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Elton John has defended Eminem over claims that the rapper is homophobic.

The legendary icon, who performed with the Stan rapper at the 2001 Grammy Awards, has insisted that Eminem is just “misunderstood”.

During his career, the rapper has included an array of offensive homophobic and misogynistic lyrics in his work, including on his celebrated album, Marshal Mathers.

On one song, he raps:  “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge That’ll stab you in the head, whether you’re a fag or lez, Or the homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest, Pants or dress, hate fags? The answer’s ‘yes’”.

Despite this, Elton has said that he was “floored” when he heard the album for the first time.

“I thought how could anyone think this is [what he really thinks]? He’s just writing about the way things are. Not how he thinks, but the way things are.”

“I’m always a supporter of the people that are getting trashed. For me Eminem was never homophobic. I’ll fight for anyone who is misunderstood and misrepresented by the idiots out there,” he told Beats 1.

In the past, Eminem has tried to defend his homophobic lyrics, saying that he’s “never equated” the word “faggot” with homosexuality.

“I don’t know how to say this without saying it how I’ve said it a million times… But [faggot], those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words  [with being gay],” he told Rolling Stone in 2013.

“It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole… I poke fun at other people, myself,” he said, adding, “But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all.”

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