Elton John reached out to Lana Del Rey after her debut performance on Saturday Night Live in 2012 was panned by critics.
The star was promoting her major-label debut Born To Die on the hit variety show, but was met with criticism over her vocals and stage presence. However, in a chat for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, both singers recalled how the media frenzy put them in contact with one another.
Speaking at his Beverly Hills home, Elton recalled his “distress” at reading the response to the Video Games singer’s performance and revealed it compelled him to reach out to the star himself.
“That’s the first time I ever talked to you,” the Tiny Dancer hitmaker remembered. “I rang you up and said, ‘Listen, I just want to offer my help. I know you’re sober and everything, but just don’t take any notice of these people.’
“Most people, that would have flattened them forever. It was an outrageous assault.”
While Lana recalled the gig as “the one night in all my time performing that I wasn’t nervous”, Elton remarked on the inevitable pressure of appearing on the iconic show so early in her career.
“You were still a very, very young artist. I don’t think you should have been put in that position so early on in your career,” he continued.
Admitting she found the criticism unfair and didn’t think her performance was as bad as people made out, Elton reassured Lana: “It wasn’t terrible at all. I don’t know what the agenda was there, but where was the #MeToo movement there?”
“Oh, you said it, not me!” the star laughed.