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Marshall Bruce Mathers the 3rd, known as Eminem, was born on October 17, 1972 in Missouri to parents Deborah R. Nelson Mathers-Briggs and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr. His grew up in poverty after his father abandoned the family when Marshall was only 18 months old. After many moves, mother and son settled in Warren Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He was inspired by the Beastie Boys, started performing amateur rap at 14 years old using the stage name “M&M”, and at that time joined the group “Bassmint Productions”. During High School, he often participated in freestyle battles and managed to gain the approval of underground hip-hop audiences despite African-American dominance of the industry. At 17, he dropped out of High School.
Mathers’ musical career begins to take off in 1992 when he signed to FBT Productions, run by Jeff and Mark Bass. “Infinite” his debut album was released in 1996. At these early stages of his career, Mather’s collaborated with Royce da 5’9” under the alias “Bad Meets Evil.” This period is marked by Mathers’ personal struggles as well as drug and alcohol abuse that led to a suicide attempt. Despite his problems, the artist won “Wake up Show’s Freestyle Performer” award and also placed second at the 1997 “Rap Olympics.” This lead to a record deal after Jimmy Lovine, CEO of “Interscope Records” asked for a demo that he played for Dr.Dre, founder of “Aftermath Entertainment.” After signing in 1998, Eminem released his first studio album “The Slim Shady LP” in 1999.Despite controversy caused by many lyrics and subjects of many of the album’s tracks, this album was one of the most popular of that year and was triple platinum by the end of 1999. Eminem and Dr.Dre went on to become close friends and would collaborate on many hit songs.
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in 2000 selling 1.76 million copies in its first week and becoming the fastest selling hip-hop and solo album in US history and has been certified nine times platinum. Again, many of the lyrics caused controversy as in the singles “the Real Slim Shady” and “The Way I Am” the artist insults celebrities Christina Aguilera and Marilyn Manson. The single “Stan” was ranked 290th in “Rolling Stone” Magazine’s “500 Greatest Song of All Time.” In July 2000, Eminem was featured on the cover of “the Source Magazine”, the first white person in the magazine’s history. In 2001, Eminem performed at the 43rd Grammy Awards alongside Elton John causing an upset in the gay community as Eminem’s lyrics were considered homophobic. Eminem’s next album “The Eminem Show” was yet another success, released in 2002, it hit number one on the charts and sold over a million copies in its first week. It was the best selling album and has been certified eight times platinum. Even though less provocative the album is still criticized for the obscene language used.
In 2004 Eminem’s fourth Album,” Encore” hit the stores and was also an immediate success reaching the top of the charts. Its main single “Just Lose It” parodies Michael Jackson and many artists including the “king of pop” himself expressed their displeasure. “Black Entertainment Television” stopped airing the video and “The Source” wanted the song pulled from the album. “Encore” also deals with more serious matters including the anti-war track “Mosh” which had a strong anti-Bush message. At that time, there were some rumors about Eminem leaving the music scene. However, in summer 2005 Eminem set off on his first US tour in three years, “The Anger Management 3 Tour” featuring among others, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Lil’ John, D12, Obie Trice and The Alchemist. A Greatest Hits Album called “Curtain Call: The Hits” was released in December 2005 and was his fourth album to reach No.1 on the “Billboard Hot 200” and was certified double Platinum.
Eminem’s next album “Relapse” was released in 2009 and even though it was not as big a success as his previous work it was still a commercial success, named one of the top albums of 2009, and has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. On October 30, Eminem gave his first full performance of the year at the “Voodoo Music Experience” in New Orleans where he performed several songs from “Relapse” as well as older tracks. A second part of “Relapse,” ”Relapse: Refill” which was to be released the same year was never recorded. Instead “Recovery” hit the stores on June 21 and sold 741,000 copies in its first week landing at the top of the “Billboard 200”. The change in title was credited to its difference to “Relapse”.
In 2010 Eminem made several appearances together with many artists, including his performance at the “2010 BET Awards” with B.o.B at the “Activision concert,” with Jay-Z in the event “The Home & Home Tou,r” and the opening of the M.T.V. Video Music Awards with Rihanna performing “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie.” They also performed together at the 2011 Grammy Awards with Adam Levine. At the Grammys Eminem also performed “I Need a Doctor” with Dr. Dre and Skylar Grey. During this time Eminem collaborated with Rihanna making a sequel to “Love the Way You Lie”, T.I on the track “That’s All She Wrote”, with Dr. Dre on “I Need a Doctor” and with Royce da 5’9” on a track called “Echo”.
Fortunately, the rumours about Eminem quitting music are not true. The artist named “the 2010 Hottest MC in the Game” by M.T.V. and “Emcee of the Year” by Hip-Hop news website “HipHop DX” as well as the #1 rapper of the 21st century by BET, continues to bring his unique style of music to the masses.