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Elton has recovered from his infection faster than expected. So he was able to attend the Cannes Film Festival on Monday.

At the event, he told the audience that the MTV generation had promoted many performers who didn’t deserve the attention, but he also paid tribute to the positive role that music videos have played in the music business.

The vocalist remarked: “We were before the MTV generation and I’m glad we were because we were real artists. The MTV generation brought along a lot of people who were great but a lot of people who just made videos. So a lot of the artistry went out of the music.”

Elton, who was answering questions from Spike Lee at the winners’ presentation for a new music video competition, added: “Visuals — whether it is a painting, a drawing, a piece of film, a video — enhance music. You get to use your imagination; you get into it.”

The contest, titled Elton John: The Cut, was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John’s songwriting partnership with Taupin. The contest, which was staged with the support of YouTube, asked entrants to create videos for three of their classics: Bennie and the Jets, Rocket Man, and Tiny Dancer.

Appearing on the stage with Elton was Bernie Taupin. Today also happens to be the lyricist’s 67th birthday, and hopes it’s a very enjoyable one for him.