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Sunday, 11 February, 2001, 01:59 GMT
Sir Elton to partner Eminem
Sir Elton John:
Sir Elton John: "I know I'll get flak"
Sir Elton John has confirmed that he will sing a duet at the Grammy awards with Eminem, the rapper who has been denounced for his anti-homosexual lyrics.

Sir Elton, the champion of many gay causes, said he was a big fan of Eminem's but admitted: "I know I'm going to get a lot of flak from various people who are going to picket the show."

Eminem's performance was announced by National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences president Michael Greene.


Art has its extremities ... this is one of the extremities for sure

Michael Greene, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences
In an interview in Saturday's edition of the Los Angeles Times, Sir Elton said the rap artist had come up with the idea.

"If I thought for one minute that he was (hateful), I wouldn't do it," he added.

Eminem has drawn frequent criticism for his lyrics which include references to "fags", fantasies about raping his own mother and jokes about domestic violence.

Mr Greene said the song they would perform would be announced next week, but the LA Times reported the pair would do a rendition of "Stan".

Eminem on stage in Manchester
Eminem on stage in Manchester
The hit song depicts a violent fan who becomes unbalanced when Eminem does not respond to his letters. The fan eventually kills himself and his girlfriend.

Sir Elton will perform the portion of the song that, on the recording, was a sample of a song by British singer Dido.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which decided to put Eminem in the show, also chooses which songs are performed.

'Hurtful' decision

The US-based Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (Glaad) called Eminem's participation in the event "offensive".

Scott Seomin, entertainment media director for Glaad, described as "hurtful" Sir Elton's agreement to take part.

Last year, the group honoured the veteran rock star with an award for his efforts in fighting homophobia.

"Elton's actions now totally violate the spirit of this award," Seomin said.

Eminem
The rapper has been condemned for his lyrics
Eminem is nominated for album of the year for "The Marshall Mathers LP" and in three rap categories. The album sold 7.9 million copies in the United States alone last year.

Greene said he had objections to the album, but that censorship had no place at the Grammys.

"I have issues with the lyrical content of the album, no question about that," he added.

"But again, art has its extremities and you can't really predict how they're going to play themselves out. This is one of the extremities for sure."

Eminem's concerts in the UK last week were met with protests by students and gay groups.

Police said they were reviewing tapes of his Manchester appearance after allegations that he took ecstasy on stage.

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See also:

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Match made in heaven?
11 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem rocks London
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Police investigate Eminem show
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Rapper divides a city
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Students protest at Eminem show
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08 Feb 01 | UK
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