From the sidelines of relative normality, it's always easy to become an armchair critic when a superstar begins to hurl insults at the opposition. In the case of Elton John and Madonna, however, their little 'spat' went on for the best part of a decade. The question remains: is their long feud Finally a thing of the past? Personally, I cannot help thinking their situation is rather like a dormant volcano.

Peaceful and serene at the moment, but potentially volatile, and ready to blow its top at any minute. So the short answer is: 'possibly, but don't bet the retirement fund on it'.

The sparks in the tinderbox

So what exactly were the sparks in the tinderbox which set these two celebrities at each other's throats? It would seem their very public disagreements had been brewing beneath the surface for some time.

The curtain initially went up in 2002 when Elton cast a critical ear over Madonna's James Bond theme tune for "Die Another Day", calling it 'the worst one ever'. Ironically, he also confessed at the time to be a huge Madonna fan. Could this have been an attempt to slightly soften the blow?

Madonna's camp, on the other hand, seemed to resolve to a far less vitriolic reply in response to Elton's further accusations about her alleged lip-syncing on live performances.

Madonna's spokesperson - Liz Rosenberg - simply stated that Elton was still on the Christmas card list and refuted the suggestion that Madonna went about bad mouthing other artists.

But it wasn't too long before the insults started flying once again. Madonna was on the receiving end of a tirade about her career being finished and her then tour being a total disaster. This verbal salvo resulting from a Madonna side-swipe at Lady Gaga.

But it's safe to say that Elton wasn't the only one to launch a few well-chosen words her way. David Furnish also added some fuel to the well-stoked fire during the 2012 Golden Globe awards, maintaining she should stick with music and leave movies well alone.

But I guess it's true to say that after 10 years, insults begin to lose their sting. It could also be said that the longer the feud, the less potent the reply. Either way, things had to come to some kind of truce.

Time to retreat and lick the wounds

The rumblings and insults gradually fizzled out, fortunately, after Elton spotted Madonna in a French restaurant, as reported by the Daily Mail. His profuse apology was enough to settle things hopefully once and for all. So it would seem the two have decided to retreat and lick the wounds, but even though they appear to have buried the hatchet, it's to be hoped they forget its location.

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