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Is Eminem's “Stan” Based On A True Story? 10 Facts You Didn't Know About The GRAMMY-Winning Rapper
Brush up on your Slim Shady knowledge ahead of his Super Bowl 2022 Halftime Show performance on Feb. 13
Eminem is heading to Inglewood, Calif. this Sunday (Feb. 13), where he will perform at the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show alongside frequent collaborator Dr. Dre, rap superstars Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, and the queen of hip-hop soul herself, Mary J. Blige. The show is already shaping up to be legendary, with the five rap icons poised to take over the SoFi Stadium around 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST.
Although Eminem is the top-selling hip-hop artist of all time, there are still a few lesser-known facts about the elusive Detroit rapper. For example, did you know Eminem starred in a two-minute commercial during Super Bowl XLV — the longest ad in Super Bowl history at the time? Brush up on your Slim Shady knowledge ahead of his highly anticipated performance at this year’s Super Bowl below.
1. Eminem was the first rapper to win an Academy Award
Eminem’s GRAMMY-winning song “Lose Yourself” from the 2002 film 8 Mile won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making him the first hip hop artist ever to win the award. However, Marshall Mathers was not expecting his song to win — so much so that he skipped the ceremony and spent the night hanging out with his daughter, instead.
At the 2020 Oscars, Shady surprised attendees with a performance of the popular track, nearly two decades after it won him the award.
2. He’s broken 13 Guinness World Records
Over the course of his 34-year career, Eminem has broken 13 Guinness World Records. In 2015, his GRAMMY-nominated single “Rap God” broke the record for Most Words in a Hit Single. The Detroit native also holds titles like Fastest-Selling Rap Artist, Largest Vocabulary For A Recording Artist, and Fastest Rap in a No. 1 Single, the latter of which he clenched with 2020’s “Godzilla.”
3. He was the first artist to have 10 consecutive No. 1 debuts on the Billboard 200
In 2020, Eminem scored his 10th consecutive No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 with his 11th studio album, Music To Be Murdered By. The 49-year-old was the first artist to achieve this, breaking his then-tie with Kanye West. In terms of non-consecutive No. 1 debuts on the chart, Eminem sits behind Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, who have both released 11 No. 1 albums; JAY-Z, who has 14; and the Beatles with 19.
4. Eminem recorded “My Name Is” after meeting Dr. Dre
For their first meeting, Eminem went to Dr. Dre’s home studio and recorded what would become his 1999 hit, “My Name Is.” The track earned Eminem one of his first-ever GRAMMY Awards and marked the beginning of one of the most iconic rapper-producer relationships in hip-hop history.
5. He wanted to be a comic book artist before pursuing rap
Before he had hip-hop dreams, Eminem had ambitions of being a comic book artist. Although he wasn’t big on reading — the only book he’s read cover-to-cover is allegedly LL Cool J’s I Make My Own Rules — a young Mathers was fascinated with comics. Superhero comics also provided an outlet while in rehab for drug addiction, Eminem revealed on “The Jonathan Ross Show” in 2009. Eminem’s love of comic books has occasionally popped up in his music career, such as his “Mosh” music video and “The Slim Shady Show” series. He was also the focus of his own Marvel Comics story, “Eminem/Punisher #1.”
6. "Lose Yourself” is Eminem’s biggest hit
“Lose Yourself,” the diamond-certified 2002 hit from 8 Mile, is Eminem’s most successful single to date. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — becoming his first single to do so — and reached the top spot on 24 national charts worldwide. It was also nominated for five GRAMMY Awards, ultimately winning Best Rap Song and Best Male Rap Solo Performance in 2004.
7. He’s won 15 GRAMMY Awards
Eminem has won a total of 15 GRAMMY Awards and has been nominated 44 times. He took home his first two trophies at the 42nd GRAMMY Awards for “My Name Is,” which won Best Rap Solo Performance, and The Slim Shady LP, which won Best Rap Album. He’s performed at the GRAMMYs four times, the first being his iconic duet of “Stan” with Elton John in 2001.
8. Rick Rubin executive produced two of Eminem’s albums
Rick Rubin worked with Eminem as the producer and executive producer of his eighth album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which won Best Rap Album at the 2015 GRAMMYs. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Em revealed he was drawn to working with the legendary producer because he wanted to “experiment with new, older breakbeats” and “retro” sounds. Rubin also produced and executive produced Eminem’s ninth album, Revival.
9. Eminem turned his famous “Mom’s spaghetti” line into a restaurant
"His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti,” is a line most Eminem fans know by heart. Although the famous “Lose Yourself” lyric was not inspired by Eminem’s own life — he was writing in-character as 8 Mile protagonist Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. — it did inspire a business venture. In 2021, Eminem opened Mom’s Spaghetti restaurant in Detroit; a pop-up version of the eatery will also be present at Super Bowl LVI.
