It is an event few in Hollywood would dare to miss. But when the stars walked down the red carpet for the Golden Globes in Beverley Hills, the one question being asked was: where is Madonna? Elton claimed he knew the answer, reported the Evening Standard on January 21, 2003.
The self-styled Queen of Pop had been due to sit beside Sir Elton. Unfortunately, he has previously slated the James Bond theme tune, Die Another Day, that she was due to sing at the ceremony.
And today he explained: "She would probably have killed me if she was sitting at my table, maybe even a dagger through the heart. Let's just say it was not my favourite song ever."
However, in a bid to prove there was no feud, Sir Elton added: "She is an amazing talent and a great writer and I love her to bits."
Madonna's absence meant organisers of the film world's key event of the year so far had to juggle the acts to fill the time left vacant by her as well as find someone else to hand over the award she was due to present.
Her aides say she could not attend because her two-year-old son Rocco,was unwell.
But there are few in Hollywood completely convinced, especially as her husband Guy Ritchie would have been on hand to look after Rocco.
The mystery deepened when it was revealed that Madonna ' s American spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, had told a New York paper on Saturday that the singer would not be attending Sunday's event - without mentioning that Rocco was ill.
The most prosaic - and most Hollywood - of explanations could lie in the fact that Madonna did not win her category, best original song in a motion picture.
Instead, it was an ecstatic Bono who went on stage to take the award for U2's song The Hands That Built America, from Gangs of New York.
Cynics are suggesting Madonna may have had James Bond-style intelligence indicating that she would not win, prompting her to stay away.