It was odd enough when Eminem and Rihanna first worked together on the No. 1 hit "Love the Way You Lie" in 2010.
Perhaps the oddness was what made the unusual pairing attractive to both superstars. Rihanna told "Access Hollywood" when the single about domestic abuse was released that she was eager to be part of the project. "It's something that, you know, we've both experienced, you know, on different sides, different ends of the table," she said. "He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence and it's something that people don't have a lot of insight on."
However, Eminem and Rihanna's decision to team up together again for the "Monster" single and now "The Monster Tour" should take the strangeness quotient to new heights. "I'm not going to tell you how crazy these 'Monster' shows are going to be," Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg, tweeted last month. "I'd never do that." (Maybe Eminem's Lollapalooza set last week offers a clue, as Rihanna joined him to do "Love the Way You Lie," "Monster" and "Stan," as she sang Dido's parts.)
To commemorate "The Monster Tour," which stops at MetLife Stadium next Saturday and Sunday, we look at Eminem and Rihanna's 10 most shocking moments -- other than, you know, agreeing to tour together.
1. Eminem and Elton John do 'Stan' at the Grammys (2001)
Eminem was up for four Grammys, including album of the year for "The Marshall Mathers LP," but he was also being protested by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for what the group said were his "hate-filled" and "homophobic" lyrics. Gay icon Elton John, however, believed that Eminem's use of homophobic slurs was part of the Marshall Mathers character and agreed to join Em in a surprise performance of "Stan," after which they hugged.
2. Rihanna vs. Chris Brown (2013)
Their on-again, off-again relationship continued to be on-again, off-again even after Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting her in 2009. However, by last year, things were definitely off-again. Rihanna responded to Brown's hinting that they had another collaboration in the works for his upcoming album with a quote: " you will die, be born again, die again and be born again before I do a song with you.... "
3. Eminem vs. Mariah Carey (2003-09)
Did they have a relationship or didn't they? He says yes, she says no. What's for sure is that the back-and-forth between the two superstars over the years is basically unprecedented. On "Bagpipes From Baghdad," he talks about their breakup and how he was locked in her wine cellar. She countered -- yes, divas beef, too! -- with the clever "Obsessed," but Em wouldn't let it go, threatening in "The Warning" to release photos and voice mail Mariah left him when they were "dating."
4. Rihanna leaves Instagram (2014)
She had built up quite a following over the years with her near-constant stream of revealing selfies. But when Instagram briefly disabled her account in May after she posted several racy topless photos, RiRi left and never went back -- to the shock of her 35 million followers. You can find her @rihanna on Twitter now.
5. Eminem moons MTV Movie Awards audience (2004)
Performing with his group D12 and dressed like Axl Rose of Guns 'N Roses, complete with codpiece, Eminem ended the song by dropping his pants and baring his butt.
6. Rihanna kisses Britney Spears (2011)
Rihanna's single "S&M" was racy enough, but when she performed it live on the Billboard Music Awards with Britney Spears, as they both spun around stripper poles, she took it to the next level, before ending with a kiss.
7. Eminem threatens Moby (2002)
In 2001, Moby answered a fan question about Eminem, saying, "From my perspective, misogyny and homophobia are always wrong. . . . Would the music community be defending him if he was an anti-Semite or a racist instead of a homophobe and a misogynist?" Eminem responded with a homophobic slur and a dig of "It's over, nobody listens to techno." However, he escalated the battle against Moby at the MTV Video Music Awards, calling him a girl during an award acceptance speech and saying, "I will hit a man with glasses."
8. 'The Real Slim Shady' single (2000)
Arguably the biggest dis song ever, Eminem takes on everyone from Pamela Anderson to Britney Spears, though it's Christina Aguilera who gets the most abuse after she dared to speak up against him, calling her derogatory names and claiming she had sex with Carson Daly and Fred Durst.
9. Rihanna's 'The 777 Tour' (2012)
It sounded like a good idea -- playing seven countries in seven days on a Delta 777 to promote her "Unapologetic" album. However, the trip was filled with delays and logistical mistakes that were dutifully reported by all the journalists on the plane. And because RiRi didn't grant interviews and wasn't seen much on the plane, they had little else to write about. The reporters became sarcastically known as "The Rihanna 150," as if they were hostages, and they staged a mini-riot, complete with a streaking Aussie journalist.
10. Rihanna gets kicked off an Irish farm for being 'inappropriate' (2011)
She was filming the video for "We Found Love" in Northern Ireland, but the owner of the farm found the filming upsetting, as Rihanna began to wear less and less. "If someone wants to borrow my field and things become inappropriate, then I say, 'Enough is enough,'" said farmer Alan Graham. "I wish no ill will against Rihanna and her friends. Perhaps they could acquaint themselves with a greater God."