While the controversy over Eminem and Elton John's coupling during last week's 43rd Annual Grammy Awards may have simmered down, the duo's charged rendition of "Stan" will live on in radio stations and record stores.
With the MP3 already making the rounds on Napster, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said Tuesday it has sent the duet to stations across the country. The organization also plans to distribute "Stan" to retail music stores as a commercial single.
The Recording Academy hasn't yet set a release date yet for the hard copy, but the group has announced it will donate proceeds from the sales of the single to its MusiCares Foundation, a charity to benefit struggling musicians.
The much-talked-about duet was the climax (some might say anticlimax) to this year's music industry shindig, which was broadcast live last Wednesday from the Staples Center in Los Angeles before a global audience.
The real Slim Shady performed "Stan," his critically acclaimed but disturbing tale of a deranged fan. Elton backed the rapper on piano and vocals (which on the album track were sampled from Dido's "Thank You").
The Recording Academy reportedly allowed Eminem to perform "Stan" because it was one of the few songs from The Marshall Mathers LP that didn't include profanity at every lyrical turn. (Of course, Eminem managed to sneak a few "S"-bombs by the CBS censors.)
After the performance, both Eminem and Sir Elton clasped hands before a standing ovation. The rapper followed that by flipping off the crowd.
The performance with the openly gay John was especially symbolic considering the rapper has been a lightning rod for criticism from such groups as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who railed against his homophobic lyrics.
"GLAAD is appalled that John would share a stage with Eminem, whose words and actions promote hate and violence against gays and lesbians," said the group, which last year bestowed its highest honor, the Vito Russo Entertainer Award, on John for his efforts in fighting homophobia.
For his part, Em said the performance was statement enough.
"I didn't know he was gay," the rapper told MTV's Kurt Loder after the show. "I didn't know anything about his personal life. I didn't really care, but being that he was gay he had my back, I think it made a statement in itself saying that he understood where I was coming from."
Eminem won three of the four Grammys he was nominated for, losing the Best Album race to oldster jazz-rockers Steely Dan and their Two Against Nature.
But the rapper got a measure of revenge Monday at the Brit Awards, the U.K.'s version of the Grammys, where he picked up the Best Male International Artist. The trophy was presented by John, who gave the rapper another hug.