Date of Birth: October 17, 1972
Birth Name: Marshall Bruce Mathers III
Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His mother was 15 at the time of his birth and his father abandoned the family when Eminem was only six months old. The boy and his mother moved frequently before finally settling in Detroit when he was 12 years old. A rap fan since the age of four, Eminem began to get serious about rapping when he was 14. At 17, he quit high school after failing grade nine for the third time, and took on the name M&M (the initials of his first and last names), which later became Eminem. He worked in a restaurant for awhile before releasing his first CD, Infinite, through an independent label in 1996. Eminem later won the Wake Up Show's Freestyle Performer Of The Year award and was a runner-up in Los Angeles' annual Rap Olympics, where he was discovered by Dr. Dre, who took him under his wing. Dr. Dre produced Eminem's next CD, The Slim Shady EP, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts within weeks and went on to sell seven million copies worldwide, as well as capturing the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2000.
Some of the controversial lyrics to his songs have been under attack, including songs that involve violent lines about killing the mother of his child, and verbal attacks against homosexuals. In August 2000, his mother, Debbie Mathers, sued him for defamation because of the way she was depicted in some of her son's songs and because of comments he made during interviews.
His next CD, The Marshall Mathers LP, debuted at number 1 on the US album chart in May 2000. The following February, he won three more Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance.
In June 1999 he married his girlfriend Kimberly, who'd been his childhood sweetheart since she was taken into his home as a troubled 12-year-old. The couple have a daughter, Haile Jade, born December 25, 1995. They were divorced in October 2001, but a year later, they had gotten back together and Kim, her new baby by another man and Hailie moved into Eminem's Detroit home.
Eminem makes his feature film debut in 8 Mile (2002), based loosely on his own life story.