The 72-year-old singer says he is relieved his mother, Sheila Farebrother, never met his two sons, eight-year-old Zachary and Elijah, six - who he has with husband David Furnish - because she would have criticised them.

Speaking on 'CBS Sunday Morning', he said: "She never liked David. She never liked anybody. She never asked to see the children. But I'm glad they didn't meet her, because she would have criticised them, like she criticised me. She couldn't help herself. She's a sociopath."

Elton had been estranged from his mother for many years but reconciled with her before she died in 2017, although he claims never changed.

He said: "The only thing that changed was I didn't lose my temper.

"I knew what was coming, and I let her get on with it. And I just said, 'I love you, Mum,' and she said, 'I love you, too. I don't like you, but I love you. But I don't like you.'"

Elton also spoke about his previous battle with drugs and admitted that getting addicted to cocaine in 1974 was one of his biggest regrets.

He said: "It nearly destroyed my soul.

"My soul was black, like a charred piece of steak, until I said, 'I need help.' And suddenly a little pilot light in my soul came along going, 'Yes, I'm still here. I'm still here.'"

Elton previously admitted he was very reluctant to start a family because of his own "miserable" childhood.

He said: "Every time David had mentioned the idea of starting a family, I had presented him with a list of objections so long it just wore him into submission.

"I didn't want kids. I was too old. Too set in my ways. Too absent -- always off on tour. Too keen on porcelain and photographs and modern art, none of which responds well to being knocked over or drawn on with crayon or smeared with Marmite.

"But, really, my own childhood was at the root of every objection.

"Bringing up children was an incredible challenge, and I knew from personal experience how awful it was if you f***ed that challenge up. I couldn't live with the thought of making my own children as miserable as I'd been."