Sir Elton John believes the rejection he received from his late father led him into the vicious spiral of drink and drugs.
The 68-year-old singer, who got sober after he was hospitalised in his early 40s, has blamed Stanley Dwight, who died in 1991, for pushing him away and leading him to the path of drinking "enough alcohol to burn New Orleans."
Speaking at the Oxford Union at Oxford University in Southern England, he said: "He never told me he loved me, he didn't hold me, and he didn't come to see me perform.
"He was taught that love had limits. You don't show it in public. You don't even show it in private. And if your son isn't quite like you, and he's pretty ******* different from you in fact, then your love becomes cut off and inexpressible."
Despite his troubled past, the 'Your Song' hitmaker believes a positive came out of his fractured relationship with his dad because it encouraged him to shower his children Zachary, four, and two-year-old Elijah, who he raises with his husband David Furnish, 53, but were born via surrogate mother, with affection every single day of their lives.
He explained: "When we had our own children, I never stopped telling them I loved them, and they never stop telling me they love me. My son Zachary the other day said, 'I love you all the way up to God.' He trots it out on a regular basis in different guises, and so does Elijah.
"And it means to me that we're doing a good job raising our children, that they feel loved, that they feel nurtured, that they feel tactile love as well as verbal love."
Meanwhile, Sir Elton also has a fraught relationship with his mother Sheila Farebrother, 90, and hasn't spoken to her for seven years after she called his husband that "f***ing thing."