Artist

Eminem

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Biography

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), best known by his stage name Eminem, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter, and actor. In addition to his solo career, Eminem is a member of the group D12, as well as one half of the hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil, alongside Royce da 5'9", Danny Brown, Big Sean and Trick Trick as the performers. Shady XV was released on November 24, 2014, in the week of Black Friday and consists of one greatest hits disc and one disc of new material from Shady Records artists such as D12, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, and Yelawolf. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 138,000 copies in the United States.

As Eminem succeeded in multi-platinum record sales, Interscope granted him his own record label. He and his manager Paul Rosenberg created Shady Records in late 1999. He followed this by signing his own Detroit collective D12 and rapper Obie Trice to the label. In 2002, Eminem signed 50 Cent through a joint venture between Shady and Dr. Dre's Aftermath label. In 2003, Eminem and Dr. Dre signed Atlanta rapper Stat Quo to the Shady/Aftermath roster. DJ Green Lantern, the former DJ for Eminem, was signed to Shady Records until a dispute related to the 50 Cent / Jadakiss feud forced him to depart from the label; he is no longer associated with Eminem. The Alchemist is now officially Eminem's tour DJ. In 2005, Eminem signed another Atlanta rapper, Bobby Creekwater, to his label along with West Coast rapper Cashis.

On December 5, 2006, Shady Records released compilation album, Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. It started out as a mixtape but Eminem found that the material was better than expected and released it as a full album. It was meant to help launch the new artists under the roster, like Stat Quo, Cashis and Bobby Creekwater. Around the time of recording Infinite, Eminem and rappers Proof and Kon Artis gathered the group of rappers now collectively in the group D12, short for "Detroit Twelve" or "Dirty Dozen", performing in the manner of the multi-man group Wu-Tang Clan. In 2001, Eminem brought his rap group, D12, to the popular music scene, and the group's debut album Devil's Night came out that year. The first single released off of the album was "Shit on You", followed by "Purple Pills", an ode to recreational drug use. For radio and television, the censored version was heavily rewritten to remove many of the song's references to drugs and sex and was renamed "Purple Hills". While that single was a hit, the album's second single, "Fight Music", was not as successful.

After their debut, D12 took a three-year break from the studio, later regrouping to release their second album, D12 World, in 2004, which featured the popular hit single release "My Band". In April 2006, D12 member (and Eminem's childhood friend) Deshaun "Proof" Holton was killed in a club brawl on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan, with US military veteran Keith Bender, Jr., who also died in the fray. The eruption is suspected to have been due to an argument over a game of pool. Proof was then allegedly shot by the bouncer Mario Etheridge, Bender's cousin. He was taken by private vehicle to St. John Health's Conner Creek Campus, an outpatient emergency treatment site, but pronounced dead on arrival. Eminem and former Detroit Shady Records artist Obie Trice spoke at the funeral. D12 member Bizarre said that Eminem is not featured on his new album Blue Cheese & Coney Island because "he's busy doing his thing". D12 released a mixtape in 2011 titled Return of the Dozen Volume 2 only featuring Eminem on one song, "Fame" unlike the group's previous mixtape Return of the Dozen where Eminem is not on any tracks.

In January 2014, Bass Brothers announced that D12 had returned to record at F.B.T. Studio and that they were working on a new album featuring Eminem in at least three songs they had completed. Bizarre also announced that he was still part of the group and that the album would be released in 2014.

Although he had a small part in the 2001 film The Wash, Eminem made his official Hollywood acting debut with the semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile, released in November 2002. He has said the movie is not an account of his life, but a representation of growing up in Detroit. He recorded several new songs for the soundtrack, including "Lose Yourself," which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2003, and went on to become the longest-running #1 hip hop single. The song was not performed at the award ceremony due to Eminem's absence. His collaborator, Luis Resto, who co-wrote the song, accepted the award.

Eminem has contributed his voice-acting skills to various projects, including the videogame 50 Cent: Bulletproof, where he voices an aging corrupt police officer who speaks in Ebonics; guest spots on the Comedy Central television show Crank Yankers; and a Web cartoon called The Slim Shady Show, which has since been taken offline and is sold on DVD. He will be involved in either the soundtrack or scoring. He was also considered for the part of David Rice in the 2008 film Jumper after Tom Sturridge was dropped two weeks before filming. However, director Doug Liman, concerned that Eminem was not well known enough as an actor, selected Hayden Christensen for the role. He also had a cameo appearance in the 2009 movie Funny People, in which he is involved in an argument with Ray Romano.

Eminem, playing himself, appeared alongside Christina Aguilera on the Entourage Season 7 finale, 'Lose Yourself'.

