With its larger-than-life production and packed setlist, Madonna‘s retrospective Celebration Tour has already garnered praise from critics and fans alike.
Including –– surprisingly –– the one and only Elton John.
On Thursday (October 26), the Rocket Man took to Instagram to thank Madge for a particularly poignant moment in the show when she honors those lost to the AIDS crisis.
As she performs “Live to Tell,” an extremely moving slideshow of images plays behind the singer, curated in help with tear jerking Instagram account The AIDS Memorial. (And this isn’t the first time she’s gone above and beyond as an LGBTQ+ ally, either.)
In a joint post with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the “Your Song” singer wrote that he was “deeply moved by the heartfelt tribute” which honors the 40.4 million lost to AIDS.
“Thank you, Madonna, for your advocacy and compassion, and for raising important awareness of the ongoing mission to end AIDS,” he continued. “With 39 million people living with HIV today, 9.4 million of whom are not currently on life-saving treatment, we must keep using our voices and platforms to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live full and healthy lives.”
Madonna’s friend Martin Burgoyne, Freddie Mercury, Cookie Mueller, and Trinity The Tuck’s mother April Dunaway are amongst those whose portraits are displayed.
Watch Madonna’s touching performance below.
It’s nice to see the two pop divas using their platforms to highlight this important cause –– and playing nice after an infamous history of feuding.
It started back in 2002, when John did not mince his words in calling “Die Another Day,” Madge’s 007 theme, “the worst Bond tune ever.”
He added that the track “hasn’t got a tune,” and told Sky News that producers “should have gone for somebody like Lulu and Shirley Bassey, or maybe I’m in that league?” Ouch. (Ironically, “Die Another Day” did make the cut for Madonna’s greatest-hits tour.)
Furthermore, after winning in the Classic Songwriter category, John used a 2004 acceptance speech at the Q Awards to throw shade at the Material Girl’s win for best live act.
“F*ck off,” he said. “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. … That’s me off her Christmas card list, but do I give a toss? No.”
Madonna’s spokesperson at the time responded with a statement asserting that she “does not lip-sync, nor does she spend her time trashing other artists.”
Things got especially ugly at the 2012 Golden Globes, where Madonna’s W.E. track “Masterpiece” beat out John’s “Hello Hello” from the Gnomeo & Juliet soundtrack. (LOL.)
John’s husband David Furnish wrote in a since-deleted post that Madge’s win “shows how these awards have nothing to do with merit,” adding her acceptance speech “was embarrassing in its narcissism.”
For her part, Madonna didn’t really strike back at the time, telling reporters backstage, “He’ll win another award. I don’t feel bad.” (But she did later dedicate a passive-aggressive performance of the award-winning track to John at a concert).
But the petty didn’t stop there. As Madonna geared up for her Super Bowl XLVI halftime show the next month, John appeared on Good Morning America to share some advice: “Make sure you lip-sync good.” Oof.
Still, John’s most creative barb came on the heels of Madonna’s MDNA tour. In an interview with Australia’s Sunday Night, he called her a “nightmare,” adding, “Her tour is a disaster and it couldn’t happen to a bigger c*nt.”
In a bit of a backwards compliment, he said the “Vogue” singer should have released another record like Ray of Light, “stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer.” And then, of course, he said she “looks like a f*cking fairground stripper.” Tell us how you really feel!
However, the two seemed to put the feud to rest a year later in 2013 after a chance encounter in a French restaurant. John told Extra that he “sent over a note” and “apologized profusely because what I said should never have appeared in public.”
Madge accepted the apology and John paid for her dinner. “She was fantastic,” John explained. “She was just like, ‘Okay, let’s get a move on.'”
That being said, John’s Instagram post marks their first public interaction in nearly a decade.
And while it’s a relief to see that any alleged beef between the two is water under the bridge, we doubt Sir Elton will be dropping any dough to see The Celebration Tour anytime soon.
“I’m going to be in London for opening night. After that, I’m going to two other European shows, before I begin my U.S. run of six more shows (so far).”