10/05/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT
Elton John shot a cannonball though his former friendship with Madonna on Monday, saying in a foul-mouthed rant that the Material Mom cheats her fans by lip-synching onstage.
But Madge fired back, saying she does no such thing – nor does she criticize other artists.
The nastiness took place in London, where John, 57, was picking up a songwriting award from Q music magazine and suddenly launched into a tirade when he discovered that Madonna, 46, was up for Best Live Act, reports Reuters.
"Anyone who lip-synchs in public onstage when you pay 75 pounds ($134) to see them should be shot," John said about the entrance fee to Madonna's Reinvention tour.
"Madonna, best f---ing live act? F--- off," he added before asking: "Since when has lip-synching been live?" he asked.
His outburst concluded with: "That's me off her f---ing Christmas card list, but do I give a toss? No."
In response, Madonna's U.S.-based spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg quickly issued a statement saying: "Madonna does not lip-synch nor does she spend her time trashing other artists.
The statement went on to say, "She sang every note on her Reinvention tour live and is not ashamed that she was well paid for her hard work." Furthermore, "Elton John remains on her Christmas card list whether he is nice ... or naughty."
P.S. The British band Muse, not Madonna, won Best Live Act.