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Rap superstar Eminem (real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III) was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1972, though he spent much of his childhood living in various Detroit suburbs. As a teenager he became entranced by the hip-hop scene, and before long became a regular at open-mic nights in clubs across Detroit. He initially rapped under the pseudonym M&M (for his name, Marshall Mathers) but eventually changed it to the phonetically similar Eminem (believing it to be more memorable in print), though he does occasionally use the moniker Slim Shady. Though Eminem initially faced some disrespect in the predominantly African-American underground rap scene, he gained cred by becoming a distinguished freestyle battler. He became a member of rap collective D12, who became frequent touring partners and collaborators with Eminem later in his career.

After releasing a number of admittedly lackluster demos throughout the early 1990's, Eminem struck gold when famed producer Dr. Dre witnessed one of his freestyles and took Eminem under his wing in 1998, signing him to a record deal at his Interscope-distributed label Aftermath. The duo released Eminem's first album The Slim Shady LP in 1999, to massive critical success. Featuring wildly violent and offensive lyrical content - if presented in a somewhat hyperbolic manner, like in "Guilty Conscience" and "97' Bonnie & Clyde" - the album soon became a centerpiece of controversy, which only served to boost his widespread popularity.

Eminem released his second album The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000. Pushed forward by the momentum of his first major release, The Marshall Mathers LP set a world record for first-day rap album sales when it moved 1.76 million copies in its first week on store shelves. Though the Grammy-winning record is far from a clean-cut family album, it does feature a somewhat more introspective and serious tone, though it does not shy from insulting such celebrities as Christina Aguilera and Marilyn Manson. Standout tracks from The Marshall Mathers LP include "The Real Slim Shady", "The Way I Am", and "Stan".

After a number of negative incidents throughout 2001 - including an arrest based on an incident in a store in which Eminem brandished a gun - Eminem returned to the studio in 2002 to release his third album, The Eminem Show. Though it still moved over 17 million units worldwide, its lighter tone and lack of patently offensive content (at least in comparison to his first two releases) raised a few eyebrows. The album produced seven singles, including "Without Me" and "Sing for the Moment". 2002 also saw the rise to fame of Eminem's protégé 50 cent, who he helped to find a record deal.

Eminem released his fourth and most recent album Encore in 2004. Continuing in the direction set by The Eminem Show, Encore features a less offensive, almost comedic tone, though the rapper still takes shots at George Bush and Michael Jackson on the album. Singles from Encore include "Just Lose It", "Mockingbird", and "Ass Like That". Eminem has noted that he plans to release a fifth album entitled Curtain Call in 2008 - the album's lead single, "Shake That", was just recently released..

Outside of his career as a recording artist Eminem has also dabbled in acting, starring in the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile in 2002 and slated to appear in a modern-day remake of classic western Have Gun - Will Travel in 2010. He has also developed his own clothing line, Shady Ltd, which can be found at retailers nationwide.

From Discogs:

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972, Kansas City, Missouri), known by his primary stage name Eminem, or by his alter ego Slim Shady, is an American rapper and record producer who grew up in Detroit, Michigan.

From Lastfm:

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known by his stage name Eminem/Slim Shady is an American rapper and record producer. Eminem learned his trade while growing up in Detroit, United States, and quickly gained popularity in 1999 with his major-label 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 the United States history.

Read more about Eminem on Last.fm.

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From Wikipedia:

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known by his stage name Eminem (stylized as EMINƎM) and by his alter ego Slim Shady, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor. Eminem, along with his solo career, is a member of his group D12, and also one half of the hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil, with Royce da 5'9". Eminem is one of the best-selling artists in the world and is the best-selling artist of the 2000s. He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone magazine which ranked him 82nd on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The same magazine declared him The King of Hip Hop. Including his work with D12 and Bad Meets Evil, Eminem has achieved ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 42 million tracks and 49.1 million albums in the United States.

As an underground rapper Eminem released his debut solo album, Infinite in 1996. The album was a critical and commercial failure. He gained mainstream popularity in 1999 after the release of his major-label debut album The Slim Shady LP. The LP also earned Eminem his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. His next two records The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show, also won Best Rap Album Grammy Awards, making Eminem the first artist to win Best Rap Album for three consecutive LPs. This was followed by another studio release in 2004 titled Encore. Eminem then went on hiatus after touring in 2005. He released his first album in five years titled Relapse, on May 15, 2009. In 2010, Eminem released his seventh studio album Recovery. Recovery was an international success and was named the best selling album of 2010 worldwide, joining The Eminem Show, which was the best seller of 2002. Eminem won Grammy Awards for both Relapse and Recovery, giving him a total of 13 Grammys in his career.

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