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Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
McCartney backs Eminem
Eminem and Sir Paul McCartney
McCartney has compared Eminem with Elvis
Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he is a fan of controversial American rapper Eminem.

The ex-Beatle defended Eminem's lyrics - which have been criticised for being homophobic and misogynistic - by describing them as "only showbiz".


If anyone takes it too seriously, it's not too cool

Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul compared the furore created by the rapper with that made by Elvis Presley when he first burst onto the scene.

"It reminded you that we had all of that with rock and roll," the musician told Mojo magazine.

"All our parents went 'Oh, the state of him [Elvis]'. We never saw it until they said it. I think it's the same again. But if anyone takes it too seriously, it's not too cool."

Stan

Sir Paul revealed that Eminem's Stan - about an obsessed fan who kills his girlfriend - is one of his favourite songs.

"I kinda like Stan," he said. "I liked it that [Sir] Elton [John] did it with him at that Grammys thing, because he was suspected to be homophobic.

Eminem and Sir Elton John at the Grammys
Eminem and Sir Elton John at the Grammys
"So I guess that put that down. Which is good because it is only showbiz."

Protesters gathered outside Eminem's British shows and his Grammy appearance earlier this year.

Some groups have accused him of encouraged violence, drug-taking and hatred.

Concern

When he toured in Ontario, Canada, politicians tried to ban him from the province, saying his lyrics promoted violence against women.

He is due in the UK this summer to perform at festivals in Reading, Leeds and Glasgow.

Sir Paul said he was concerned when he heard his son James, 23, playing rap records with lyrics like "slap my bitch".

But he was told: "It's only a song dad".

Sir Paul has been touring the world promoting his new poetry anthology, Blackbird Singing.

He has recently been named the richest musician in Britain, with a fortune of 713m.

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See also:

14 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Eminem sparks DJ walkout
26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem protesters hit Brits
21 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem rapped in Lords
23 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem leads Reading line-up
22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem's Grammy glory
20 Apr 01 | Showbiz
McCartney pushes for landmine ban
20 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Sir Paul tops rich list
21 Mar 01 | Arts
Poetic McCartney takes a bow
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