Eminem was offered the lead role in the 2013 sci-fi film Elysium, but reportedly turned it down because director Neill Blomkamp was unwilling to change the film's setting from Los Angeles to Eminem's native Detroit. Blomkamp gave the role to Matt Damon.

Eminem had a cameo appearance in the 2014 film The Interview as himself. In an interview with the main character Dave Skylark, played by James Franco, Eminem comes out as gay.

On October 21, 2008, Eminem released a tell-all autobiography, The Way I Am. The book details his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak and depression, and includes stories of his rise to fame and commentaries on past controversies. It also contains some of the original lyric sheets from songs such as "Stan" and "The Real Slim Shady."

Eminem's mother, Debbie Nelson, also released an autobiography entitled My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem in November 2008, in which she describes her childhood and adolescence; meeting Eminem's father, Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr.; and Eminem's rise to and struggles with fame.

Eminem was featured in two commercials that aired during Super Bowl XLV. The first, for Lipton's Brisk Iced Tea, was a one-minute spot that featured him as a claymation figure. The other was a two-minute ad, at that time the longest in Super Bowl history, for the Chrysler 200. It featured Eminem driving through Detroit and ended with him taking the stage at the Fox Theatre with "Lose Yourself" playing as the soundtrack.

Eminem has also founded his own charity named The Marshall Mathers Foundation, assisting disadvantaged youth. The foundation frequently works in conjunction with a charity founded by Norman Yatooma, a high profile Detroit attorney.

Eminem has named several MCs who influenced his rapping style, including Esham, Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Newcleus, Ice-T, Mantronix, Melle Mel (specifically the track "The Message"), LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Run–D.M.C., Rakim, and Boogie Down Productions.

In the book How to Rap, Guerilla Black notes that Eminem studied other MCs to create his rapping technique: "Eminem listened to everything and that's what made him one of the greats". In the same book, Eminem is praised for various aspects of his rapping technique by numerous other MCs; these techniques include his varied and humorous subject matter, connecting with his audience, carrying a concept over a series of albums, complex rhyme schemes, his ability to bend words so that they rhyme, his use of multisyllabic rhymes, fitting many rhymes in each bar, complex rhythms, clear enunciation, use of melody, and syncopation. He is also known to write the majority of his lyrics down on paper, as documented in his book The Way I Am, as well as taking a few days or a week to craft lyrics, being a "workaholic", and "stacking" vocals.

Eminem employs alter egos in his songs for different styles of rapping and subject matter. His most famous and popular alter ego, "Slim Shady", first appeared in the Slim Shady EP. Under this personality, Eminem's songs are violent and dark with a comical twist. Though his Slim Shady persona has remained, Eminem did not include it in Recovery as much because he did not feel it fit the theme.

Another character Eminem has portrayed is Ken Kaniff, a homosexual who pokes fun at Eminem's songs. Ken was created and originally played by fellow Detroit rapper Aristotle in the Slim Shady LP, where Kaniff places a prank call to Eminem. An argument after the album's release prompted Eminem to use the Kaniff character in several skits, first in the Marshall Mathers LP, and in later albums (except for Encore and Recovery). Aristotle, angry that Eminem used his character, created a mixtape in which he rapped in his Kaniff persona, denigrating Eminem.

See also: Eminem production discography and Eminem guest appearances

Although he typically collaborates with various rappers under Aftermath Entertainment and Shady Records, such as Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, D12, Obie Trice and also, Yelawolf, Eminem has collaborated with many other artists, including Redman, Kid Rock, DMX, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Drake, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Xzibit, Method Man, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Sticky Fingaz, T.I., and Young Jeezy among others. Eminem rapped a verse in a live performance of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It" remix at the 2006 BET Music Awards on June 27, 2006. Eminem was featured on Akon's single "Smack That" which appeared on his album Konvicted. He was featured on Lil Wayne's hit song "Drop the World". He is featured on the lead single off 50 Cent's fifth studio album Street King Immortal titled "My Life".