10. “Stan” is not based on a true story
Eminem’s 2000 smash-hit “Stan” was not based on a real person. However, the song, which tells the story of an obsessed fan who kills himself and his girlfriend after Eminem fails to respond to his letters, was inspired by the rapper’s real experiences. After receiving disturbing fan mail in response to his sophomore album, The Slim Shady LP, Eminem wrote the track as a “message to fans” not to take his lyrics literally. The Dido-sampling song became a career-defining hit and the term “stan” became an official addition to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Ladies Antebellum And Gaga, Jeff Beck, David Frost, John Legend Win Three GRAMMYs Each
Arcade Fire wins Album Of The Year; Esperanza Spalding wins Best New Artist
(To view a list of 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards winners, click here.)
The evening began with a tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, but by the time the last of the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards was handed out on Feb. 13, several other singers and bands looked something like royalty. Foremost among them was Lady Antebellum, who walked away with three trophies while the group members earned two more each for songwriting categories.
Lady Antebellum at the GRAMMYs
During a show memorable for its range of fully fueled performances, the country superstars sang a pitch-perfect medley of tunes that ended with a quiet rendition of the song that launched them, "Need You Now," and shortly afterward collected the Song Of The Year GRAMMY for it (along with co-writer Josh Kear, with whom they also took Best Country Song). But there was plenty more to come for the trio. They also took home the GRAMMY for Best Country Album for Need You Now. Accepting that award, lead singer Charles Kelley said, "This song has completely flipped our world upside down." By the time Lady Antebellum stood up to collect a trophy for Record Of The Year for "Need You Now," they were in disbelief, and possibly discombobulated: "Oh my gosh, we're so stunned we started walking the wrong direction," said singer Hillary Scott breathlessly.
Also racking up awards was Lady Gaga, who claimed three: Best Pop Vocal Album for The Fame Monster, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video for "Bad Romance." Never one to miss the chance to make an entrance, she hatched herself onstage from a giant opaque egg. That was a riff on her new single, "Born This Way," and perhaps her bared shoulders, which sprouted a pair of pointy elbows, were too. Her dancers and outfit gave off a Cleopatra vibe, but Gaga can't be stopped from seeming ultra-modern, and her performance of "Born This Way" reflected that; it was a warp-speed whirlwind.
Lady Gaga at the GRAMMYs
In keeping with that same modernist — or maybe futurist — spirit, she accepted her award for Best Pop Vocal Album in black body armor. But Gaga also proved she can be an old-fashioned girl with a soft side. In an emotional acceptance speech for that award, she surprised the audience by thanking Whitney Houston: "I imagined she was singing…because I wasn't secure enough in myself to imagine I was a superstar. Whitney, I imagined you."
Leading the nominees with 10 nods revolving around Recovery, an album that detailed his struggles with addiction but also reestablished him as a rap force to be reckoned with, Eminem took home trophies for Best Rap Album — a triumph over rivals including Jay-Z, Drake and B.o.B — and Best Rap Solo Performance for "Not Afraid." Onstage, his swagger proved undiminished.
A flame-haired Rihanna opened Eminem's performance with a searching rendition of their duet "Love The Way You Lie," but it was Slim Shady who came out blazing, spitting the lyrics to that song before raging into "I Need A Doctor" with Dr. Dre and singer Skylar Grey; Adam Levine from Maroon 5 handled piano duty.
Closing the show and likely lifting the Sunday-night spirits of indie kids everywhere was the Canadian collective Arcade Fire, who won the Album Of The Year GRAMMY for The Suburbs and, before the night's final performance, turned in a frothy and fierce rendition of the rocking "Month Of May."
Arcade Fire at the GRAMMYs
Other multiple winners for the evening included classical music producer David Frost, legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck and R&B artist John Legend, who each earned three awards. Among those who won two each were alternative rock band the Black Keys, jazz giant Herbie Hancock, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, urban/alternative group the Roots, Keith Urban, and gospel singer BeBe Winans.
And in a bit of surprise, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist over teen phenom Justin Bieber, as well Canadian rapper Drake, and adventurist rock outfits Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons.
Esperanza Spalding at the GRAMMYs
The show also featured a few firsts, including a first-time ever GRAMMY performance by Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger, who helped pay tribute to fallen R&B singer Solomon Burke.
But if there was also a constant, it was the annual, high-profile celebration of music that the GRAMMYs represent, and the 53rd GRAMMYs fit the bill once again, with performances, pairings and awards presentations that were full of pleasant musical surprises.
Wild At The GRAMMYs: It's Miller Time
David Wild has written for the GRAMMY Awards since 2001. He is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, a blogger for Huffington Post and an Emmy-nominated TV writer. Wild's most recent book, He Is…I Say: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Neil Diamond, is now in paperback. Follow him on Twitter.
