Get the low down on Marshall Mathers III, aka Eminem

Wed 1 Jun 2011


Marshall Mathers III, aka Eminem, is the incendiary rap superstar who's ruled the roost of shouty-rage rap-pop for the past decade. Scarier than Madonna's muscly biceps, the Emster is unrivalled for his rhyming style which is acidic, attacking and quite amusing.

Marshall has aired most of his dirty laundry in public - and that includes some pretty dirty pants. Subject matter for his songs have included his white trailer trash background, his battles with drink and drugs, his rocky relationships with wife Kim (so rocky that they were married and divorced twice) and his long-running feud with that hardened criminal we know as, ahem, Mariah Carey.

Just in case you've been in a coma for years and need reminding, here are the headlines. Legendary producer Dr Dre discovered Em. He then shot to stardom with The Slim Shady LP back in 1999. He’s not a big fan of Britney Spears. Or his ex wife Kim.

Now onto his sixth studio album, the collection of caustic shock raps speak for themselves: My Name Is, The Real Slim Shady, The Way I Am, Stan, Without Me, Lose Yourself (from Em's film debut 8 Mile), Just Lose It and Crack A Bottle. 

After taking a four-year break where he succeeded in cleaning up his act, albums Relapse and Recovery were full of brutally honest chunks of Em-speak to win a new generation of fans. With Recovery, Eminem achieved the record for most successive US No 1 albums by a solo artist.

The last few years have seen Eminem achieve new career highs. In March 2011, within days of each other, both The Eminem Show and The Marshall Mathers LP were certified diamond by the RIAA. This makes Eminem the only rapper to have two diamond-certified albums. Eminem is also the first artist in five years to have two number one albums in a 12-month period: Recovery and the collaborative Hell: The Sequel. Still causing controversy, Eminem's video in 2011 for the track Space Bound from the album, Recovery, was slammed by anti-violence campaigners due to its graphic suicidal scene.

Eminem has also climbed to the top of the Facebook charts as the most followed person with more than 50 million "likes", outscoring Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Michael Jackson. He has recently lost the title of most followed rapper on Twitter to Nicki Minaj - can he claim it back?