Eminem paid tribute to those killed and injured at last week's Pukkelpop stage collapse in Belgium, as a host of special guests - including Rihanna - joined him for his headline set at V Festival 2011 in Chelmsford.
Following a Star Wars-style intro on the big screens, the rapper burst onstage in a grey hoodie, with hood up, for early numbers like ‘Kill You’ and ‘No Love’.
Mistakenly addressing the crowd as “London”, he dedicated ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ to: “anyone who’s ever had beef with their parents”, the song culminating in chants of: “fuck Mom, fuck Dad”, before a ferocious ‘The Way I Am’.
D12 then took to the stage to perform ‘Fight Music’ and ‘Purple Pills’ with their leader, and the guests kept on coming, with Royce Da 5’9″ on hand to perform a couple of songs from the pair’s Bad Meets Evil project, including ‘Lighters’.
Returning to solo duties, Eminem then played a crowd-pleasing ‘Stan’, followed by ‘Sing For The Moment’, ‘Like Toy Soldiers’ and current single ‘Space Bound’.
He then lamented that he: “hadn’t talked to the ladies yet”, saying: “this one’s for anyone who’s ever been in a dysfunctional relationship,” as Rihanna arrived onstage to sing duet ‘Love The Way You Lie’, with the pair embracing at the song’s end.
As Rihanna left, Skylar Grey arrived to sing on ‘I Need A Doctor’. ‘My Name Is’, dedicated to: “fans of real hip-hop” began a run of classic singles to finish the set, with ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘Without Me’ coming next.
Eminem prefaced main set closer ‘Not Afraid’ to the Pukkelpop stage collapse, saying: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you”, and also shouting out: “anyone who’s donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.”
The star then encored with ‘Lose Yourself’, raising a peace sign as V Festival drew to a close for another year.
Check back for our V Festival 2011 review.