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Elton John has pretty good taste in music; he’s, of course, Elton John. But Rocket Man himself has a legendary reputation within the music industry with a career that spans all the way back to the ‘60s and includes Academy Awards, Grammys, and a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And he recently told Phoebe Bridgers that if she doesn’t win a Grammy for herself, he’s going to be a bit peeved about it. 

Elton John said that Phoebe Bridgers’ album ‘Punisher’ is like Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’ for him

Elton John performs live at Twickenham Stoop on June 3, 2017
Elton John performs live at Twickenham Stoop on June 3, 2017 | Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Harlequins

According to Rolling Stone, Bridgers was a guest on John’s Rocket Hour series on Apple Music 1 recently to talk about the upcoming Grammys where she’s nominated for four awards. He was really taken with her second album, Punisher, which came out in June and equated it to Carole King’s second album. 

“Your album is like an old friend,” John said. “It’s like a Tapestry. I have records in my life that are reference points and I think Punisher‘s one of those reference points. I can’t pay you a bigger compliment than that.”

That is a massive comparison and big compliment, especially coming from John. Rolling Stone also reported that they talked about how they were similarly feeling drained of creativity during the pandemic. Bridgers stated that she was a bit happy that Punisher came out at the start of it all and she was able to create it before COVID-19 hit. She might not be able to create something like it now. 

Punisher has many themes of sadness and talking about the end of the world or the singer’s world as they know it. John described Punisher as “a wonderful record of melancholy” which is a nice companion to have during quarantine. 

He also joked that if Bridgers doesn’t win a Grammy, he’s going to get violent 

Elton John racked up 5 Grammy wins and 34 nominations throughout his career and talked to Bridgers about her very first nominations this year. She received four: Best Alternative Music Album for Punisher, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Kyoto,” and Best New Artist. 

At the end of their chat, John wished Bridgers, “Good luck with the Grammys” and really hit home how serious he was about her winning. 

“If you don’t win at least one, I’m going to hit someone, OK?” he joked. 

At the time of publishing, Bridgers had already lost three of the awards: Fiona Apple’s “Shameika” and Fetch the Bolt Cutters won Best Rock Performance and Best Alternative Music Album, respectively. And Brittany Howard’s “Stay High” won Best Rock Song. There’s still Best New Artist to be announced during the show though, so John might not have to beat anyone up just yet. 

John also said ‘all the best records are coming from women’

Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Kyoto’ Is About Her Dad, but a Little About Her Grandpa as Well

But, regardless of if Bridgers wins, it seems like John and Bridgers had a great talk and he really enjoys her work. They also talked about other women in the music industry, including Billie Eilish. John said that “all the great records are coming from women now” and asked how Bridgers felt about that.

“I feel great. I’m obsessed with Billie,” Bridgers said. “I think she’s a genius. I think whatever she’s doing behind the scenes, industry-wise, just the fact that her team trusted her completely and was just like, ‘You know what we should do is listen to this 15-year-old because we don’t know what’s cool.’”

John brought up Eilish’s documentary The World’s a Little Blurry, and how it contrasts to the recent New York Times Britney Spears documentary, Framing Britney Spears. He separated them by saying one of them showed now “not to be a parent” (Spears’) and the other (Eilish’s) showed “how to be a parent and a brother and a sibling.”