Elton John recently praised Jay-Z for his pro-gay marriage stance. But for the singer, words may not be enough. In a recent interview, he explained why Jay-Z’s words had such an impact on the national discussion.
“Jay-Z, who is probably the most respected African-American artist, came out and said not only is it wrong to not have gay marriage, but any discrimination in life is wrong. It was an incredibly moving statement,” Elton explained to NBC News. “I said, ‘You have no idea what you’ve said. How powerful it is.’ And the African-American society were a little apprehensive about this all along.”
In May, Jay-Z co-signed President Obama’s revised position, in which the president switched courses to support the rights of gays to marry.
“I’ve always thought it as something that was still holding the country back,” Jay-Z said, referring to the laws that bar gays from marrying in all but six states and Washington, D.C. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
For Sir Elton, an outspoken member and activist in the gay community, the rapper’s words represented a landmark change in sentiment. But this is not the first such moment he has shared with a rapper. In 2001, he performed at the Grammys alongside Eminem, who was being boycotted by gay rights group GLAAD. John stood in for Dido for a rendition of Eminem’s “Stan,” and the performance became a standout moment that brought together Elton and Eminem fans.
Likewise, Jay-Z’s words had a big impact on a generation of fans, which is why he now hopes to embrace more than Jigga’s words.
“I respect him so much for doing that,” Elton said. “When I next see him, I’m going to give him the biggest hug.”
— E. Parker, CBS Local