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Eminem Biography

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known by his stage name Eminem is an American rapper, record producer, actor and singer. Eminem quickly gained popularity in 1999 with his major-label debut album, The Slim Shady LP, which won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. The following album, The Marshall Mathers LP, became the fastest-selling solo album in history. It brought Eminem increased popularity, including his own record label, Shady Records, and brought his group project, D12, to mainstream recognition.

The Marshall Mathers LP and his third album, The Eminem Show, also won Grammy Awards, making Eminem the first artist to win Best Rap Album for three consecutive LP's. He then won the award again in 2010 for his album Relapse, giving him a total of 11 Grammys in his career. In 2002, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself" from the film, 8 Mile, in which he also played the lead. "Lose Yourself" would go on to become the longest running #1 hip-hop single. Eminem then went on hiatus after touring in 2005. He released his first album since 2004's Encore, titled Relapse, on May 15, 2009. Eminem is the best-selling artist of the decade, and has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide to date, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world.

Eminem was ranked 82nd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time. He was also named the Best Rapper Ever by Vibe magazine. Including his work with D12, Eminem has achieved eight #1 albums on the Billboard Top 200 and 12 number one singles worldwide. In December, 2009 Eminem was named the Artist of the Decade by Billboard Magazine. His albums The Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP, and Encore (in order) ranked as the 3rd, 7th, and 40th best album of the 2000-2009 decade by Billboard Magazine. According to Billboard, Eminem has two of his albums among the top five highest selling albums of the 2000s. In the UK, Eminem is one of the best selling overseas artists ever having sold over 12.5 million records. Eminem also holds the title for having the most number of songs from the 21st century on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Only one other artist from the 21st century has a song on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in Saint Joseph, Missouri, as the son of Deborah Nelson Mathers-Briggs and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr. He is of Scottish, English, German, Swiss, and Polish ancestry. His father had left the family before his son's second birthday and never again came into contact with them. He was raised as an only child by his poverty-stricken mother. By the age of 12, Mathers and his mother had moved between various cities and towns in Missouri (including Saint Joseph, Savannah, and Kansas City) before they settled in Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

After procuring a copy of the Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill as a teenager, Mathers became interested in hip hop, performing amateur raps at age 14 under the pseudonym "M&M" and joining the group called "Bassmint Productions" and released their first EP, Steppin' Onto The Scene. They later changed their name to "Soul Intent" and around 1995 they released their first single called "Fuckin' Backstabber" under the record label Mashin' Duck Records. Although he was enrolled at Lincoln High School in Warren, he frequently participated in freestyle battles at Osborn High School across town, gaining the approval of underground hip hop audiences. After repeating the ninth grade twice due to truancy and near-failing grades, he dropped out of high school at age 17.

In 1991, Mathers' half-uncle, Ronald "Ronnie" Polkinghorn, committed suicide. Mathers was very close to Polkinghorn, and was devastated at his death; today, he sports a tattoo reading "Ronnie R.I.P." on his upper left arm.

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 spoken openly about his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien, Valium and Methadone. His group-mate Proof from D12 stated that Mathers "sobered up" in 2002 from drug and alcohol dependence. However, he did turn to zolpidem sleeping pills for relief from sleeping troubles. This caused Mathers to cancel the European leg of the Anger Management Tour in August 2005 and eventually go into rehab for treatment for a "dependency on sleep medication".


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