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McCartney praises rapper Eminem



NEW YORK -- Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has spoken of his admiration for controversial American rapper Eminem.

In an hour-long interview with CNN's Larry King, the singer/songwriter also answered questions on his late bandmate John Lennon, his new book -- an anthology of poems entitled Blackbird Singing -- and his dedication to the clearance of landmines.

He said: “I like some of the Eminem stuff because it's kind of clever. I like the rhythm, I like the attitude, and I can imagine if I was a young kid now, I'd like that.”

Along with Eminem, Sir Paul spoke of his love for Motown music, Little Richard and the late Elvis Presley.

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“Little Richard is fantastic, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, all of them. And then the next wave was Motown, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson and Nat King Cole,” he said.

“Little Richard always says 'Paul…you know, I taught you everything that you know.' I say, "That's right, Richard, it's true.'

Sir Paul also talked of his “close” relationship with the late John Lennon.

“People always say, 'Are you going to reunite?' and stuff like that. But for me, if we were on stage, the three of us, there'd be someone missing. I'd look over there and there'd be someone missing, and that'd be John.”

He also spoke of his affection for fellow ex-Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. “We're great buddies. We always will be.” The star also denied reports he had an acrimonious relationship with Yoko Ono, Lennon’s ex-wife.

“We don't not get along. But some people you may be destined to not become great buddies with. So it's not that we don't get along, just we don't talk much. We talk if we have to. I don't ring up and say: ‘Hey, Yoko, what's happening, babe?’ We don't do that.”

'Jerk of all jerks'

The deaths of both Lennon and Sir Paul’s ex-wife, Linda, feature in the work of his new anthology, Blackbird Singing.

"Here Today … is a song I wrote after John died. I was just thinking about him and remembering the good times and not so good times ... and having an imaginary conversation with him.”

Paul on a Beatles reunion:
Paul on a Beatles reunion: "If we were on stage, the three of us, there'd be someone missing"  

Another poem, Jerk of all Jerks, describes his reaction to Lennon’s killer. “What happened was on the day that John got shot ... there was this horror that someone we loved could just be mown down.

”At the end of the day, after all the tears and all the newscasts and all the pundits, who said: 'John Lennon was ... ' and I'd really said nothing ... the phrase that came to me was 'jerk of all jerks.' I just kept thinking the guy who did this is the jerk of all jerks. So I ended up writing a poem about it.”

Heather Mills, campaigner for the clearance of landmines and girlfriend of Sir Paul, joined the star as the interview wound to a close.

Both spoke of their dedication to the destruction of landmines and the plight of those injured in landmine disasters.

“The main thing is now is to clear the mine fields and help the survivor assistance,” Mills said, encouraging viewers to “adopt a mine field,” where all the proceeds are donated to landmine clearance and support for survivors.





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