The GRAMMY Awards broadcast is the biggest show on earth — or at least the biggest show on television. At least that's the way it looks from my admittedly subjective and sweaty point of view in the GRAMMY trenches.
Think about it for just a moment: There are more moving parts on the GRAMMY show than any other television event that I can think of. See, most of the big TV events are based around actors walking out on a stage in a theater and speaking, and then showing film or video clips. Other shows may feature a number of performances, but no show features more performances than the GRAMMYs. And in search of great GRAMMY moments, performers tend to push things to the limit on the GRAMMY stage, and sometimes slightly over the limit too.
Capturing all of those moving parts on camera in an artful and appropriate way is largely the job of the person in the truck calling all the shots for the camera operators attempting to cover all the musical action — namely, the director.
For the last 29 years, my friend Walter C. Miller has directed the GRAMMY Awards television show. That's not a typo — that's a fact: 29 years. That means every great GRAMMY moment most of us remember, we remember the way Walter wanted us to remember it. I've personally been there and witnessed him take every performance seriously, from Eminem and Elton John, to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and Prince and Beyoncé. "You get to be a part of a lot of musical history on the GRAMMYs," Walter told me recently. His historic track record is remarkable for any business, but much more so in an entertainment industry where survival is more often measured in intervals of 15 minutes than 30 years.
When GRAMMY Co-Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich first brought me in to help write the GRAMMY show a decade ago, he introduced me to Walter, who immediately insulted me in some witty yet somehow warm way. Being a lifelong Don Rickles fan, I liked the guy immediately. He is super sharp with a long lifetime of stories and a singular ability to tell them with fresh wit and the sting of truth. Just between us, Walter reminded me of my father. I remember seeing another director friend after meeting Walter and asking if he knew who Walter was. "Yes, David, Walter Miller basically invented live television,” he told me.
Having Walter on the GRAMMY team has meant the world to all of us lucky enough to work with him.
"I've learned so much from Walter," says Ken Ehrlich. "Wally had been and continues to be like a brother and a father to me. It's been like Butch and Sundance, and we're always ready to yell 'S**t' and jump off the mountain together."
"In his 30 years with the GRAMMY Awards, Walter Miller has not only created the look for our show, but for all other music award shows too," says GRAMMY Co-Executive Producer John Cossette. "He created the template for everyone else to follow."
In recent years, I’ve been lucky enough to find myself down in Nashville working as the writer for the Country Music Association Awards, another very big and distinguished show Walter executive produced and asked me to write after we first met at the GRAMMY Awards. One Sunday afternoon, the two of us had a few hours off in Music City, and decided to go see the new George Clooney movie Good Night And Good Luck. As we left the movie theater, I stupidly said something to Walter like, "Wow, can you imagine being in TV then." Walter looked at me, and said, "David, I was."
And so he was.
This year, Walter decided it was time for him to step back from directing the show, and he's been consulting on the show instead. Another legendary TV director, Louis J. Horvitz will be in the truck calling all those camera shots, and I have no doubt he'll do a great job. "Walter is the king of live television event directors," Louis told me the other day. "He's one of the founders of the whole form."
This year, Walter is also quite rightly receiving the Recording Academy's prestigious Trustees Award. He's earned it, because every time you look at the GRAMMYs for these past 30 years, you could rest assured that the great Walter C. Miller was there.
Walter C. Miller is still here, and thank God for that — and for him. The King lives. Long Live The King.
(Click here to read Wild's other GRAMMY blog installments.)
MusiCares MAP Fund Charity Auction Launched
GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions offers exclusive memorabilia from seventh annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit
Following the seventh annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit honoring Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan and Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman on May 6, GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions has launched the MusiCares MAP Fund Charity Auction. Presented in partnership with Kompolt, the auction is open through May 19 and features a variety of autographed music memorabilia, including items signed backstage at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, Gahan and Paramore.
Additional auction items include a framed issue of Rolling Stone signed by the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger; vintage memorabilia signed by Tony Bennett, Jackson Browne, Annie Lennox, Rod Stewart, and Barbra Streisand; guitars autographed by Kings Of Leon, Korn, Tom Petty, Kenny Rogers, and Keith Urban; unique memorabilia signed by Jeff Beck, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Muse, Katy Perry, and Rihanna; and a 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards VIP Experience for two including rehearsal passes and hotel accommodations.
To place your bid on items featured in the auction, visit www.ebay.com/grammy. All proceeds will benefit MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation.
BEP Remain No. 1 On Social 50
BEP Remain No. 1 On Social 50
GRAMMY-winning group the Black Eyes Peas have topped Billboard's recently launched Social 50 chart for the second consecutive week, marking the first time an act has scored multiple weeks at No. 1. The chart ranks the most active artists on leading social networking sites. Rihanna is second on this week's chart, followed by Justin Bieber, Eminem, and Lady Gaga to round out the top five. (12/17)