Eminem talk of the town after Grammies

CBC News
February 22, 2001

LOS ANGELES - About 100 protesters gathered outside the Staples Centre in Los Angeles Wednesday night to protest against Eminem, the controversial rapper who stood to win up to four Grammy awards.

In the end, Eminem walked away with three of the awards – and added credibility after a remarkable performance with Elton John.

John had been criticized before the show for agreeing to the performance.

Many thought the openly gay John was making a mistake for taking the stage with a rapper whose album of the year-nominated disc The Marshall Mathers LP is peppered with anti-gay and anti-women lyrics.

But the duo's performance riveted the crowd and they embraced at the end.

Eminem's disc won the award for best rap album, but the night's top prize, album of the year, went to veteran rockers Steely Dan for Two Against Nature, their first album in two decades.

Canadian Joni Mitchell won the best traditional pop album Grammy. Her Both Sides Now was the lone bright light among the list of Canuck nominees that included Alanis Morissette, the Bare Naked Ladies, country group the Wilkinsons, Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion, East Coast fiddler Natalie MacMaster, children's performer Cathy Fink, polka king Walter Ostanek and pianist Andre-Marc Hamelin.

Hamilton native Daniel Lanois shared a Grammy with Brian Eno for their work producing U2's Beautiful Day, which won song of the year, best rock performance and record of the year.

Before the show, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Organization for Women held a rally against Eminem and his nominations.

They were protesting against the popular singer's violent lyrics which include slurs against gays and women, including his own wife and mother.

Last fall, some members of the Ontario government wanted to keep Eminem out of the country. They failed and he played to a packed Skydome in Toronto in October.

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