Who is Eminem: Biography, Family, Career, Personal Life
Who is Eminem: Biography, Family, Career, Personal Life

Who is Eminem?

Eminem is the Rapper, actor and music producer who is the one of the best-selling musicians of the 21st century and one of the most influential rappers of all time.

Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in 1972 in Missouri, Eminem had a turbulent childhood. He dropped out of school in the ninth grade and worked odd jobs until finally making it as a rapper upon the release of The Slim Shady LP in early 1999. The album went multi-platinum, garnering Eminem two Grammy Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards. In 2000, Eminem released The Marshall Mathers LP, which was noted as the fastest-selling album in rap.

Most of his songs are based on his personal struggles with his family members and his career. This is considered by many as the USP of his albums, making them close to his fans' hearts. He has often run into trouble with the law. He is known for his explicit use of words, often sending out aggressive signals. Yet, this famous rap artiste has managed to win the hearts of critics and followers alike, bagging more than a dozen 'Grammy Awards.'

Early Life, Family and Education of Eminem

Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr and his wife Deborah Rae "Debbie" Nelson, on October 17, 1972.

Marshall's parents were members of 'Daddy Warbucks,' a band that used to perform at a hotel named 'Ramada Inns.' His father, Bruce, and mother, Debbie, later separated, and went on to have different partners.

Eminem has three half-siblings, Michael, Sarah, and Nate. Marshall lived with his mother, Debbie. They relocated to several cities, before settling down in Detroit, Michigan.

He grew up in a predominantly black neighbourhood, where he was often bullied by African-American youngsters. As a child he showed affinity toward comics and music, particularly rapping.

He had a difficult childhood and he was never on good terms with his mother. He was, however, close to her half-brother, Ronnie. Marshall's education suffered as a result of constant tiffs with Debbie, and he dropped-out of 'Lincoln High School,' when he was seventeen.

He is the son of a fifteen-year-old mother at the time of his birth and a father who left six months later and never returned. Spending most of his childhood moving back and forth between Saint Joseph and suburban Detroit, Michigan, he finally settled on the Eastside of Detroit when he was 12.

Formerly studying at Lincoln High School in Warren from 1986 to 1989, Marshall often switched schools every two or three months. It made him difficult to make friends and stay out of trouble. Failing at the 9th grade three times until finally dropping out, he said he wasn't stupid. He said he was not interested in school because all he wanted to do was rap.

Eminem’s career

Marshall began rapping at the early age of 4 and started pursuing career seriously at the age of 14.

That was the time when he began performing rap in the basement of his high school friend's home.

At 17, he eventually made a name for himself, Eminem, which was taken from his initials M(arshall) M(athers). Hip-Hop community, used to black rapper, refused the white Eminem, who at the end found the easiest way to win underground hip-hop society by becoming a battle rapper performing in several clubs and forcing himself on radio shows.

Marshall Mathers, or Eminem, started out as a member of New Jacks in 1988. But then, he came up with his Slim Shady persona and released Infinite in 1996. His first solo EP, Slim Shady EP, was released in 1997, which included his hit track, “My Name Is.”

The rapper’s career skyrocketed in the early 2000s when he released The Marshall Mathers LP which included hits like “The Real Slim Shady,” “The Way I am,” and “Stan.”

He went on to release The Eminem Show and Encore before his breakout performance in the movie 8 Mile.

When Marshall was only fourteen years old, he joined his friend Mike Ruby to practice rapping. The two friends called themselves 'Manix' and 'M&M', the latter becoming 'Eminem' in future.

Marshall also attended rap contests at the 'Osborn High School,' along with his friend DeShaun Dupree Holton, who later became famous as rapper Proof. The two rappers went to all such music contests at West 7 Mile, in Detroit. To excel in the art, Eminem practised writing long words and phrases that rhymed with each other.

He initially rapped with a group called the 'New Jacks,' but later moved to 'Soul Intent,' the band that brought out a song in 1995, featuring Eminem and Proof.

The two friends later separated from ‘Soul Intent’ and formed their own group called 'D12' or 'The Dirty Dozen,' in 1996. This group included famous rappers Kon Artis and Bizarre. The group has produced several record breaking singles like 'Fight Music,' 'Shit on You,' and 'How Come.'

In 1996, Eminem brought out his first album titled 'Infinite.' The album was recorded under the banner of 'FBT Productions,' and included songs that spoke about the struggles he faced after the birth of his daughter, at a time when he was financially unstable.

