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Simon Cowell hits back at Elton John

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    Posted: 11 Mar 2011 at 12:19
Simon Cowell hits back at Elton John: 'Take the £1million you make from a private gig and nurture young musicians like I do'

He has been accused of ‘single-handedly’ ruining the music industry by his toughest critics.

But X Factor impresario Simon Cowell was stung into action to defend complaints by Sir Elton John over his almost complete monopoly on the charts - as he launched a withering attack on the singer.

The divisive star insisted the Rocket Man singer, who claimed that reality shows have ‘killed talent’, should spend his millions earned from private shows supporting young hopefuls – rather than criticising his TV programmes.

Defensive: Simon Cowell has hit back at Elton John's recent accusation that the X Factor has 'killed talent'

He called claims that his artists and TV shows were ruining the music industry as ‘absolute rubbish.’

The 51-year-old music boss also spoke out in the light of recent comments made by Oasis creator Alan McGee, who accused reality contests of making it impossible for truly talented hopefuls to find success.

His hackles rose during an interview with Piers Morgan, who told him: ‘Certain people out there, and you - you know, you’ve seen the criticism - will say that you have single-handedly destroyed the music industry.’

Tirade: In an interview last month the singer questioned if X Factor contestants can 'cut the mustard,' and called Cheryl Cole 'c**p'

Cowell interrupted him, saying: ‘What? Who said that?’ Morgan gave him the example of Alan McGee, adding: ‘What he said was, "The dominance of your shows in the music charts and the spin-off effects make it very hard for bands like Oasis now to come through".'

But the multi-millionaire, who is in America to launch the U.S. version of the X Factor, insisted: ‘Absolute rubbish. Rubbish. I mean, it has no affect at all. Look, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a top 100 or a top 200.

‘You know, what you want is people back into stores buying music. I mean, how can that be a bad thing?’

Not impressed: Cowell said: 'I tell you what, you just made a million dollars off your last private gig. Go and give it to a bunch of young musicians'

Accusations: Cowell was taken aback when Piers Morgan asked him on his show what he thought of claims he is ‘single-handedly’ ruining the music industry

He then hit back at Sir Elton John, who last month called the state of British pop music ‘just awful’, and said that reality TV shows have ‘killed talent,’ adding: ‘Can any X Factor people cut the mustard?’
Sir Elton even attacked X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, calling her music ‘c**p’.

Recording an interview for Morgan’s CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight, Cowell said: ‘Well, look. This is somebody who charges what - a million dollars a private gig? Two million dollars, you know?
‘I don’t know whether he’s concerned about himself - maybe it is. But they always bleat on that we’re not giving other people a chance.

Peace: Despite the war of words, Cowell says he will continue to feature Elton's music on his shows

‘And I always want to say to them, ‘I tell you what, you just made a million dollars off your last private gig.

'Go and give it to a bunch of young musicians you care about, put them in the studio. Go and nurture them. Go and spend some time looking after them. Then I’ll buy your argument.

‘They’re only worried about themselves.’

Despite his attack on Sir Elton, 63, Cowell has still used the singer’s greatest hits on past series of the X Factor.

The full interview will air on Monday and Morgan, 45, said: ‘He talks fame, fortune, marriage…Cowell only booked for a 30-minute interview, but we got carried away and did the whole hour. It will show the rare emotional side of TV’s Mr Nasty.’

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