Eminem is also an active rap producer. Besides being the executive producer of D12's first two albums, Devil's Night and D12 World, he has executive produced Obie Trice's Cheers and Second Round's on Me as well as 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre. In addition, Eminem has produced songs by other famous rappers, such as Jadakiss' "Welcome To D-Block", Jay-Z's "Renegade" and "Moment of Clarity" Lloyd Banks' "On Fire", "Warrior Part 2", and "Hands Up", Tony Yayo's "Drama Setter", Trick-Trick's "Welcome 2 Detroit", and Xzibit's "My Name" and "Don't Approach Me". Most of The Eminem Show was produced by Eminem himself, with co-production from longtime collaborator Jeff Bass. He split the production with Dr. Dre on Encore. In 2004, Eminem was the Executive Producer of 2Pac's posthumous album Loyal to the Game with 2Pac's mother Afeni Shakur. He produced the UK number one single "Ghetto Gospel" which featured Elton John. He has produced "The Cross" off Nas's album God's Son. On August 15, 2006, Obie Trice released Second Round's on Me. Eminem produced 8 tracks on the album. He was featured in the song "There They Go". Eminem produced some tracks on Trick-Trick's album, The Villain. He is also featured in "Who Want It". Eminem also produced four songs on Cashis's 2013 album The County Hound 2.

With regard to the productions on his own records, Eminem is seen as having an unusual style in that rather than write to beats he typically starts with an idea of how he wants his song to be structured based on the lyrics and then creates music according to that. A notable exception to this was the song "Stan", which came from an idea and scratch track produced by Mark the 45 King. After not significantly contributing production for his own records on Relapse and Recovery, on 2013's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 Eminem produced a significant amount of the album. He spoke on producing his own songs saying, "Sometimes, I may get something in my head, like an idea or the mood of something that I would want, and I'm not always gonna get that by going through different tracks that other people have made. They don't know what's in my head. I think maybe it helps, a little bit, with diversity, the sound of it, but also, I would get something in my head and want to be able to lay down that idea from scratch."

As a lyricist and perhaps moreso as white performer who has gained prominence in a genre heavily influenced by black artists, Eminem has been compared at various times to Bob Dylan. In turn, rapper Asher Roth has earned many comparisons to Eminem, so much so that Roth devoted a track on his album to the famed rapper, entitled "As I Em."

Eminem and Christian hip hop artist KJ-52 were often compared to each other, with many calling KJ-52 the "Christian counterpart" of Eminem. KJ-52's single, "Dear Slim," became controversial among Eminem fans when it was featured on the hit show Total Request Live. Although KJ-52 claimed the song was not intended to be disrespectful, he received hate mail about it that included death threats. The single was disparaged by VH1 as #26 on their "Top 40 Worst Moments in Hip Hop".

Eminem has been the subject of much scrutiny, both as a rapper and in his personal life. He was married twice to Kimberly Anne "Kim" Scott, whom he met in high school. He first met Kim when he was 15 and she was 13 while he was standing on a table with his shirt off rapping LL Cool J's "I'm Bad." Kim had run away from her home as a teenager, along with her twin sister Dawn. The sisters moved in with Eminem and his mother Debbie Mathers when he was 15. He began his on-and-off relationship with Kim in 1989. Their daughter Hailie was born on December 25, 1995. The couple married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. Even though he told Rolling Stone in 2002 "I would rather have a baby through my penis than get married again", he remarried Kim in January 2006. However, he soon ended their second marriage by filing for divorce in early April 2006. The two agreed to share custody of Hailie.

In early 2010, Eminem publicly denied tabloid reports that he and Kim had reunited. Eminem had legal custody of his younger half-brother, Nate Kane, during Nate's adolescence. Nate is mentioned in the song "Headlights".

Regarding his religious views, Eminem said in 2009 "I definitely pray a lot more than I used to. I don't feel like I'm crazy wacky religious. But I do believe in God, and I do pray."

On November 5, 2013, Eminem released the track "Headlights" on his eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 as an apology to his mother, Debbie Mathers.

In 1999, Eminem's mother Debbie sued him for around US $10 million over his alleged slander of her on The Slim Shady LP. She was awarded about US $1,600 in damages in 2001.

Eminem was arrested on June 3, 2000 during an altercation with Douglas Dail at a car audio store in Royal Oak, Michigan, where Eminem pulled out an unloaded gun and kept it pointed at the ground. The next day, in Warren, Michigan, he allegedly saw his then wife, Kim, kiss bouncer John Guerrera in the parking lot of the Hot Rock Café, resulting in Eminem assaulting the bouncer and being arrested. Eminem recreated the Guerrera assault in a skit on his fourth album, The Eminem Show, on the track "The Kiss (Skit)". Eminem was charged with possession of a concealed weapon and assault. He pled guilty to the charges and was given two years' probation for both episodes.

On July 7, 2000, Kim attempted suicide by slashing her wrists. Kim later sued Eminem for defamation after he depicted her violent death in his song "Kim".

