Elton John has told how he believes his son Zachary’s childhood is going to be “very difficult” as he battles homophobia and the impact of his father’s world fame.
The 65-year-old star and his civil partner David Furnish, 49, became parents on Christmas Day 2010 to a child conceived using a donor egg and born via a surrogate.
But the singer said he was preparing himself for what would be a rough time growing up for his son, who is now 19 months old.
He told the Radio Times that the toddler did not yet have an inkling of his father’s fame.
“I want music to be a huge part of his life. I sit him on my lap and he doesn’t bang the piano,” John said.
“He tries to copy me but he’s not formed enough yet to know what I do, thank God.
“When he finds out, he’ll look at me as if I’m bonkers. Being the child of someone famous is a huge ball and chain around your ankles.
“It’s going to be very difficult.”
The ‘Rocket Man’ singer told the magazine: “At school other children will say: ‘You don’t have a mummy’.
“We’ve come a long way, but there’s still homophobia and will be until a new generation of parents don’t instil it in their children.”
He added of his son’s upbringing: “It’s natural for him. He calls me ‘Daddy’ and David ‘Papa’.”
John said that he introduced Zachary to Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven – as well as ‘Nellie The Elephant’ – at a very young age, but that his son was more interested in football and cooking.
“I won’t push Zachary into anything. So far, he just loves kicking a ball and watching people cook,” he said.
Despite recently reigniting his feud with Madonna by saying that she looked like a “fairground stripper” and criticising her for being “horrible” to his son’s godmother Lady Gaga, he praised the star.
“Madonna took the industry by the scruff of the neck, made opportunities for other women, like Gaga and Katy Perry,” he said.
But he said that “some (women) aren’t good at handling their own careers”.
He told the magazine: “Dusty Springfield was insecure, like a lot of women singers, including Amy Winehouse.
“It’s tragic – ‘Back to Black’ will sound as good in 50 years as it does today. She was one of the greatest, but if someone doesn’t want to get well, they won’t.
“Look at Billie Holiday. It’s hard for women in this business. Some aren’t good at handling their own careers. KD Lang could be a much bigger star but I don’t think she wants to be.”
The singer also hit back at criticism of Paul McCartney for his performance at the Olympics opening ceremony.
“It’s a crap shoot – you don’t have your own sound system, wait five hours backstage,” he said.
“Paul won’t give up, and why should he?”, he said, adding that talent show winners “don’t have the wherewithal to perform live”.
The singer said that his remaining ambition was to win another Tony award, this time for a musical version of Animal Farm.
He said of his singing career: “I would (give up) if I felt the voice had gone, but at 65 it’s getting better and I’m in the prime of life.”
The star, who is presenting a Radio 2 show on the music that inspired him, admitted that he has to collaborate with current stars to stay relevant.
“I had the sense to realise when I was at the height of my success in the mid-70s that it wouldn’t last,” he said.
“Although I like having hits, I know it isn’t going to happen unless I collaborate with (people like) Pnau. I’ve always tried to keep modern.”
He added: “I don’t take myself seriously, which is one reason I’ve lasted. Irreverence is a great British trait.”
John said that he wanted the Dusty Springfield song ‘Goin’ Back’ to be played at his funeral, adding: “I want people to be sad while I’m being pushed out of the church, and then to have a party.”
He said of the British attitude to emotion: “We’re constipated, with a train of thought that it’s a weakness. Stiff upper lip. Pull yourself together.