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Bach, Beethoven and Mozart were the biggest early influence in Elton John's career, the singer has said in a speech at a Royal Academy of Music function.
"If you love Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven, you can’t help but be influenced. They wrote the greatest melodies and the most beautiful things of all time," he told the invited crowd of music industry figures.
John famously joined the Royal Academy of Music when he was 11 as a piano student, but recently blamed his "cocktail sausage" fingers for not progressing further in the classical world.
He also hit out at various modern pop performers in his speech, claiming that the likes of Britney Spears couldn't sing live and rely too much on autotune: "If you go and see a Britney Spears concert, you might as well stay at home and watch the video."
John recently performed a series of fundraising concerts for the Royal Academy of Music's new £1.2m for their concert hall, of which the event was celebrating the inauguration.