Marshall Bruce Mathers III, more widely known as the rapper Eminem, is one of the best selling artists in the world, who has shocked, wowed and sometimes mortally offended people with some of his lyrics.
He has conquered a section of the music industry that was a no go area to white singers and counts the legendary Dr Dre as one of his closest friends.
He is a multi award winning artist, manager of Shady Records and an accomplished actor.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born in Kansas City. He was brought up by his mum after his father left when he was very young.
He moved frequently between Kansas City and Detroit, surrounded by the world of hip-hop.
Eminem started rapping from the age of four, when he started putting rhyming words together. At only twelve years old, he started to write his own songs, but without much success.
In 1995, he became a father to daughter Hailie Jade Scott, with his former wife, Kimberley Anne Scott, who he married in June 1999.
He has spoken openly of his addiction to prescription drugs and has found himself on the wrong side of the law on several occasions.
In 1996, he released his first album “Infinite”, which sold only 1,000 copies.
Flat broke and a young father, he had nothing left to lose with his career and in 1997, he entered the Rap Olympics in Los Angeles purely to win the prize money of $1,500.
Through his music, he simply vented his frustration about the social injustice he and many of his peers faced and ranted his way to second place in the competition. He was totally heartbroken at not having won the competition.
However, there were producers in the audience who had noticed him and liked what they saw. Jimmy Lovine of Interscope Records requested a copy of some of his material passed it on to rap producer, Dr Dre.
He liked what he heard and the two got together to do some recording, where they instantly hit it off.
In 1998, Eminem signed with Aftermath Entertainment, Dr Dre’s record label and released his first major studio album “The Slim Shady LP”.
This album changed the young, white rapper’s life forever. It was the biggest selling album of 1999 and had gone triple platinum by the end of the year.
In 1999 Eminem and his Manager, Paul Rosenberg set up “Shady Records” and instantly signed up D12, Eminem’s collective from Detroit.
They released two albums together, with the hit singles “S**t on You” and “Purple Pills”, The title of “Purple Pills”, was changed in the UK to “Purple Hills”, due to the title being a reference to drugs.
In 2000 Eminem released his second studio album, “The Marshall Mathers LP”. It broke all sales records as the fastest selling album in its first week.
The hit singles from the album include, “The Real Slim Shady”, “The Way I am” and “Stan”, a collaboration with Dido Armstrong, with the song based on her single “Thank You”.
In the same year his wife tried to commit suicide over the lyrics in the song “Kim”, which depicted ‘Stans’ girlfriend’s death. The couple divorced in 2001.
On the back of this album, Eminem was also accused of showing his homophobia through some of his lyrics. Eminem refuted these claims by performing with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards.
Elton John was criticized by several Gay Rights Groups for having shared the stage with the rapper, but their performance of “Stan” was astounding.
In 2002 he released his third studio album, “The Eminem Show”, which went 10x platinum and was the best selling album of 2002. The hit single from the album was “Without Me”.
The excessive use of obscene language in the album and some of his life events he shares, such as assaulting a bouncer he caught kissing his wife as well as some of the trials he faced in fatherhood and marriage, were criticized by several sections of society.
In the same year he starred alongside Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger in the film “8 Mile”. The film has a semi - autobiographical feel to it and gives a very emotive insight into life in cities like Detroit.
He won an academy award for “Best Original Song” for “Lose Yourself”, which he recorded for the soundtrack of the film.
In September 2004, he released his fourth album, “Encore”. The most famous single off the album is “Just Lose It”, a rather derogatory song about the late Michael Jackson, detailing his financial worries, child molestation accusations and the plastic surgery he had undergone. Michael Jackson openly condemned the single during a radio interview.
The second most provocative single from the album was the anti-war single “Mosh”, which had potentially threatening lyrics towards the then US President George W Bush.
In 2005 it was rumored that Eminem was going to give up his successful rapping career. In the same year, he released a Best of album titled “Curtain Call: The Hits”.
In December 2008 he confirmed that he was back in the studio with Dr Dre recording some new material.
His fifth album “Relapse” was released in May 2009 and although it did not enjoy the same success as some of his previous albums, it was still a commercial success.
The following year he released his sixth album “Recovery”, with the hit singles “Not Afraid” and “Love The Way You Lie”, which featured Rihanna, doing well in both the UK and the US.
“Love The Way You Lie” was the 2010 best selling single in the UK, without having even reached number one in the charts.
Eminem has been one of the most controversial artists of the last 15 years, but has produced music, which has, for good or bad, influenced a generation of music lovers.
The music industry has changed dramatically over this period, with reality TV shows taking the originality and wow factor away from what is one of the most eclectic industries in the world.
He is a man of raw talent, who came from nowhere and could be seen as an inspiration from those from a similar background.