His financial condition had worsened and by 1997, he was forced to live in his mother's house with his family. During this time, to let go of the frustration building inside him, he created an anti-social alter-ego named 'Slim Shady.' He even recorded his first extended play by the same name in the same year.

In 1997, he contested in the 'Rap Olympics' and secured the second place. Dr. Dre, the owner of 'Aftermath Entertainment,' heard his 'Slim Shady EP (Extended Play).' He was highly impressed with Eminem and showed keen interest in working with the talented rapper.

In February 1999, Dr. Dre helped Eminem release an album titled 'The Slim Shady LP,' which immediately catapulted him to fame. With hits like 'My Name Is,' '97 Bonnie and Clyde,' and 'Guilty Conscience,' it was one of the most successful albums of the year.

The same year, he founded the record label 'Shady Records' along with friend Paul Rosenberg.

In May, 2000, Eminem released an album titled 'The Marshall Mathers LP', an album that sold almost 2 million copies in the opening week itself. The album included the record-breaking hit 'The Real Slim Shady', which topped the charts despite outrageously insulting other artistes.

The other famous song, 'Stan', from the album ‘Marshall Mathers LP’, featuring English singer Dido, and her single 'Thank You', saw a slight shift from the artist’s usual style of rapping. It talks about an obsessed fan of rapper Slim Shady, who kills himself and his girlfriend who is pregnant, on being ignored by his idol.

The same year, the famous rapper featured in ‘8 Mile’, a movie based loosely on his life, though the artiste claims otherwise.

During 2001-2004, the famous rap artiste released popular albums like 'The Eminem Show', and 'Encore'. The albums included hit singles like 'Without Me', 'Superman', 'Mockingbird', and 'Just Lose It'. During this time he also assisted Dr. Dre on several songs including the 'Grammy' winning 'Forgot About Dre'.

Eminem collaborated with popular singer Elton John to sing at the 'Grammy Awards' ceremony in 2001. The organization called 'Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation' ('GLAAD'), displayed their resentment towards the decision since allegedly the rap artiste openly criticized homosexuality.

The same year, he also went touring with famous rap artistes like Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre. In 2004, the artiste helped Afeni Shakur release a posthumous album of the latter’s son rapper 2Pac.

In 2006, the rapper produced ‘The Re-Up’, an album of compiled songs, under the banner of his label ‘Shady Records’. The same year he appeared at the ‘BET Music Awards’, singing a song titled ‘Touch It’. He also sang for albums by Akon, 50 Cent, and Lil Wayne, the most memorable song being ‘My Life’.

Two years later, in 2008, the artiste published a book named ‘The Way I Am’, which spoke about his life and career. The autobiography also provides readers with the lyrics for songs like ‘The Real Slim Shady’, and ‘Stan’.

From 2009-2010, the sensational rapper released the studio albums 'Relapse', and 'Recovery'. 'Relapse' boasts of successful singles like 'Beautiful', and 'We Made You', while 'Recovery' was the most popular digital album ever.

The album ‘Recovery’ includes songs like 'Not Afraid', 'Love the Way You Lie', featuring singer Rihanna, and 'No Love', along with fellow rapper Lil Wayne.

In 2014 the rapper released an album named 'SHADYXV', which had hits like 'Guts Over Fear' and 'Detroit Vs. Everybody'. The album featuring various top-notch artistes became an instantaneous hit, selling 138,000 copies in the first week of release.

A collection of ten discs titled 'The VINYL LPS', containing all albums produced by the famous rapper, was released in 2015.

The rap artiste has made guest appearances in several movies including ‘The Wash’, ‘Funny People’, and ‘The Interview’. He has also featured in a TV show named ‘Entourage’.

Eminem has also appeared in numerous concerts including 'BET Awards', 'The Home & Home Tour' with singer Jay-Z, and 'MTV Video Music Awards', throughout his career.

Wife and Daughter of Eminem

Eminem was just 15 when he met 13-year-old Kim Ann Scott at a house party. Kim, who claimed that she didn't know her father and had been sexually abused by her stepfather, came to live with Eminem and his mother Deborah.

Eminem and Kim soon began dating, but their relationship was turbulent from the start. Deborah threw the couple out when Eminem dropped out of school. In 1995, the couple had a daughter named Hailie Jade Scott. The couple broke up and got back together many times, finally marrying just before Eminem left on his first major tour in 1999. They divorced in 2000.

