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Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born 1972), better known by his stage name Eminem and by his alter ego Slim Shady, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter, and actor. In addition to his solo career, Eminem is a member of his group D12, as well as one half of the hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil, alongside Royce da 5'9". Eminem is one of the world's best-selling music artists and is the best-selling artist of the 2000s. He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone magazine which ranked him 82nd on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The same magazine declared him The King of Hip Hop. Including his work with D12 and Bad Meets Evil, Eminem has achieved ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200. His worldwide albums sales stand at more than 115 million, singles 120 million, and the estimated sale of over 220 million records worldwide. In the United States, he has sold 49.1 million albums and 42 million tracks.
After releasing his independent debut album Infinite in August 1996, Eminem rose to mainstream popularity with the release of his February 1999 album The Slim Shady LP. The LP also earned Eminem his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. His next two records The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show, also won Best Rap Album Grammy Awards, making Eminem the first artist to win Best Rap Album for three consecutive LPs. This was followed by another studio release in November 2004 titled Encore. Eminem then went on hiatus after touring in 2005. He released his fifth album Relapse in May 2009. In June 2010, Eminem released his seventh studio album Recovery. Recovery was an international success and was named the best-selling album of 2010 worldwide, becoming the rapper's second album, after The Eminem Show, to become the internationally best-selling album of its year. Eminem won Grammy Awards for both Relapse and Recovery, giving him a total of 13 Grammys in his career. His eighth studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released in November 2013.
Eminem has opened other ventures, including his own record label Shady Records with his manager Paul Rosenberg. He also has his own radio channel, Shade 45 on Sirius XM Radio. In 2002, Eminem starred in the hip hop drama film 8 Mile. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, becoming the first rap artist ever to win the award. He has also made cameo appearances in The Wash (2001), Funny People (2009), and the television series Entourage.
As a teen, Eminem wrote letters to his father Bruce. According to Eminem's mother (that was divorced from his father), all of these came back "return to sender." Friends and family contend Eminem was a happy child but also "a bit of a loner" who often was bullied; one such persecutor, De'Angelo Bailey, beat Eminem so significantly that he suffered a severe head injury. In response, Debbie Nelson filed a lawsuit against the school in 1982, but the case was dismissed the following year.
Eminem spent much of his formative years living in a largely black lower-middle-class Detroit neighborhood. Debbie (his mother) and her son were one of three white households on their block, and Eminem was confronted and beaten up by African-Americans on several occasions.
After spending three years in ninth grade due to truancy and poor grades, he dropped out of Lincoln High School at age 17 and he worked several jobs to help his mother with bills.
At the age of 14, he began rapping with high-school friend Mike Ruby, the two adopting the names "Manix" and "M&M," which soon morphed into Eminem.
Eminem had his first run-in with the law at age 20, when he was arrested for involvement with a drive-by shooting with a paintball.
Eminem was soon signed to FBT Productions, run by brothers Jeff and Mark Bass, and recorded his debut album, Infinite, under their independent label Web Entertainment.
After the release of Infinite, Eminem's personal struggles and abuse of drugs and alcohol culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. By 1997, he was fired from Gilbertís Lodge (where he maintained a minimum-wage job of cooking and dishwashing), and was still living in his motherís mobile home with his newborn daughter and Scott (his wife).
Things began to pick up when Eminem developed his sadistic, ultra-violent alter ego Slim Shady. The character, "a drug-dealing, bloodthirsty thug who spits furious rhymes about murder, rape, drugs and living by the law of the urban jungle," tapped into Eminem's rage and resentment.
Eminem released The Slim Shady LP in February 1999. It became one of the most popular albums of the year, going triple platinum by the end of the year. With the album's popularity came controversy surrounding many of the album's lyrics.
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000. It went on to sell 1.76 million copies in its first week, breaking the records set by Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle as the fastest-selling hip hop album and by Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time as the fastest-selling solo album in United States history.
Eminem performed with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards ceremony in 2001; the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), an organization that perceived Eminem's lyrics to be homophobic, condemned the openly gay John's decision to perform with Eminem.
On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted that it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States (George W. Bush). The lyrics that had led to this were "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". These lyrics come from the track "We As Americans", which was later released on a bonus CD accompanying deluxe editions of Eminem's fourth major album, Encore.
In 2005, Eminem was a subject of Bernard Goldberg's book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America; he ranked No. 58. Goldberg cited a 2001 column by Bob Herbert of The New York Times claiming, "In Eminem's world, all women are whores and he is eager to rape and murder them."
In August 2005, Eminem canceled the European leg of the tour and subsequently announced that he had entered drug rehabilitation for treatment for a "dependency on sleep medication"
On June 2010 Eminem released the album Recovery. His seventh studio album, Recovery, in the US, sold 741,000 in its first week to land atop the Billboard 200. It became Eminem's sixth consecutive number-one album in the US and achieved international commercial success, charting at number one in several other countries. It stayed at number-one on the US Billboard 200 chart for five consecutive weeks and a total of seven weeks. Recovery was reported by Billboard to be the best-selling album of 2010, making Eminem the first artist in Nielsen SoundScan history to have two year-end best-selling albums.
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.
On October 21, 2008, Eminem released a tell-all autobiography entitled The Way I Am, which details his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak and depression, along with stories about his rise to fame and commentary on past controversies. This book also contains some of the original lyric sheets from songs such as "Stan" and "The Real Slim Shady."
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 uses alter egos in his songs to use different styles of rapping and subject matters. His most famous and popular alter ego, "Slim Shady", originated from the Slim Shady EP. While under this personality, Eminem makes violent and dark songs 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.
Eminem was involved in many legal and drug troubles.
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