Known around the world as one of the most critically acclaimed rappers of his time, Eminem was born as Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17th, 1972, in St. Joseph, Missouri. His parents separated when he was little, and he lived with his mother in several cities, eventually settling in Detroit, Michigan. Eminem had always been interested in storytelling and started rapping at age 14 with a friend from school. He would participate in lunchroom freestyle rap battles and attended open mic contests, where he tried to find success in a predominantly black industry. In 1988, Eminem went by the stage name of MC Double M, under which he took his first steps into the business, participating in a band with friends, eventually forming the group The Dirty Dozen (D12) in 1996 and releasing their first album in 2001, Devil’s Night. Meanwhile, Eminem’s solo career had led him to sign to F.B.T. Productions and the debut of his first album, Infinite, which failed to turn into a commercial success.
It wasn’t until 1997, with the creation of his Slim Shady alter ego and the release of the Slim Shady EP, that Eminem’s luck would change. The EP came into the hands of rapper and producer Dr. Dre, founder of Aftermath Entertainment, who saw his potential and decided to sign him on, beginning a long-time collaboration between both artists. In February 1999, Eminem released The Slim Shady LP, which became one of the year’s most successful albums, although reviews were mixed. That same year, he also founded his own record label, Shady Records, which produced D12’s first album. Eminem’s third studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, premiered in 2000 and broke US records for the fastest-selling hip hop album. The album’s success was followed up by The Eminem Show in 2002, which sold over one million copies during its first week. Eminem made his film debut when he starred in 2002’s American drama 8 Mile, to which he also contributed musically. The film was a critical and commercial success and earned him an Academy Award for Best Song.
Eminem released his fifth studio album in 2004, called Encore, though it was as successful as the previous ones, and he also launched Shade 45, a satellite music channel. In 2005 and 2006, he released a greatest hits album, Curtain Call: The Hits, and a compilation album featuring songs from artists under his record label, Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. After a two-year hiatus following the death of friend and collaborator, rapper Proof, Eminem presented his new album, Relapse (2008), receiving mixed reviews. It would take two more years for his seventh album to be confirmed, Recovery (2010,) which became one of the best selling albums of that year and was positively reviewed by critics. Furthermore, thanks to Recovery, Eminem broke the record for the most successive U.S. top albums by a solo artist.
To date, Eminem has released four more studio albums, further cementing his status as one of the most prolific rap artists of his era. Subsequent albums were The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013,) Revival (2017,) Kamikaze (2018) and Music to Be Murdered By (2020.)Throughout the course of his career, Eminem has also collaborated with other rap and pop artists, as well as released albums with his hip-hop group D12 and also the duo Bad Meets Evil. Although a controversial figure due to his violent and often insulting lyrics and songs, he has nonetheless gained status as one of greatest rappers of all time. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including fifteen Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, seventeen Billboard Music Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award. Eminem was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.