Born on October 17, 1972 as Marshall Bruce Mathers III, the rapper more commonly known as Eminem is one of the most successful musical artists of his generation. In addition to his legendary rapping career, Eminem has also enjoyed success on the movie screen and a record producer. Here are 37 facts that you may not know about this iconic modern musician.
1. Eminem was born in the small town of St. Joseph, Missouri. He is the only child of Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. and Deborah Rae
2. Prior to their divorce, Eminem’s parents were in a band known as Daddy Warbucks. The band was a regular fixture at various Ramada Inns located along the Dakotas and Montana border.
3. Eminem is not a fan of reading, citing that the only non-comic book that he has ever read from cover to cover is LL Cool J’s autobiography called “I Make My Own Rules.”
4. One of Eminem’s first jobs was a short-order cook at a family restaurant called Gilbert’s Lodge. He was fired five days before Christmas and the experience inspired him to write the song “Rock Bottom.”
5. Eminem had his big break in 1997 when we traveled to Los Angeles to compete in the Rap Olympics competition. Although he came in second place, his performance impressed the managers at Interscope Records who passed his name to Dr. Dre.
6. Eminem once lied to his wife and said that he was taking their daughter to play at Chuck E. Cheese. Instead, they went to the recording studio so that Hailie could record her part in the song “97 Bonnie & Clyde.”
7. Comic books became part of the healing process for Eminem when he was in rehab. He said that the books became a substitute for the drugs and alcohol that he was leaving behind.
8. One of Eminem’s best friends was shot and killed after a fight that broke out over a game of pool. Known to his friends as Proof, the friend was the best man in Eminem’s second wedding to Kim Mathers.
9. Contrary to the belief that he was named after the famous chocolate candy, Eminem came up with his stage name by combining the first initial of his first and last name.
10. The rapper turned movie star made his big-screen debut in the movie “8 Mile.” This 2002 movie is a semi-autobiographical film that chronicles the experience of a white rapper growing up in Detroit.
11. The film garnered Eminem an Oscar award for the song “Lose Yourself.” The award is the first time that a rap song has ever won an Oscar. Eminem was not expecting to actually win the award. He was so sure of this that he skipped the awards ceremony and chose to spend the night simply hanging with his daughter.
12. Eminem has been vocal about his prescription drug problem. At the height of this addition, he was taking between 40 and 60 valiums and 30 Vicodin per day.
13. While he was battling his drug addiction, he turned to food as a comfort. As a result, his weight crept up to 230 pounds, causing some people to not even recognize him any longer.
14. Eminem was only 20 years old when he first had trouble with the law. He was arrested as a result of his participation in a drive-by shooting using a paintball gun.
15. As a child, Eminem was bullied for being one of the only white kids in a predominantly black community. He once spent one week in a coma after a fight when he was only nine years old.
16. Dr. Dre said that Eminem is one of the most hard-working and conscientious musicians that he has ever worked with. This is high praise coming from a professional like Dr. Dre.
17. One of Eminem’s most interesting records was when he broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most words in a hit song. The song that earned that distinction was the 2013 single “Rap God.”
18. Big ears earned Eminem the nickname of Mickey when he was a young boy.
19. He was sued by his own mother on grounds of defamation after he said that she smoked more dope than he did in the song “My Name Is.”
20. Succeeding in school was not Eminem’s thing. He failed the ninth grade a total of three times before dropping out of high school.
21. In 2001, Eminem claimed that he was in a relationship with popular pop star Mariah Carey. She denied the claim.
22. Although school was not his favorite, Eminem has remained committed to studying the dictionary so that he can add more depth to his song lyrics.
23. The original title for The Marshal Mathers LP was “Amsterdam.” The name was inspired because he wrote a bulk of the album while in Amsterdam.
24. Because of his former drug addiction, Eminem gave up long tours. He said that the extended time on the road is a trigger for his addiction.
25. The Beastie Boys were the original inspiration for Eminem as he launched his career.
26. Not one to be technologically savvy, Eminem has no problems admitting that he does not know how to use a computer.
27. One of Eminem’s biggest supporters, as he battled his drug addiction, was legendary singer Elton John. Sir Elton used his own life experience to help Eminem beat his addiction to Vicodin and Ambien.
28. When his daughter was crowned as Homecoming Queen, Eminem watched the ceremony from a distance because he did not want to be the focus of the attention at the school.
29. Although Michael Jackson was once a fan of Eminem, he admitted that he was disappointed when the rapper attacked him in the song “Just Lose It.”
30. Ed Sheeran has said that Eminem has been one of his biggest idols and musical influences as he crafted his own successful career in the industry.
31. Although he was offered the leading role in the 2013 sci-fi movie “Elysium,” Eminem turned it down after the producers refused to honor his request of shooting the movie in his home town of Detroit.
32. Who knew that Eminem was a gamer? He once held a top 30 score in the game Donkey Kong.
33. The rapper is also a philanthropist. The Marshall Mathers Foundation is dedicated to providing care and funding for at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Michigan.
34. The success of Eminem appeared to have happened overnight. He was making payments on his trailer home when his first LP dropped.
35. Eminem was jealous of the success of Vanilla Ice, saying that he did not want to rap anymore after the rapper burst out onto the scene.
36. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly had targeted Eminem in one of his songs, which started a feud between the two. There has been many shots fired back and forth between them since.