Singer Barbara hails 'genius' of rapper Eminem

By Maureen Coleman
mcoleman@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

24 February 2004
Barbara Dickson: A fan on rap star EminemBELFAST-bound singer Barbara Dickson today revealed an unexpected choice of musical hero – controversial rapper Eminem.

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The Scottish-born star, who plays the Waterfront Hall tonight, hailed the US rap artist a “genius” and “a modern-day Bob Dylan”.

Barbara was speaking before her Belfast show, which is part of the UK tour to promote her latest album, entitled The Platinum Collection.

The singer, best known for her number one single with Elaine Paige I Know Him So Well, also said she would love to see Eminem in concert.

“I don’t really think much of a lot of the music around today, particularly those reality TV stars, who really just produce disposable music,” she said.

“I quite like Daniel Bedingfield, but my favourite contemporary artist is undoubtedly Eminem.

“I think the man is a total genius. He’s funny and clever and fabulous and writes great lyrics.

“I’d love to see him in concert. I really think he’s the new Bob Dylan, an extremely talented man.”

Concert-goers at Barbara’s show tonight won’t be treated to any Eminem covers, despite her admiration for the star.

But she will be singing many of the songs which made her one of the biggest selling female artists of the ’70s and ’80s.

And she’s looking forward to getting back to Belfast, which she says is one of her favourite venues.

“During the Troubles when many acts wouldn’t come to Northern Ireland I was very keen to get over and play,” she said.

“I really felt it was important to bring as much normality to the place as possible and the great thing was that people seemed to appreciate the music all the more.

“The reception I always get in Belfast is fantastic. I have a real affinity with the place.

“In fact, I used to share a flat with a Belfast girl in Edinburgh and she introduced me to traditional Irish music.

“I’ve great memories of playing in Belfast and Derry and heading off to Donegal.

“I love Dublin too but I always think Belfast has a real edge about it, which you can’t find anywhere else throughout Ireland.”