Did you know? Eminem is of English, German, Scottish and Swiss-German descent and named himself after his favourite chocolate, M&M’s.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer. He is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the US and throughout his musical career, he has had 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and 5 number-one singles on the Billboard 100. With sales of 47.4 million albums and 42 million tracks as of June 2014, Eminem is the second best-selling male artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era, the sixth best-selling artist in the Unites Staes and the best-selling hip-hop artist. globally, he has sold more than 172 million albums, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists with Rolling Stone magazine ranking him 83rd on its list of ‘100 Greatest Artists of All Time’ and named him the King of Hip-Hop.
Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St Joseph, Missouri US and his parents met while performing in a band together. His dad left the family when he was a baby and was raised by his single mother. He is notoriously known for discussing his harsh, poverty-stricken upbringing in many of his songs as he spent his early childhood being shoved back and forth from Kansas City and Detroit. he settles on the Eastside of Detroit when he was 12 but as he was changing schools every two to three months this made it difficult for him to make friends and/or stay out of trouble. Being a rap fan for most of his life, Marshall began rapping at the early age of 4. Rhyming words together and battling schoolmates in the lunchroom brought joy to what was otherwise a painful existence. At 14 he started to get serious about rapping and 17 started to make a name for himself but being rejected by most fellow rappers because of his race, Marshall grew an anger that flows through his music to this day.
He forced himself to enter rap battles and in 1997, flat broke and with nothing else to lose he entered the rap Olympics in LA, hoping to win the $1,500 cash prize. He made it to second place and it was here that he was spotted by producers from Interscope who were impressed with what they had seen. Legendary producer Dr Dre got to hear about him, tracked him down and the two instantly hit it off. Although Eminem’s first album pre-Dre was the “Slim Shady EP” it didn’t do as well until revised by Dr Dre. Since their collaboration Dre worked on Eminem’s second LP the “Marshall Mathers LP” and won 3 grammies with this album being the first rap album ever to be nominated “Album of the Year” and sold more than 8 million copies in the US alone and 32 million copies worldwide. In 2002 he won an Oscar for “Best Original Song” for song “Lose Yourself” and was the first rapper ever to receive this award.
Article by Candice Eastman.