The music industry brings us a lot of unlikely friendships. One of the biggest surprise friendships that has thrown fans for a spin is that between legendary pop icon Elton John and rap god Eminem. After executing a thought-provoking performance together near the beginning of Eminem’s career, when Elton was already a seasoned star, these two hit it off and became the best of friends.
Years later, they still have a lot of respect for each other and even find time to do the occasional phone interview. Though they seem like two completely different people, Eminem and Elton John actually have more in common than meets the eye. Perhaps that’s why their friendship has lasted so long!
Keep reading to find out 20 heartwarming facts about the friendship between Elton John and Eminem.
20 Elton Helped Eminem Through Addiction
Friends are there for each other when they need it. That’s why Elton was there every step of the way to help Eminem through his addiction struggles following the release of his 2004 album, Encore. Elton had been in the exact same position, so he was the perfect person to support Eminem.
19 And Keeps Track Of His Progress
Although Eminem has now kicked his habit, Elton still keeps track of his progress and is proud of his friend. “Your sobriety day is in my diary,” the pop icon said to Eminem during a phone interview that was published in Interview magazine. Elton himself has now been clean for over 27 years.
18 Elton Was Mesmerized By Eminem The First Time They Met
While it was Eminem who reached out to Elton first, Elton recalls being absolutely mesmerized by both Eminem and his performance skills the first time they met. It was definitely love at first sight for these two friends! Elton even compared it to seeing Mick Jagger for the first time.
17 Eminem Showered Elton With Some Expensive Gifts
In addition to always being there for each other, friends also like to shower each other with gifts. Back in 2006 when Elton John celebrated his civil partnership with David Furnish, his buddy Eminem famously sent him a pair of toys for the bedroom that were encrusted with real diamonds.
16 Elton Stands Up For Eminem Against His Haters
Even today, Eminem still gets accused of discrimination thanks to some of his rap lyrics. But no matter what is said about him, Elton rushes to his defense and stands up for him against the haters. In fact, Elton agreed to do the Grammy performance in the first place to show his support for the rapper.
15 He Also Sees The Meaning Behind Eminem’s Music
If you really listen to Eminem’s lyrics, you might think he is homophobic, but Elton sees the meaning behind Eminem’s songs rather than just making his own interpretations about lyrics that have been deemed offensive. According to the pop icon, the rapper’s songs were written from the perspective of the character Slim Shady, not Eminem himself.
14 Eminem Allows Elton To Interview Him
The further he gets into his career, the more difficult Eminem is to interview. He isn’t one of these celebrities who does anything he can to stay relevant and only allows himself to be interviewed rarely. He has given interviews to Elton John, which shows the extent of their friendship.
13 Eminem Didn’t Know Anything About Elton Before They Met
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know who Elton John is. But before their joint Grammy performance in 2001, Eminem did not know anything about the singer. He knew of him, but didn’t know anything about “his personal life” and “didn’t really care,” he said in an interview in 2004 for MTV.
12 He Initiated The Friendship With The Pop Icon
Though Eminem did not know much about Elton before they performed together and kicked off their friendship, he was the one who initiated the union. He reached out to Elton to perform with him at the Grammys and thought the duet would be a fantastic idea. As it turns out, it really was!
11 Elton Has Forgiven Eminem For Slurs In His Songs
In addition to his string of hits, Eminem has also released a few diss tracks. In them, he has been known to succumb to using offensive slurs which hurt entire communities of people, rather than the individuals his songs are aimed at. But Elton has forgiven him for such slurs and still supports him when people call him homophobic.
10 Elton Is A Big Fan Of His Work
Elton John and Eminem are more than just friends. They are big fans of each other’s work and always support each other’s career endeavors. For example, in his phone interview with Eminem, Elton gushed about his diss track for Machine Gun Kelly called ‘Kill Shot’, saying that he loved it.
9 And Finds Him Hilarious
As well as being a fan of Eminem as a songwriter and performer– and caring about him as a friend– Elton thinks that Eminem is a funny guy. He appreciates his sense of humor as well as his talent. “I think there’s far more humor on Eminem’s album than people think,” he said in an interview.
8 Eminem Has A Lot Of Respect For Elton As An Artist
Friendship is a two-way street, and while Elton John is never shy to praise his friend, Eminem also occasionally gets candid about his feelings for his buddy. It’s enough to warm the heart! In one interview, the rapper said that Elton liking his work was “beautiful” and that he respects “him as an artist.”
7 Elton Saved Eminem’s Life
Ultimately, Eminem reaching out to Elton to perform with him at the Grammys in 2001 had more impact on his life than he could have ever known. Thanks to his support during Eminem’s struggle with addiction, Elton ended up saving Eminem’s life. The rapper wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for his dear friend.
6 They Have Had Similar Life Journeys In Some Ways
Eminem and Elton John are an unlikely pair and many wonder how they have even maintained their friendship through all their differences. But in some ways, they’ve actually had similar life journeys. They’re both world-renowned superstars at the top of their game. They’ve both been in rehab. And they’ve both faced negative press. It’s no wonder they understand each other!
5 They Aren’t Afraid To Say That They Love Each Other
Since their friendship has been around for quite a while, we have seen plenty of evidence over the years of Elton and Eminem gushing over each other and getting honest about how they really feel. They ended their phone interview for Interview magazine by saying that they loved each other, which gives us all the feels!
4 They Often Shout Each Other Out In Interviews
Even when they’re not interviewing each other, Elton John and Eminem still sometimes bring each other up when they’re talking to journalists. They’ve mentioned each other several times in public over the course of their friendship. And their friendship is a hot topic for journalists to ask about, so there’s plenty of opportunities for them to shout out each other.
3 They’ve Been Friends For Nearly 20 Years
Fans are still in awe over the amazing friendship between Eminem and Elton John, but still, it’s not anything new. These two go back to the 2001 Grammys, which means that they’ve been buddies for nearly 20 years. In 2021, it will be two decades since the superstars performed together and founded their enduring friendship.
2 Their Friendship Began At The Grammys
An iconic friendship like Eminem and Elton John’s had to have begun in an iconic place. The two first kicked it off after they performed together at the Grammy Awards in 2001. Elton joined Eminem on stage to sing his song ‘Stan’ and the rest, as they say, is history.
1 And It Was A Monumental Moment
The performance of 'Stan' by Eminem and Elton John wasn’t just any Grammy performance. It was monumental. Following the song, the two unlikely friends held hands on stage to show their solidarity. Headlines at the time claimed that Eminem was homophobic, so the rapper’s performance with the openly gay pop star put that to rest.
Sources: Complex, EW, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, Pink News