Eminem says his duet with Elton John started out as a joke

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 26 2002 12:00 AM ET

In an interview scheduled to air Thursday night, rapper Eminem tells Access Hollywood that his much-publicized duet of "Stan" with out rock legend Elton John at the 2001 Grammy Awards started out as a joke. Eminem says he had considered boycotting the program because of the controversy over the alleged homophobic content of his lyrics, and so he told an executive at his record label that he wouldn't go to the Grammys unless John went also. Eminem called the remark "a stab in the dark," to get out of going. But Eminem said the record executive called back and said, "We can get him." The rapper also tells Access Hollywood that the controversy over his feelings about gay people has caused him to keep a low profile of late, although his semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile will be opening in theaters later this year.

Eminem's comments come on the heels of another controversy surrounding gay imagery--the hintmag.com Web site reports that the rapper's British label, Polydor, was furious with British music magazine The Face when the magazine changed the color of its cover photo to make Eminem's red tank top look pink. While the magazine says the change was made to keep the red top from clashing with the publication's red logo, Polydor allegedly threatened an injunction to halt distribution of the magazine showing Eminem wearing a less-than-manly shade. "All we can say is, No comment," said a representative of The Face.