Andrea Bocelli has come under fire from his rival Vittorio Grigolo, after the blind tenor slammed modern music's lack of creativity.
The 47-year-old believes the music industry needs to return to classical values if music is to survive what he perceives as a dangerous slump in originality.
Bocelli says, "In my view we're experiencing a serious crisis in creativity. Millions of songs have been written, and at the end of the day there are only seven notes.
"Why should we insist on recording new music when it lacks true inspiration, that fundamental honesty which is the only thing that can touch people's hearts? It's much, much better to focus our attention on a repertoire that young people don't know and older people have forgotten.
"A repertoire which has made entire generations dream all over the world. It's better to dedicate oneself to these great melodies."
But 28-year-old Grigolo believes Bocelli's musical judgement has become clouded, and insists current pop music is just as valid as classic compositions.
He says, "When Andrea started out he was excited by new songs but maybe the fire has faded. And there are not just seven notes to play with. He forgot the semitones. There are no restrictions in music.
"Look at ROBBIE (WILLIAMS), Madonna and Bono. They are still creating new emotions. The arias are great but I want to present different emotions for a different age."