Eminem and Elton John’s Friendship Is So Much Stronger Than People Realize

Eminem‘s feuds with other artists in the industry are well-documented but not too many fans are aware of the decades-long friendship he’s had with a music legend Sir Elton John.

Some may recall when the two performed “Stan” together at the Grammys in 2001 but didn’t realize how tight they became after that. In fact, it was the “Candle in the Wind” singer who helped the rapper through one of the darkest times in his life.

Elton John and Eminem onstage together after performing at The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards
Elton John and Eminem onstage together after performing at The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards | Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

They became ‘amazing friends’ after their Grammys performance

The men met during rehearsals ahead of their Grammy performance and from that moment they became “amazing friends,” according to John.

Prior to that Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, said he didn’t know much about the “Crocodile Rock” hitmaker. “Of course, I heard of Elton John,” Mathers told MTV News in 2004. “I didn’t know he was gay. I didn’t know anything about his personal life. I didn’t really care. But being that he was gay and he had my back, I think it made a statement in itself saying that he understood where I was coming from.”

The rapper recalled that when they were done performing their decision to hold hands was “more so just a statement, period.”

RELATED: Why Eminem Said He Will ‘Never Go to the Grammys Again’

Elton John helped Eminem overcome drug addiction

In his memoir titled Me, John revealed he’s Eminem’s sponsor.

Em previously opened up about that and why he reached out to John for help. “When I first wanted to get sober, I called him,” the “Lost Yourself” lyricist said per The Guardian. “He’s somebody who’s in the business and can identify and relate to the lifestyle and how hectic things can be. He understands… the pressure and any other reasons that you want to come up with for doing drugs.”

Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem author Anthony Bozza added: “As a fellow musical superstar with nearly 30 years of sobriety under his belt, Elton John was the perfect mentor to help guide Marshall.”

John says he is so ‘proud’ of the rapper

Eminem accepts award from Sir Elton John at the 2001 Brit Awards
Eminem accepts award from Sir Elton John at the 2001 Brit Awards | Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Over the years, the Rocket Man and Slim Shady have praised one another publicly. John stated that he is a big fan of Em’s music and still has his back despite what others think of the rapper’s lyrics.

“For me, Eminem was never homophobic,” John told Beat’s 1 host Zane Lowe. “I listened to the whole of The Marshall Mathers LP album when I drove to a show in South Hampton and I was floored by it. And I thought how could anyone think this is… he’s just writing about the way things are. Not how he thinks, but the way things are… I’ll fight for anyone who is misunderstood and misrepresented by the idiots out there.”

In another interview, the duo expressed their love and admiration for each other with John telling the hip-hop star how “proud” he is of him. “I’m just so proud of you,” the “Tiny Dancer” singer said during their conversation for Interview magazine. “You’ve worked so hard on yourself, and no one deserves this more than you, Marshall, and I love you from a long way away, okay?” To which Eminem responds: “Thank you, Elton. I love you, too.”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.