On October 26, 2000, Eminem was to perform at a concert in Toronto's Skydome. However, Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty argued that Canada should not allow Eminem to enter the country. "I personally don't want anyone coming to Canada who will come here and advocate violence against women," he said. Flaherty claimed to have been "disgusted" when he read transcriptions of Eminem's song "Kill You", which includes lines such as "Slut, you think I won't choke no whore / till the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?" The public generally reacted negatively to Flaherty's position, with many saying the issue was one of free speech. Liberal MPP Michael Bryant suggested that the government lay hate crime charges against Eminem for the advocacy of violence against women found in his lyrics. In a The Globe and Mail editorial, author Robert Everett-Green wrote, "Being offensive is Eminem's job description." Eminem's Toronto concert went on as planned that night.

D'Angelo Bailey, a sanitation worker, sued Eminem in 2001 and accused him of invading his privacy by publicizing (in the song "Brain Damage") unreasonable information that put him in a false light. Bailey admitted that he picked on Eminem but said he merely "bumped" him at school and threw a "little shove." The charges were dismissed on October 20, 2003.

On June 28, 2001, Eminem was sentenced to one year's probation on weapons charges stemming from an argument with an employee of Psychopathic Records. He was also fined around $2,000 and required to perform several hours of community service.

On March 31, 2002, French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier filed a $10 million lawsuit against Eminem and Dr. Dre, claiming the beat for "Kill You" was stolen from his jazz instrumental "Pulsion". Loussier demanded that all sales of the album be halted and any remaining copies destroyed. A trial date was set to begin in June 2004. The case was later settled.

On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States, George W. Bush, after the song "We as Americans", as an unreleased bootleg, circulated with the lyrics "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead, it's never been said but I set precedents." The incident was later referenced in the video for his song "Mosh" as one of several news clips on a wall, along with other newspaper articles about other unfortunate incidents in Bush's career. The song eventually appeared on the album's bonus disc, where the lyrics were extensively censored.

In 2005, Eminem was sued by his aunt and uncle, Jack and Betty Schmitt. They claimed that Eminem had promised them a $350,000 house and the money to maintain it, and instead kept the house in his name and tried to evict them from it.

In 2007, Eminem's music publishing company Eight Mile Style LLC, together with Martin Affiliated LLC, filed suit against Apple Inc. and Aftermath Entertainment, claiming that Aftermath did not have the appropriate authority to negotiate a deal with Apple for digital downloads of 93 Eminem songs on Apple's iTunes service. The case against Apple was settled shortly after the trial began in late September 2009.

In July 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in F.B.T. Productions, LLC v. Aftermath Records that F.B.T. Productions and Eminem were owed a royalty of 50% of the net revenue Aftermath obtained by licensing Eminem's recordings to companies like Apple Inc., Sprint, Nextel, Cingular, and T-Mobile. In March 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld this ruling.

Eminem has spoken about his addiction to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium. His group-mate Proof from D12 stated that Eminem "sobered up" in 2002 from drug and alcohol use. During production of 8 Mile, Eminem worked on the set 16 hours a day and began to have trouble sleeping. An associate provided Eminem with an Ambien that effectively "knocked out," which led him to get a prescription. This would be Eminem's first experience with drug addiction that would follow him for several years afterward. Near the end of production on Encore, Eminem would "just go into the studio and goof off a pocketful of pills." Eminem began taking the drugs to "feel normal," which involved taking a "ridiculous amount I could consume anywhere from 40 to 60 Valium . Vicodin maybe 30." Essentially, the drugs never allowed Eminem to sleep for more than two hours a night, after which he'd only take more. He grew to 230 pounds and was eating fast food regularly: "The kids behind the counter knew me – it wouldn't even faze them. Or I'd sit up at Denny's or Big Boy and just eat by myself. It was sad." Publicly, he became rather unrecognizable due to the added weight; once, he overheard two teens arguing whether it was him or not, maintaining that "Eminem ain't fat."

Eminem's struggle with prescription drugs peaked in a December 2007 overdose on methadone. He had first bought methadone from a dealer asserting it was "just like Vicodin, and easier on liver." Eminem continued to buy more until collapsing in his bathroom one night, after which he was rushed to the hospital. Doctors informed him that he had taken the equivalent of four bags of heroin, and was "about two hours from dying." After missing Christmas with his children, Eminem checked himself out of the facilities and, not yet fully detoxed, was completely drained of strength. When he tore his meniscus "after falling asleep for literally 10 minutes," he underwent surgery; following this, he went home and had a seizure. He relapsed within three weeks, and after a month his addiction was in full swing again. He began to attend church meetings to get clean, but after being asked for autographs, he instead called a rehab counselor who helped him for the first time. Eminem began exercising and running excessively, and effectively went sober on April 20, 2008. Friend Elton John was a mentor during this time; John would call Eminem once a week to check on him.

