LOS ANGELES - He may profess not to ``give a damn'' about the Grammys, but controversial rap star Eminem (news - web sites) has agreed to perform at the 43rd edition of America's top music awards later this month.
The 28-year-old Detroit rapper will join an entertainment lineup for the live Feb. 21 telecast on CBS that already includes country star Dolly Parton, pop diva Madonna (news - web sites), Irish rock group U2, boy band 'N Sync (news - web sites) and hip-hop trio Destiny's Child, organizers of the show announced Friday.
But a spokeswoman for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presents the awards, said details about Eminem's performance, including what song he would sing, have not been ironed out.
Eminem is a nominee for four Grammy Awards this year, including the banner category of album of the year for his chart-topping latest album, ``The Marshall Mathers LP.'' He won two Grammys last year in rap categories.
While artists who appear on the Grammys generally enjoy a boost in record sales, Eminem was said to have been ambivalent about performing on an awards show that he has ridiculed in his lyrics and music videos.
In ``The Real Slim Shady,'' a hit single off ``The Marshall Mathers LP,'' he sings: ``You think I give a damn about a Grammy? Half you critics can't even stomach me, let alone stand me.''
The rap star apparently got over whatever concerns he may have had about the Grammys undermining his ``street'' credibility with hard-core rap fans. But he remains a lightning rod for controversy.
Eminem has drawn sharp criticism over the past two years for lyrics that appear to glorify rape, murder and homophobia. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation took the recording academy to task last month for giving Grammy recognition to ``messages that endorse hatred.''
Many music critics, however, have hailed Eminem as an edgy, groundbreaking performer, and even openly gay pop star Elton John has heralded ``The Marshall Mathers LP'' as ``intelligent, hard-core stuff.''
The prospect of an Eminem appearance on the Grammys also has raised questions about how CBS and the Grammy producers will handle his usual expletive-laced performance.
One option would be for Eminem to perform a ``clean'' version of his material, as he did on NBC's ``Saturday Night Live'' and last year's American Music Awards show
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )