Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972 in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the controversial star was already showing an interest in rap by the age of 14 and by 21 released an independent album, Infinite.
In 1997, Eminem signed with Interscope who produced The Slim Shady LP.
Within months the album - the only one ever released by a white gangsta rap star - went triple platinum.
Almost immediately the controversy over the album's lyrics erupted, pitting Eminem's new-found fans - who found the star over-the-top funny - against parents and religious leaders who found the explicit lyrics utterly shocking.
More controversy followed with the release of his next album, The Marshall Mathers LP, featuring lyrics that denounced well-known celebrities, women in general, and homosexuals. Eminem stemmed some of the criticism by appearing with gay singer Elton John on that year's Grammy Awards - in which the rapper's latest release was nominated for Album of the Year.
2002 saw the release of Eminem's third major album, The Eminem Show, along with his acting debut in the semi-biographical 8 Mile- and with it the Oscar for Best Song for one of
the film's tracks, Lose Yourself.
In 2004, another Eminem controversy erupted with release of the music video Just Lose It, in which the rap star infamously parodied Michael Jackson's child-molestation charges. The video's debut on October 5 resulted in Jackson calling for its total banishment from TV screens. Shortly after, Black Entertainment Television
channel stopped airing it.
In August 2005, more headlines were made when Detroit News reported
that Ford Motor Co. was pleased by Eminem's request to use a Ford Fusion sedan in his next video, but the car company later reneged
on the deal after discovering that the featured "over the top" video wasAss Like That (lyrics), touting the physical attributes of pop stars such as Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson.
Late in the year, Eminem made tabloid headlines when it was announced that the rap star was reuniting with his wife, Kim Mathers, with whom Eminem went through an ugly divorce and
custody battle over their young daughter in 2000. The couple married in 1999, and their divorce was finalized in 2001.
Finally reconciled, the couple remarried in a private wedding ceremony at suburban Detroit's Meadow Brook Hall in January 2006, only
to divorce yet again three months later.
Offstage, Eminem wrote an autobiography, entitled The
Way I Am in 2008 detailing both his personal life and entertainment career. His sixth album, Relapse, was released a year later after a long hiatus away from the recording studio due to his personal struggle with drug addiction. His triumphant recovery was marked by the album having sold more than of 5 million copies worldwide.
The following year, Eminem released his 7th album, Recovery, which also became one of the successful albums of 2010, giving him two consecutive back-to-back best sellers.
More about Eminem around the Web:
Eminem - The official site with news and updates, performance schedules, audio and video clips, fan forum, online store.
Eminem Web - News and updates, audio and video clips, downloadable
music videos, message-board, related links..
Eminem.net - The latest news, tour schedule, picture galleries, a complete
lyrics archive, music and film list, quotes and interviews, audio and
video clips, wallpapers and more.