In his recent book “Me” Elton John talks not only about himself, as the title implies, but also about many, many other artists and musicians who have crossed his path. There are some references about Eminem that deserve to be mentioned here.
We learned from this book, though that was not a secret before, that Elton John is Eminem’s sponsor in AA and he is checking up on him regularly, without taking offence at Eminem’s inappropriate response. Elton John apparently is not somebody to be offended easily, he tends to consider the situation in its complexity before making any decisions. That is why, probably, he did not shy away from a collaboration with Eminem in 2001, when many saw Em as a problematic act at best. Elton John recalls in his book:
When I performed with [Eminem] at the Grammys, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation gave me a really hard time, but it was obvious that his lyrics were about adopting a persona – a deliberately repugnant persona at that. I didn’t think either of them were actually homophobes any more that I thought Sting was actually going out with a prostitute called Roxanne, or Johnny Cash actually shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
And this is not a mere justification of a stage act from the past. Elton John has mentored Em on his sobriety for years, he saw Em rocking Elton’s oldest son Zachary on his knee (as we also learned from this book) – this is not something you would let some homophobe do.