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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Sir Elton praises rapper Eminem
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton praised Eminem's 'intelligence'
Sir Elton John has said rapper Eminem is on a par with music legends like Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger.

Sir Elton made the comments in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, where the controversial rapper comes second in the magazine's Immortals edition.

The issue features the 50 greatest figures of rock 'n' roll with appreciations written by other artists.

Sir Elton, who performed with Eminem at the 2001 Grammy Award ceremony, said he "admired" the hip-hop star.

I've always admired Eminem's thinking
Sir Elton John

In his appreciation of Eminem, Sir Elton wrote that he got goosebumps when he first rehearsed with Eminem for their Grammy show.

The performance attracted criticism from gay groups who had denounced Eminem for his anti-homosexual lyrics.

Eminem has drawn frequent criticism for his lyrics, including accusations of homophobia and sexism.

Sir Elton John and Eminem
Sir Elton and Eminem performed at the Grammys in 2001

But Sir Elton said: "From the start, I've always admired Eminem's thinking.

"That's the reason I wanted to appear on the Grammys with him when I was asked, despite all the nonsense talked about his being homophobic.

"Let the Boy Georges and the George Michaels of the world get up in a twist about it if they don't have the intelligence to see his intelligence."

Other contributors to the Immortals issue included Dave Matthews writing on Radiohead, Trey Anastasio on Frank Zappa, Beck on Hank Williams, David Bowie on Nine Inch Nails and Mos Def on Miles Davis.

The original top 50 Immortals were listed by Rolling Stone in 2004, with the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley coming out on top.

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