The producer of 'The Marshall Mathers LP' feels that pressure from protesters stopped the album from winning the Best Album prize...

DR DRE has claimed EMINEM was “robbed” at Wednesday’s GRAMMY AWARDS (February 21) when he lost out to STEELY DAN for the BEST ALBUM prize.

Speaking to NBC, Dre, the producer of Eminem’s ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’, intimated that he felt pressure from protesters unhappy at the album content prevented the academy awarding the rapper his third and what many view as the blue-ribbon gong.

“It was probably something the Grammys had to do because of the backlash that they were going to get from giving him the award,” Dre said.

Michael Greene, the president and chief executive of the academy, hit back, saying the votes had all been cast and tallied fairly, with no political manoeuvring.

“I don’t think the content of Eminem’s album had anything to do with it. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been nominated or won the other Grammy,” he said.

“The voters truly don’t care what the critics think or how they’re perceived. They’re very independent.”

Eminem himself, in a thinly veiled rebuttal to those who have accused him of homophobia, told MTV he had hoped he made a “statement” by performing a duet at the ceremony with Elton John.

“If I didn’t make a statement with Elton John tonight, I don’t know what else to do. I came to make an impact, I came to make a statement, and I guess to piss some people off.”

However, he felt the leaking of the news that the two were to share a stage lessened the impact of their appearance.

“The statement I was trying to make sort of got blown, though. We were trying to keep it under wraps that I was going to perform with Elton, but the rumour came about and it got so full-blown that it wasn’t a surprise any more.”