the biggest future.”

“I just wish people would write better songs,” John explained. He went on to elaborate on what he means by a “better” song, and the work ethic it takes to garner fans that won’t be fickle.

“The real artists … are doing it the right way because they are going out and playing live and getting a huge following by playing live shows,” John said. “And you don’t really see them on social media very much.”

Do you agree with Sir Elton?

“When you listen to even the cheesiest songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s, they are songs,” John stated, unlike some music today which lacks even a basic melody.

“There are a lot of songs in the charts I can’t sing, it’s just a beat,” the singer explained.

So does any artist show even a flicker of hope in John’s eyes? Sir Elton John named two — one, an English hip-hop artist, and the other, an American rapper and songwriter.

John admires the skills of hip-hop artist Stormzy, who can belt out a powerfully rich melody woven around fast-paced lyrics. According to John, Stormzy is the real deal.

“He’s got it all, he’s got the ability to do the grime, and he’s also got the ability to use his voice and do something really beautiful,” John gushed. “That’s what I love.”

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The second artist to catch John’s eye is American rapper Kendrick Lamar.

“I like the combination of the fabulous bit of rap and the song coming in,” John explained.

John seems to crave the artistry that many of us want, too: thoughtful lyrics bathed in a beautiful melody. The musicians who can pull off both, according to John, will have the most successful careers.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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