WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (AP) - Lynne Cheney said Tuesday she is ``amazed and dismayed'' that rock star Elton John is going to perform at the Grammys with rapper Eminem, whose lyrics chronicle violence against women and gays. The vice president's wife has taken an active role in condemning the music industry for promoting artists with violent lyrics and has been especially critical of Eminem. ``This certainly isn't the first time, but Eminem is certainly, I think, the most extreme example of rock lyrics used to demean women, advocate violence against women, violence against gay people,'' Mrs. Cheney said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. ``Elton John has been good in the past about speaking out on issues of equality for gay people, on issues of being against violent language against gay people,'' she said. ``I am quite amazed and dismayed that he would choose to perform with Eminem.'' John has said he hopes to influence Eminem at the Grammys to deliver his message in a more respectable way. Wednesday's award show in Los Angeles could be a big night for Eminem. The rapper's ``The Marshall Mathers LP'' has been nominated by the Recording Academy for album of the year, and Eminem is nominated for three other awards. Since word of the nominations were announced, Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, has been criticized by gay and women's groups for what they regard as his misogynist and anti-gay lyrics. Gay and women's groups plan to protest outside the ceremony. Eminem has said his lyrics should not be taken literally, and that they should be taken with a ``grain of salt.'' In her interview, Mrs. Cheney said the ``Parental Advisory'' label put on Eminem's albums by the record industry aren't useful, because they don't keep retailers from selling the music to children.

``The label is part of the problem,'' Mrs. Cheney said. ``It makes it seem as though the recording industry is trying to put some barrier between Eminem's lyrics'' and children.

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