Kim and Eminem continued to maintain a tumultuous off-and-on relationship until remarrying in 2006, then divorcing again several months later. Following their second divorce, the exes began a protracted, ugly and highly public custody dispute over their daughter Hailie.

Eminem has rapped about Hailie throughout his career, including on the 2004 song "Mockingbird" and throughout his 2017 album Revival. Hailie graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in psychology and has become an Instagram influencer.

Eminem’s net worth?

Eminem has become one of the most successful rappers in history, having sold over 100 million albums worldwide. He is also one of the richest rappers in the world. This year, his net worth rose to an estimated $210 million.

Eminem’s controversy

Before appearing on the Grammy’s, Eminem made headlines after releasing his new song “Unaccomodating” in which he raps from the perspective of the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, England. The song is included in the rapper’s 11th album, which is grimly titled Music to Be Murdered By.

The song sparked so much outrage that even Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester gave a statement.

“This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected,” Burnham said, according to the BBC .

Despite his insensitive lyrics, following the attack, Eminem did partner with the British Red Cross to raise more than $2 million for victims of the incident, according to the New York Times.

Awards & Achievements of Eminem

In 2001, the popular rapper was presented the 'Academy Award' in the 'Best Original Song' category for 'Lose Yourself', from the movie '8 Mile'. The award was the first ever to have been presented to a rap artiste.

This exceptional rap artiste was declared the ‘Emcee of the Year’ by popular website ‘HipHopDX’ in 2010, while ‘MTV’ named him the ‘Hottest MC.

Three years later, in 2013, the rapper won the title of 'YouTube Music Awards Artist of the Year', which was being presented for the first time. The same year, he was named the 'Global Icon' at the 'MTV EMA Music Awards'.

The following year, his 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' won a 'Grammy' for the 'Best Rap Album', while the song 'The Monster', featuring Rihanna, bagged the award in the 'Best Rap/Sung Collaboration' category.

This artist has won the ‘Grammy’ for almost all his albums, including 'The Slim Shady LP', 'The Marshall Mathers LP', 'The Eminem Show', 'Relapse' and 'Recovery’, receiving the honour fifteen times.

Albums and Songs of Eminem

'Infinite' (1996)

Inspired by the birth of his daughter Hailie to make a living as a rapper, Eminem released his first independent rap album, Infinite, in 1996.

Though the album displayed flashes of his verbal prowess, biting wit and flair for storytelling, the low-budget record failed to turn a profit or attract more than local attention.

'The Slim Shady EP' (1997) & 'The Slim Shady LP' (1999)

In 1997 Eminem released The Slim Shady EP, which was discovered by Dr. Dre, the legendary rapper and former producer of Eminem's favorite rap group N.W.A.

Tupac Shakur


After Eminem traveled to Los Angeles and became runner-up in the 1997 Rap Olympics MC Battle, Dre listened to the rapper's cassette in the basement of executive Jimmy Iovine's home. Dre was so impressed that he signed Eminem to his Interscope Records label. In 1999, after two years of working with Dre, Eminem released The Slim Shady LP.

The heavily hyped record became an instant success, going on to sell over three million copies. Eminem's first single, "My Name Is," mixed a childish humor and energy with rampant profanity and flashes of violence — a potent and fascinating combination that felt different from anything else in rap.

'The Marshall Mathers LP' (2000)

Eminem released his second studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, in May 2000. The album showed off Eminem's poetic talents as well as his emotional and artistic range. His songs vary from manically funny ("The Real Slim Shady") to heartbreakingly poignant ("Stan") to explosively violent ("Kim") to disarmingly self-critical ("The Way I Am").

The Marshall Mathers LP sold over 19 million copies worldwide, won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, received a nomination for Album of the Year and is widely considered among the greatest rap albums of all time.

Nevertheless, The Marshall Mathers LP also came under a firestorm of criticism for its excessive profanity, glorification of drugs and violence and its apparent homophobia and misogyny.

While Eminem attempted to mitigate such criticism by maintaining that his raps simply use the rough language he has been surrounded by since childhood, and later by performing a duet with Elton John at the 2001 Grammy Awards to demonstrate his openness to the gay community, Eminem nevertheless remains reviled in some quarters for his offensive lyrical content.

