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Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 11:35 GMT
Grammys defend Eminem nominations
Eminem celebrates success at last year's MTV awards
The organisers of the Grammys have defended Eminem's four nominations for the US music industry's most prestigious awards ceremony.

The controversial rapper has become one of the front-runners for this year's ceremony, to be held in Los Angeles on 21 February.

Critics accuse him of sexism and homophobia, and the US-based Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said the recognition marked a "disturbing" trend.

Eminem performs The Real Slim Shady at the MTV show
Spokesman Scott Seomin said: "What this says is a little scary. It's about murdering, stabbing, slitting throats and putting women in the trunks of cars. It's about violence."

Mr Seomin added the group was planning to meet with the National Organisation for Women to discuss possible protest against the 28-year-old performer.

"I hope when he matures as a man, he will be able to look back and realise what damage he's done," he said.

This is probably the most repugnant record of the year, but in a lot of ways it's also one of the more remarkable records of the year

Grammys president Michael Greene
The Grammys are awarded by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, whose president Michael Greene used Eminem's real name to defend him.

"He's kind of a non-demoninational abuser. He hates everybody," he said.

"He hates himself, he uses the microphone as a therapist most of the time and doesn't edit himself."

"He's got some pretty screwed-up ideas in his head, and that's why this is probably the most repugnant record of the year, but in a lot of ways it's also one of the more remarkable records of the year."

Eminem is nominated for album of the year and best rap album for The Marshall Mathers LP, rap solo performance for The Real Slim Shady, and rap performance by a duo or group for his appearance on Dr Dre's track Forget About Dre.

Beck: Pleased to be nominated
He was not available for comment, but on The Real Slim Shady, he said of the Grammys: "You think I give a damn about a Grammy?/ Half of you critics can't even stomach, let alone stand me."

Other album of the year contenders are Beck for Midnite Vultures, Radiohead for Kid A and Steely Dan for Two Against Nature.

Beck said: "I thought it was interesting that an album like mine and Radiohead's got in there despite the climate of pop dominance, that people are still interested in hearing something artistic or challenging."

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See also:

03 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Rappers lead Grammys list
24 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Santana's Grammy glory
11 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Eminem: The real Slim Shady
27 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Eminem '2000's best album'
15 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Eminem and wife reconcile
26 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Court verdict for Eminem's wife
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