Eminem and Elton John, "Stan" (2001)
Activist groups gathered outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles on the eve of the 2001 Grammy Awards, carrying signs with slogans like "Award Music, Not Hate." They were stirred to opposition by the gay slurs and references to violence against women on Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP, which was up for Album of the Year. Hoping to ease tensions, Recording Academy President Michael Greene introduced Eminem's performance with a sanctimonious lecture titled "It Takes Tolerance to Teach Tolerance." But once Elton John, wearing a pink-and-yellow polka dot suit, joined Em to soulfully sing Dido's hook, the rapper's dramatic performance rose above the controversy. Elton spoke of Eminem in the most glowing terms: "When we started to do the song and Eminem made his entrance, I got goosebumps, the likes of which I have not felt since I first saw Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, James Brown and Aretha Franklin."