On April 11, 2006, Eminem's best friend and fellow D12 member, Proof, was killed by club bouncer Mario Etheridge by gunshot wounds to the head and chest at the CCC Club on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan, after Proof fatally shot Keith Bender, Jr. On April 19, 2006, Eminem, D12, 50 Cent, and thousands of others attended Proof's funeral at The Fellowship Chapel, Detroit. Eminem made two songs about Proof's death on his album Recovery, titled "Going Through Changes" and "You're Never Over", and mentions Proof in other songs such as "Deja Vu", "Beautiful", and "Cinderella Man". In 2010, the Eminem song "Difficult" was leaked online; the song is a tribute to Proof.

Eminem was involved in many controversies over lyrics which have been perceived as being homophobic; an Australian politician attempted to ban entry for Eminem because of these lyrics. Eminem, however, denies that he is homophobic and says that during his upbringing such words as faggot and queer were commonly spoken as being derogatory in general and not implicitly aimed toward homosexuals. During an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, journalist Anderson Cooper had a conversation about the issue with Eminem:

Eminem is a friend of singer Elton John, who is gay. When asked in an interview with The New York Times about same-sex marriage being legalized in his home state of Michigan, Eminem responded, "I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want". He said that his "overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be."

Eminem has frequently been referred to as one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. He was ranked 83rd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and was ranked 79th on the VH1 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time. He was also named the Best Rapper Alive by Vibe magazine in 2008. In 2010, MTV Portugal ranked Eminem as the seventh biggest icon in pop music history.

Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s (decade) on the US Nielsen SoundScan, and the estimated sales of over 155 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has totaled over 3 billion views on his music videos on his official Vevo page on YouTube. During 2010, Eminem's music generated 94 million streams, more than any other music artist and in May 2014 Spotify announced him as the most streamed artist of all time. Also according to Billboard, Eminem has two of his albums among the top five highest selling albums of the 2000s (decade).Love the way you lie(11× Platinum) and Not Afraid(10× Platinum) are Diamond certified by RIAA, this makes him the first artist ever with two digital Diamond certified songs in the US. In the UK, Eminem has sold over 12.5 million records. Eminem has also sold more than 33 million track downloads and 45,160,000 albums in the United States alone. Including his work as a part of groups, Eminem has achieved ten No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, seven solo (five studio albums, two compilations), two with D12 and one with Bad Meets Evil. Eminem has had 13 number one singles worldwide. His albums The Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP, and Encore ranked as the 3rd, 7th, and 40th best-selling albums of the 2000–2009 decade respectively by Billboard magazine.

In August 2011, Eminem was named "The King of Hip-Hop" by Rolling Stone. The magazine looked at solo rappers who released music between 2009 and the first half of 2011 by analyzing their album sales, rankings on the R&B/hip-hop and rap charts, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings, and the data accumulated named Eminem the king of the time period. Eminem's second major label studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, became the fastest-selling solo album in United States history. The album has been ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time by such magazines as Rolling Stone, Time, and XXL. Rolling Stone placed the album at number seven on its list of the best albums of the 2000s (decade). The album's third single, "Stan", is one of Eminem's most critically acclaimed songs, with Pitchfork Media deeming the song "a cultural milestone".

Several hip-hop and pop artists have cited Eminem as an influence, including 50 Cent, Usher,Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Big Sean, J. Cole, Skylar Grey, Bubba Sparxxx, Asher Roth, Machine Gun Kelly, Yelawolf, Hopsin, Tyler the Creator, Hollywood Undead, Chris Webby, Chance the Rapper, and Stalley. In addition, many contemporary rap pioneers have stated that he is one of the greatest rappers of all time, such as David Banner, Talib Kweli, Kool G. Rap, Redman, and Jay-Z.

Eminem has fifteen Grammy Awards. He has been praised for having "verbal energy", high quality of lyricism and has been ranked number nine on MTV's list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. In 2003, he was listed as number thirteen on MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music and number 82 on Rolling Stone '​s "The Immortals". In 2008, the readers of Vibe Magazine voted him "The Best Rapper Alive". He was also named "Best Rapper Ever" in a poll conducted by music fans on the Vibe website.

Ironically, "The Real Slim Shady", one of the songs from his second Grammy-winning album, The Marshall Mathers LP, slammed the Grammy Awards in its second verse, and stated the opinion that negative feelings about his material would keep him from ever winning one.

Eminem received the Global Icon Award at the 2013 MTV EMA in Amsterdam.

Timeline