Susan Boyle's idol Elaine Paige has apologised after she labelled the Scottish singer "a virus that swept the world."
The I Dreamed A Dream hitmaker became an overnight success last year (09) after a clip of her Britain's Got Talent audition spread across the internet and gained her legions of fans worldwide.
She has since sold millions of copies of her debut album, also titled I Dreamed A Dream, and was given the chance to duet with Paige for a TV special.
But Paige appeared to have turned on Boyle after she made a series of unflattering comments about her, calling her a "virus" and suggesting the singer had not earned her place in the music industry as she had forfeited years of "working hard and experience."
However, Paige is adamant she did not mean to cause offence - as she is one of Boyle's biggest fans.
She says, "I wasn’t referring to Susan herself (when I called her a virus); I was referring to the speed of her fame spreading as fast as a worldwide viral marketing campaign. I am a huge supporter of Susan Boyle and admire what she has achieved.
"I have always said it’s very hard for someone to be fast-tracked to stardom without any prior experience - I know this as it happened to me when Evita (the musical) opened and I found it extremely difficult in the beginning.
"Today, of course, it’s much harder with the phenomenon of the internet - Facebook, YouTube etc - it seems it only takes minutes for fame to spread around the world - and that’s why I used the word ‘virus’."