He loves her, he loves her not ... nah, he loves her really, somewhere deep down inside.

Duelling divas Elton John and Madonna haven't played nice for several years. Not since 2004, when the sharp-tongued Rocket Man hitmaker accused her Madgesty of lip-syncing during her Re-Invention Tour.

While accepting a trophy at the Q Awards, he sniped: "Madonna, best live act? F**k off. Since when has lip-syncing been live? Sorry about that, but I think everyone who lip-syncs on stage in public when you pay like 75 quid to see them should be shot.

"Thank you very much. That's me off her Christmas card list, but do I give a toss? No."


The 65-year-old British star's partner David Furnish also waded in on the feud when Madge bagged the Golden Globe for best original song in 2012, beating John's effort in the same category.

He wrote on Facebook at the time: "Madonna. Best song???? F**k off!!!

"Madonna winning Best Original Song truly shows how these awards have nothing to do with merit. Her acceptance speech was embarrassing in its narcissism. And her criticism of Gaga shows how desperate she really is. (sic)"

John dissed her again earlier this year when he advised the Material Girl to "lip-sync well" during her halftime performance at the Super Bowl in February.

'Fairground stripper'

And John was up to his subtle ways again earlier this month when he slammed her on-and-offstage antics while labeling her a "f**king fairground stripper."

The charmer.

During an interview with Australian TV show Sunday Night, the iconic singer blasted Madonna, saying her "career is over".

"Why is she such a nightmare? Sorry, her career is over," he sniped. "Her tour has been a disaster and it couldn't happen to a bigger ****.

"If Madonna had any common sense she would have made a record like Ray of Light and stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer and make great pop records, which she does brilliantly.

"But no, she had to go and prove ... she looks like a f***ing fairground stripper. She's been horrible to Gaga."

Madonna has repeatedly taken swipes at Gaga over Born This Way, a song which is often compared to her 1989 hit Express Yourself.

She recently said: "I thought, 'What a wonderful way to redo my song.' I mean, I recognised the chord changes. I thought it was ... interesting."

John's stinging comments against Madge also proved to be controversial with his handlers.

An Aussie reporter says he was contacted by John's publicist, who reportedly claimed that the quotes had been fabricated.

When told that the quotes had aired on TV, John's team reportedly said the comments were "off the record" and were not intended for broadcast.

Madge has yet to comment on the public tongue-lashing.

But despite the repeated smackdowns, John recently managed to find some nice words to say about the veteran singer.

He told the Radio Times (via the Daily Mail): "Madonna took the industry by the scruff of the neck, made opportunities for other women, like Gaga and Katy Perry."

And that's your lot. Cut it out and keep it, Madge. That's probably the closest you'll ever get to an apology.

But he said that "some (women) aren't good at handling their own careers".

He told the mag: "Dusty Springfield was insecure, like a lot of women singers, including Amy Winehouse.

"It's tragic - Back to Black [Winehouse's second album] will sound as good in 50 years as it does today. She was one of the greatest, but if someone doesn't want to get well, they won't.

"Look at Billie Holiday. It's hard for women in this business. Some aren't good at handling their own careers. KD Lang could be a much bigger star but I don't think she wants to be."

'I don't take myself seriously...'

The singer said that he has to collaborate with current stars to stay relevant.

"I had the sense to realise when I was at the height of my success in the mid-70s that it wouldn't last," he said.

"Although I like having hits, I know it isn't going to happen unless I collaborate with [people like] Pnau. I've always tried to keep modern."

He added: "I don't take myself seriously, which is one reason I've lasted. Irreverence is a great British trait. As much as I moan about the press - they love you for nine months, hate you for four - it's better than America, where they revere celebrity.''

In the candid interview, John also shared that he fears his son Zachary is going to face a "very difficult" childhood because of his father's global fame.

"I want music to be a huge part of his life. I sit him on my lap and he doesn't bang the piano. He tries to copy me but he's not formed enough yet to know what I do, thank God," he said. "When he finds out, he'll look at me as if I'm bonkers.

"Being the child of someone famous is a huge ball and chain around your ankles. It's going to be very difficult."

John and Furnish become fathers to Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John in December 2010 after using a surrogate mother in California.

The singer added: "At school other children will say, 'You don't have a mummy'.

"We've come a long way, but there's still homophobia and will be until a new generation of parents don't instill it in their children."

He continued: "It's natural for him. He calls me 'Daddy' and David 'Papa'."

John also said that he couldn't be happier ahead of celebrating his 19th anniversary with Furnish.

He said: "I work incredibly hard with my own career, my management company, the AIDS Foundation, my little boy. I've managed to intertwine everything perfectly. I've been with David 19 years in October, done a lot of work on myself, and I'm the happiest I've ever been."

John revealed last month that he would "definitely" like to have another child.

"[Fatherhood] changes everybody," he said. "It's the most wonderful thing you can go through. I regretted that I didn't do it sooner, but he's changed our lives."

Fast gossip

And finally...

* The Daily Mail attempts record for longest interweb headline: "Well, she is a Material Girl! Madonna covers as she ditches raunchy outfits to go for a swim in jogging bottoms, polo neck and baseball cap".

* Déjà vu: Lindsay Lohan questioned by cops after alleged burglary.

* Ka-ching! Johnny Depp to pocket a whopping £60m for starring in fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean film?

* It's over: Hilary Swank splits from John Campisi after five years.

* Usher ordered to reopen ex-wife's credit card by custody case judge.

* "Eat s**t and die - Nicki Minaj rips haters who criticised her for canceling concert.

* Tony Scott spent final days working with Tom Cruise on Top Gun sequel.

* Neve Campbell debuts her new bundle of joy.

* Lady Gaga goes back to her roots in 'Louis Vuitton brown'.

* The Office to end run on US TV in 2013.

* Mariah Carey pissed over Nicki Minaj American Idol rumours. Wonder what she'll make of the chatter that Kanye West is also in the mix?

* Sarah Jessica Parker gets the Glee treatment.

* Time to hire a driver, Amanda Bynes.

* Cher ready to tie the knot with former Hell's Angel biker...in Las Vegas?

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