Elton John reveals worries over son Zachary not having 'a mummy'

 

Sir Elton John has told how he believes his son Zachary's childhood is going to be "very difficult" as he battles homophobia and the impact of his father's world fame.

The 65-year-old star and his civil partner David Furnish, 49, became parents on Christmas Day 2010 to a child conceived using a donor egg and born via a surrogate.

But the singer said he was preparing himself for what would be a rough time growing up for his son, who is now 19 months old.

He told the Radio Times that the toddler did not yet have an inkling of his father's 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," Sir Elton said.

"He tries to copy me but he's not formed enough yet to know what I do, thank God.

"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."

The Rocket Man singer told the magazine: "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 instil it in their children."

He added of his son's upbringing: "It's natural for him. He calls me 'Daddy' and David 'Papa'."

Sir Elton said that he introduced Zachary to Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven - as well as Nellie The Elephant - at a very young age, but that his son was more interested in football and cooking.

"I won't push Zachary into anything. So far, he just loves kicking a ball and watching people cook," he said.

Despite recently reigniting his feud with Madonna by saying that she looked like a "fairground stripper" and criticising her for being "horrible" to his son's godmother Lady Gaga, he praised the star.

"Madonna took the industry by the scruff of the neck, made opportunities for other women, like Gaga and Katy Perry," he said.

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

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

"It's tragic - Back to Black 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."

Sir Elton also hit back at criticism of Sir Paul McCartney for his performance at the Olympics opening ceremony.

"It's a crap shoot - you don't have your own sound system, wait five hours backstage," he said.

"Paul won't give up, and why should he?", he said, adding that talent show winners "don't have the wherewithal to perform live".

The singer said that his remaining ambition was to win another Tony award, this time for a musical version of Animal Farm.

He said of his singing career: "I would (give up) if I felt the voice had gone, but at 65 it's getting better and I'm in the prime of life."

The star, who is presenting a Radio 2 show on the music that inspired him, admitted 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."

Sir Elton said that he wanted the Dusty Springfield song Goin' Back to be played at his funeral, adding: "I want people to be sad while I'm being pushed out of the church, and then to have a party."

He said of the British attitude to emotion: "We're constipated, with a train of thought that it's a weakness. Stiff upper lip. Pull yourself together.

"I hate it. I love to cry. It's a human emotion and very healthy to get all the crap out of you."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss