Eminem, byname of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, (born October 17, 1972, St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S.), American rapper, record producer, and actor who was known as one of the most-controversial and best-selling artists of the early 21st century.
When Eminem placed second in the freestyle category at the 1997 Rap Olympics in Los Angeles, he came to the attention of Dr. Dre, founding member of pioneering rappers N.W.A. and the head of Aftermath Entertainment. By that time Eminem had developed the persona of the inhibitionless Slim Shady, who gave voice to Eminem’s id in often vulgar and violent lyrics. With Dr. Dre as his producer and mentor, Eminem released The Slim Shady LP early in 1999. Benefiting from the inventive channel-surfing music video for the hit song “My Name Is” and the instant credibility of Dr. Dre’s involvement, the album sold several million copies, and Eminem won two Grammy Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards .
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