1972-10-17 to Present
U.S.Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive and actor. He is one of the most successful musical artists of the 21st century. In addition to his solo career, Eminem was a member of the hip hop group D12. He is also known for collaborations with fellow Detroit-based rapper Royce da 5'9"; the two are collectively known as Bad Meets Evil.
Friends and family remember Eminem as a happy child, but "a bit of a loner" who was often bullied. One bully, D'Angelo Bailey, severely injured Eminem's head in an assault; Debbie filed a lawsuit against the school in 1982, which was dismissed the following year because the Macomb County, Michigan judge said the schools were immune from lawsuits.
At age 14, Eminem began rapping with high-school friend Mike Ruby; they adopted the names "Manix" and "M&M", the latter of which stood for his initials and evolved into "Eminem". Eminem sneaked into neighboring Osborn High School with friend and fellow rapper Proof for lunchroom freestyle rap battles. On Saturdays, they attended open mic contests at the Hip-Hop Shop on West 7 Mile, considered "ground zero" for the Detroit rap scene.
Eminem heard his first rap song ("Reckless", featuring Ice-T) on the Breakin' soundtrack, a gift from Debbie's half-brother Ronnie Polkingharn, who was close to him and later became a musical mentor to him. When Polkingharn committed suicide in 1991, Eminem stopped speaking for days and did not attend his funeral.
Eminem attracted more attention when he developed Slim Shady, a sadistic, violent alter ego. The character allowed him to express his anger with lyrics about drugs, rape, and murder. In the spring of 1997 he recorded his debut EP, the Slim Shady EP, which was released that winter by Web Entertainment.
Eminem released The Slim Shady LP in February 1999. Although it was one of the year's most popular albums (certified triple platinum by the end of the year), he was accused of imitating the style and subject matter of underground rapper Cage.
He was married twice to Kimberly Anne "Kim" Scott. He met Kim in high school while he stood on a table with his shirt off rapping LL Cool J's "I'm Bad". The two were married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. Their daughter Hailie was born on December 25, 1995.
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000. It sold 1.76 million copies in its first week, breaking US records held by Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle for fastest-selling hip hop album and Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time for fastest-selling solo album.
On October 26, 2000, Eminem was scheduled to perform at Toronto's SkyDome when Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty said that Eminem should not be allowed 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 also said that he was "disgusted" when he read the lyrics of "Kill You", which includes the lines "Slut, you think I won't choke no whore / Till the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?" Although public reaction to Flaherty's position was generally negative, with barring Eminem from the country considered a free-speech issue, Liberal MPP Michael Bryant suggested that hate crime charges be brought against Eminem for advocating violence against women in his lyrics.
Sanitation worker DeAngelo Bailey sued Eminem for $1 million in 2001, accusing him of invading his privacy by publicizing information placing him in a false light in "Brain Damage", a song which portrays him as a violent school bully. Although Bailey admitted picking on Eminem in school, he said he merely "bumped" him and gave him a "little shove". The lawsuit was dismissed on October 20, 2003; Judge Deborah Servitto, who wrote a portion of her opinion in rap-like rhyming verse, ruled that it was clear to the public that the lyrics were exaggerated.
On March 31, 2002, French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier filed a $10 million lawsuit against Eminem and Dr. Dre, claiming that the beat for "Kill You" was taken from his instrumental "Pulsion". Loussier demanded that sales of The Marshall Mathers LP be halted, and any remaining copies destroyed. The case was later settled out of court.
On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service said that it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States (George W. Bush). The cause for concern was the lyrics of "We As Americans" ("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"), which was later released on a bonus CD with the deluxe edition of Encore.
Encore, released in 2004, was another success. Its sales were partially driven by the first single, "Just Lose It", which contained slurs about Michael Jackson. On October 12, 2004, a week after the release of "Just Lose It", Jackson phoned the Los Angeles-based Steve Harvey radio show to report his displeasure with its video (which parodies Jackson's child molestation trial, plastic surgery and the 1984 incident when Jackson's hair caught fire during the filming of a commercial).
On October 25, 2004, a week before the 2004 US Presidential election, Eminem released the video for "Mosh" on the Internet. In it, Eminem gathers an army (including rapper Lloyd Banks) of Bush-administration victims and leads them to the White House. When they break in, it is learned that they are there to register to vote; the video ends with "VOTE Tuesday November 2". After Bush's reelection, the video's ending was changed to Eminem and the protesters invading the White House during a speech by the president.
Encore is the fifth studio album by American rapper Eminem. It was released on November 12, 2004 by Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records, and Interscope Records. Its release date was originally set for November 16, 2004, but Eminem moved the release date to four days earlier after the album was leaked to the internet. The album contains several lyrical themes, most notably Eminem's opposition to then-President of the United States George W. Bush and a parody towards Michael Jackson.
In 2005, industry insiders speculated that Eminem was considering ending his rapping career after six years and several Multi-Platinum albums. Rumors began early in the year about a double album to be released late that year, entitled The Funeral; the greatest hits album, entitled Curtain Call: The Hits, was released in December.
On October 21, 2008 his autobiography The Way I Am was published. Detailing his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak, and depression, it includes stories of his rise to fame, commentary about past controversies and original lyric sheets from "Stan" and "The Real Slim Shady".
Eminem appeared on his Shade 45 Sirius channel in September 2008, saying: "Right now I'm kinda just concentrating on my own stuff, for right now and just banging out tracks and producing a lot of stuff. You know, the more I keep producing the better it seems like I get 'cause I just start knowing stuff." Interscope confirmed that a new album would be released in spring 2009. In December 2008, Eminem provided more details about the album, entitled Relapse: "Me and Dre are back in the lab like the old days, man. Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on 'Relapse'. We are up to our old mischievous ways ... let's just leave it at that."
On October 30, Eminem headlined at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, his first full performance of the year. Eminem's act included several songs from Relapse, many of his older hits and an appearance by D12.
His seventh album was released on June 18. In the US Recovery sold 741,000 copies during its first week, topping the Billboard 200 chart. Eminem's sixth consecutive US number-one album also topped the charts in several other countries. Recovery remained atop the Billboard 200 chart for five consecutive weeks of a seven-week total.
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 percent of Aftermath's net revenue from licensing his recordings to companies such as Apple, Sprint Corporation, Nextel Communications, Cingular and T-Mobile. In March 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the case.
The album was released on November 5, by Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records and Interscope Records. Its standard version had 16 tracks, and the deluxe version included a second disc with five additional tracks. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was Eminem's seventh album to debut atop the Billboard 200, and had the year's second-largest first-week sales.
The Official Eminem Box Set, a career-spanning, 10-disc vinyl box set, was released on March 12, 2015. The set includes seven of Eminem's eight studio albums (excluding Infinite), the 8 Mile soundtrack, the compilation Eminem Presents: The Re-Up, and the greatest hits collection Curtain Call: The Hits.
In February 2017, Eminem appeared on "No Favors", a track from Big Sean's album I Decided. In the song, Eminem calls the newly elected President Donald Trump a "bitch", and also raps about raping conservative social and political commentator Ann Coulter, who is a Trump supporter, with a variety of foreign objects. Coulter responded to the lyrics, stating, "I think it's unfortunate that the left, from Berkeley to Eminem with his rap songs, has normalized violence against women, as Eminem has done."
On January 17, 2020, Mathers released another surprise album Music To Be Murdered By, following his Kamikaze, which features guest appearances by: Young M.A., Royce Da 5'9", Q-Tip, Denaun, White Gold, Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, Skylar Grey, Anderson Paak, Don Toliver, Kxng Crooked, Joell Ortiz and Black Thought.