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Billy Joel Responds to Elton John's 'Tough Love' in the New 'Rolling Stone'

'Elton is just being Elton,' Joel says

February 2, 2011 1:40 PM ET
 Elton John and Billy Joel in concert at the Toyota Center on March 19, 2009 in Houston, Texas.
Elton John and Billy Joel in concert at the Toyota Center on March 19, 2009 in Houston, Texas.
Bob Levey/WireImage

Billy Joel has responded to Elton John's allegations in the new Rolling Stone that he's never seriously attempted to curb his drinking habits. "I've worked with Elton for such a long time and I've enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him," Joel said in a statement. "Elton is just being Elton."

Elton John Gives Billy Joel 'Tough Love' In New Rolling Stone Cover Story

In the interview, John was also critical of Joel's decision to stop writing new music. "At the end of the day, he's coasting," John said."I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum. We've had so many canceled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism. He's going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they've been rehab light. When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs. I love you, Billy, and this is tough love. Billy, you have your demons and you're not going to get rid of them at rehab light. You've got to be serious. People adore you, they love you and respect you. You should be able to do something better than what you're doing now."

Photos From Elton John And Billy Joel's Co-Headlining Tour

John and Joel have had numerous highly successful co-headlining tours over the past 15 years, but last year Joel cancelled a planned stadium run. He recently had double-hip replacement surgery and it's unclear when he plans on returning to the road.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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