Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Mathers, Marshall "Eminem"

Eminem has made history in hip-hop and in all of popular music. Called the best-selling hip-hop artist of all time, he is also one of the most popular rappers. With a fierce lyrical flow and a fearless songwriting sensibility driven by an audacious sense of humor and a bold intellect, his music has generated plenty of controversy.

Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was raised by his mother, Debbie Nelson Mathers, who settled the family in Warren, just outside Detroit when he was 11. Eminem began rapping when he was 14 in an early duo with a high school friend, then established himself in Detroit's battle rap scene at clubs such as the Hip Hop Shop. After rapping with more groups, including the New Jacks and Soul Intent, with whom Eminem released his first single in 1995, he was taken under wing by the late Deshaun "Proof" Holton and became part of the collective known as D12.

Eminem's first album, the positive-minded Infinite, came out in 1996, but it was his follow-up The Slim Shady EP, along with a second-place finish at the Rap Olympics in Los Angeles that caught the attention of West Coast rap mastermind Dr. Dre, who signed Eminem to a major label deal.

The Slim Shady LP in 1999 was an immediate success, winning the first of his 15 Grammy Awards and courting protests for lyrics that were seen as excessively violent and profane, anti-female, anti-gay and anti-religious. Eminem fed on the furor caused by his subsequent recordings, gradually adding pointed political commentary to the mix.

Eminem's greatest triumph came in 2002, when he won rave reviews for his starring role in the film 8 Mile, which was loosely based on his life. "Lose Yourself," which he wrote for the movie, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, the first for hip-hop. Prior to that success, albums The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show were nominated for Grammys, among his 44 nominations to date.

Following a pause in his career to rid himself of an addiction to pain killers, Eminem has continued to produce albums and tour. He established his own company, Shady Records, featuring other rap acts such as D12, 50 Cent and Detroit's Obie Trice. The company expanded into a clothing line, Shady Ltd. in 2003 which has since folded. In 2016 Eminem started another clothing line, E13 with local company Carhartt.

Eminem was married and divorced twice (1999-2001 and January 2006-April 2006) from high school girlfriend Kimberly Scott, with whom he had a child Hailie Jade Scott Mathers in 1996. He adopted Hailie’s cousin, Alaina Marie, daughter of his wife’s twin sister, and Whitney Scott, daughter of ex-wife Kim from a previous marriage.

Eminem has published two books, including an autobiography, The Way I Am, and appeared in movies and television. His Marshall Mathers Foundation helps disadvantaged youth. Rolling Stone listed him in their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.



Eminem on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, 2004 - 2006.045.002

Soundtrack for the movie "8 Mile", 2002 - 2013.083.001

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