Sir Elton John hits out at The Voice 'nonentities' and says he wouldn't want to be Justin Bieber

 

Sir Elton John has accused BBC1 talent show The Voice of producing "nonentities".

The veteran musician has often been a critic of TV talent shows in the past and has now blasted the poor track record of The Voice on both sides of the Atlantic.

And Sir Elton said the contest - commissioned for a third series by the BBC - was more about the coaches than the contestants.

His comments in an interview with Radio 4's Front Row programme - to be broadcast tonight - come in the wake of last year's winner Leanne Mitchell suffering a sales disaster with her debut album.

It peaked at number 134 in the album charts after selling fewer than 1,000 copies in its first week.

Even a return appearance in the final stages of this year's series failed to produce an uplift in sales.

And the 2013 winner Andrea Begley only made it to number 30 in the charts at the weekend for her track My Immortal in the wake of her win.

Sir Elton said: "The Voice is all about watching the judges, it is in America.

"Nobody on The Voice in America has had a hit record.

"Nobody on The Voice in England has had a hit record.- they're nonentities."

Asked by Front Row presenter John Wilson whether he had ever watched a music talent show, he admitted: "Never have done."

But he claimed many shows were fast-tracking people to fame who were not in a position to deal with it, and then moving on to the next wannabe.

Sir Elton said: "Television and video have done a lot of damage to music.

"They've propelled people into stardom that aren't ready for it, you know, and it can't sustain it.

"And they're only as good as the next song.

"I hate that, I hate people being cast aside.

"It breaks my heart to see people like Michelle McManus who won Pop Star, whatever it was, but it's not fair."

Speaking about the title track of his new album The Diving Board, he said: "It's about the pitfalls of being a young star, like a young Justin Bieber.

"It's hard when you're young to go through that incredible fame, when you haven't had a childhood and then you want to grow up.

"Luckily, fame came to me when I was 23, and then I lived my teenage years during my fame.

"But I wouldn't want to be Justin Bieber or any of those young artists.

"It's tough on them."

During the interview, he suggested that being a father of two young sons would affect his touring commitments of up to 120 dates a year as they got to school age.

"It will obviously change radically when Zachary goes to school and when Elijah goes to school, because then I will have to look at my touring schedules," he said.

"When they need schooling, course they can't come on tour.

"I can't be away from them that long.

"Things will have to change."

Sir Elton also committed himself to a gay marriage to his civil partner David Furnish at the earliest opportunity.

"We'll be there the first day it happens," he said.

"The fact that we've been given these chances by the British Government is something that is joyous and I'm very grateful for.

"And if this happens, yeah, I'll be there.

"I don't want a big grandiose thing.

"I'll just go to a register office, but I'd like to do it.

"I'd like to say, listen, we've been given this as people and years ago people had to have miserable lives because they were afraid of their sexuality.

"Embrace it, be thankful and set an example.

"And say, yes, this is how far Britain has come as a society and I am very proud of that."

:: The edition of Radio 4's Front Row is being broadcast today at 7.15pm.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015