'Devil's Night' (2001)

In 2001, Eminem reconnected with several of his friends from the Detroit underground rap scene to form the group D12, recording an album called Devil's Night featuring the popular single "Purple Pills."

'The Eminem Show' (2002)

In 2002, Eminem released a new solo album, The Eminem Show, another popular and critically acclaimed album highlighted by the tracks "Without Me," "Cleaning Out my Closet" and "Sing for the Moment."

That same year, the artist was all over the airwaves with the 8 Mile track "Lose Yourself," which went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

'Encore' (2004)

Eminem's next album, 2004's Encore, was less successful than his previous efforts. It still featured popular songs such as "Like Toy Soldiers" and "Mockingbird."

For the next several years, Eminem recorded very little music and was largely consumed by personal problems. Following his second divorce from Kim in 2006, Eminem slipped further into alcoholism and addiction to sleeping pills and prescription painkillers. In December 2007, he overdosed and nearly died. "If I would have got to the hospital two hours later, that would have been it," he said.

'Relapse' (2009)

By early 2008, Eminem had managed to kick his addictions to drugs and alcohol and returned to recording music. He released his first album of new music in five years, Relapse, in 2009, featuring the singles "Crack a Bottle" and "Beautiful."

'Recovery' (2010)

In 2010, Eminem released another album, Recovery, a highly autobiographical attempt to come to terms with his struggles with addiction and experience with rehabilitation. His most acclaimed album in years, Recovery struck a somewhat gentler and more inspirational tone than his previous music, with the popular song "Love the Way You Lie."

Eminem said, "I don't want to go overboard with it but I do feel like that if I can help people that have been through a similar situation, then, you know, why not?" The revealing album won Eminem a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.

After 10 years and seven albums, the rapper who shocked, appalled and fascinated the music world with the unbridled rage of his youthful music is reinventing himself as a mature artist.

"I started learning how to not be so angry about things, learning how to count my f---ing blessings instead. By doing that, I've become a happier person, instead of all this self-loathing I was doing for a while," Eminem said. "The music, I wouldn't say it's gotten happier, but it's definitely more upbeat. I feel like myself again."

'MMLP2' (2013)

Eminem released his eighth album, MMLP2, on November 5, 2013. The announcement for the future Grammy-winning album, formally titled The Marshall Mathers LP 2, was made during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

On the awards show, Eminem leaked a snippet of the first single from the album, entitled "Berzerk." He went to reach of the top of charts with "The Monster," a track that also featured Rihanna and earned a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

'Shady XV' (2014)

In 2014, Eminem celebrated the 15th anniversary of his Shady Records label with a special two-CD set called ShadyXV. The collection features the label's most popular songs as well as some new material. The single "Guts Over Fear" quickly rose up the charts after its late October debut.

'Revival' (2017)

At the end of 2017, Eminem released his ninth studio album, Revival. Its first two singles, "Walk on Water" and "River," featured collaborations with pop superstars Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran.

The album as a whole divided critics and failed to garner the accolades notched by his previous efforts. None of the songs reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 100, while each of his three previous albums resulted in at least one No. 1 hit.

'Kamikaze' (2018)

While nearly four years passed between Eminem's eighth and ninth albums, fans only had to wait a few months before he dropped his next studio effort, Kamikaze, on August 31, 2018.

The surprise album kicked off with "Ringer," which featured the rapper diving right back into his disdain for President Donald Trump. In October 2017, Eminem had made headlines for a freestyle segment taped for the BET Hip Hop Awards, in which he ripped into Trump.

The single "Not Alike" attacked rapper Machine Gun Kelly, known as MGK, for lewd comments he had made several years before about Eminem's then-underage daughter, Hailie. After MGK replied with the track "Rap Devil," Eminem followed up with the single "Killshot," a barrage of insults about MGK's talents and lack of success, which shot to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album helped Eminem rebound from Revival. However, beyond the album's successes, Eminem was criticized for homophobic insults on the tracks "Killshot" and "Fall."

'Music to Be Murdered By' and 'Music to Be Murdered By – Side B' (2020)

As with Kamikaze, Eminem dropped Music to Be Murdered By with no advance warning in January 2020. The 20-track album was accompanied by the release of a video for "Darkness," which recalled the deadly mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas and urged viewers to vote to change gun laws.

The following month, the rapper made a surprise appearance at the Academy Awards to perform his winner from the 2003 ceremony, "Lose Yourself."

In December 2020, the rapper released the follow-up album, Side B.

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