Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Credited with popularising hip hop in Middle America, he is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Eminem’s global success and acclaimed works are widely regarded as having broken racial barriers for the acceptance of white rappers in popular music. While much of his transgressive work during the early 2000s made him hugely controversial, he came to be a representation of popular angst of the American underclass. He has been influential for many artists of various genres. After his debut album Infinite in 1996 and the extended play Slim Shady EP in 1997, Eminem signed with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment and subsequently achieved mainstream popularity in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP. His next two releases, The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000 and The Eminem Show in 2002, were worldwide successes and were both nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. After the release of his next album, Encore, in 2004, Eminem went on hiatus in 2005 partly due to a prescription drug addiction. He returned to the music industry four years later with the release of Relapse in 2009, and Recovery was released the following year. Recovery was the best-selling album worldwide of 2010, making it Eminem’s second album, after The Eminem Show in 2002, to be the best-selling album of the year worldwide. In the following years, he released the US number one albums The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Revival, Kamikaze, and Music to Be Murdered By.
Eminem made his debut in the film industry with the musical drama film 8 Mile in 2002, playing a fictionalised version of himself, and his track “Lose Yourself” from its soundtrack won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making him the first and only hip hop artist to ever win the award. He has made cameo appearances in the films The Wash in 2001, Funny People in 2009, and The Interview in 2014, and the television series Entourage in 2010. Eminem has developed other ventures, including Shady Records, with manager Paul Rosenberg, which helped launch the careers of artists such as 50 Cent, Yelawolf and Obie Trice, among others. He has also established his own channel, Shade 45, on Sirius XM Radio. In addition to his solo career, Eminem was a member of the hip hop group D12. He is also known for collaborations with fellow Detroit-based rapper Royce da 5’9″; the two are collectively known as Bad Meets Evil.
Eminem is among the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated worldwide sales of more than two hundred million records. He was the best-selling music artist in the United States of the 2000s and the best-selling male music artist in the United States of the 2010s, third overall. Billboard named him the “Artist of the Decade (2000–2009)”. The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, “Lose Yourself”, “Love the Way You Lie” and “Not Afraid” have all been certified Diamond or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America. Rolling Stone included him in its lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. He has won numerous awards, including fifteen Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, seventeen Billboard Music Awards, an Academy Award, and an MTV Europe Music Global Icon Award. He has had ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200 — which all consecutively debuted at number one on the chart, making him the only artist to achieve this—and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.