Entertainment & Arts

Sia gives Eminem collaboration money to LGBT charity

Image caption Sia has collaborated with artists as diverse as Britney Spears, David Guetta, Eminem, Flo Rida and Zero 7

Australian singer Sia will donate proceeds from her recent collaboration with Eminem, a track called Beautiful Pain, to the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.

She recorded the duet for the rapper's new album, which features a series of homophobic slurs on the song Rap God.

Sia, who identifies herself as "queer", said she was "anxious" after hearing the track.

She eventually decided to give her fee to homeless LGBT youths after blogger Keo Nozari confronted her on Twitter.

He criticised Eminem's "hate speech" as "wholly insensitive to human rights".

Nozari, who later wrote about their Twitter discussion in a Huffington Post blog, cited Rap God's offensive lyrics - including the line "you fags think it's all a game" - and referenced recent incidents of bullying and suicide, before asking "How is this good for LGBT kids?"

Sia, who had a UK number one last year as the vocalist on David Guetta's Titanium, initially defended Eminem.

"I know personally that he is not homophobic, but a performance artist," she tweeted.

"I would never work with someone I believed to be homophobic. I respect that he can be misinterpreted in the worst way by the ignorami, and that scares me, but I respect him as an artist and person."

However, Nozari replied: "What happens behind the scenes is invisible to most. [There is an] argument to be made [that] what an artist expresses publicly in their work matters most."

He continued: "Fortunately I'm a grown, confident man. But for vulnerable kids in our community these words affect them deeply."

'Very anxious'

Sia's vocals and song-writing skills are currently in demand and she has recently penned tracks for Britney Spears, Rihanna and Katy Perry.

Her track Elastic Heart, a collaboration with The Weeknd and Diplo, will also feature on the soundtrack to the forthcoming fantasy sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

"I am queer, and love my queers, young and old," said Sia on Twitter.

"I work with the Center and homeless LGBT kids, and when I heard Rap God I was very anxious."

Image caption Eminem's critics have called his lyrics homophobic and misogynistic

She attributed Eminem's homophobic lyrics to his character Slim Shady who "represents the worst and darkest bile of America", but she added she could "see how it can be unclear" for young people.

Sia concluded that she would think about her discussion with Nozari.

The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center later confirmed on Twitter that the singer had decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from Beautiful Pain to it.

Eminem was questioned about his use of homophobic phrases when interviewed by Rolling Stone this year, when he suggested he did not equate the words he used to homosexuality.

Eminem said: "I think people know my personal stance on things and the personas that I create in my music."

He continued: "And if someone doesn't understand that by now, I don't think there's anything I can do to change their mind about it."

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