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Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 16:19 GMT
Protesters await Eminem
Eminem
Eminem faces a noisy reception in Manchester
Controversial rapper Eminem is preparing for the first of three UK shows - but protesters are waiting to greet him and his fans.

The performer, who has outraged gay rights campaigners and women's groups with his violent lyrics, is to kick off his tour in Manchester.

He will be surrounded by tight security throughout his tour, which continues on Friday and Saturday with two shows in London.


Talent is no excuse for prejudice

Peter Tatchell,
OutRage!
His show at the Manchester Evening News Arena and has sold out almost instantly but the singer's attitudes have left critics divided.

Some see him as a lyrical genius worthy of his worldwide success, while others condemn him as a homophobic misogynist, whose words are filled with hate and spite.

Gay rights group OutRage! has been incensed by Eminem's messages and is upset that London nightclub Ministry of Sound is to host an event for him after his gig at the London Arena on Saturday.

Radio ban

Activist Peter Tatchell, who plans to demonstrate outside gigs, said: "Eminem is a brilliant lyricist. But talent is no excuse for prejudice."

The National Union of Students has organised a demonstration outside the Manchester show.

Spokeswoman Vicky Austin told the BBC's Manchester radio station, GMR: "Homophobic and misogynist language can have a real effect on people.

"It's saying you're not good enough you're not as good as us because of your sexuality or because of your gender."

Sheffield University students' union banned his music following complaints about his lyrics.

eminem
Chainsaw fan: Eminem
Eminem's tracks include Stan, about an obsessed music fan who drives off a bridge with his girlfriend locked in the boot of his car.

Another track includes lines about putting fear into and killing "faggots". The rapper himself blames the more outrageous views on the persona he adopts, Slim Shady.

Family feud

The star, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, faces assault and weapons charges in the US after an incident in which he caught his wife with another man.

He also faces a 6.6m lawsuit from his mother over derogatory remarks he made about her on record.

In his first UK hit My Name Is the rapper says: "My mom smokes more dope than I do."

But his mother is now reported to be thinking about dropping the action.

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See also:

07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Stage set for Eminem
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem's mother could 'drop lawsuit'
08 Feb 01 | UK
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