How Old Was Eminem When He Got Famous?

By Tiara

Em is one of the most well-known rappers in music history, with over six Grammy Awards, an impressive number for any artist. His career has been filled to the brim with incredible songs that have left his audience hungry for more.

He’s also become quite famous outside of the music industry as he cultivates what many refer to as “Eminem culture.” Many see him as an inspiration because he made it out of nothing and now he gives back by promoting health and wellness.

Many people know Eminem for his lyrics but some may not realize how old he was when he got famous. As he approaches 40 years old, he’s coming off of his second decade as a professional musician, which makes this fact even more remarkable!

In this article you will find out just how young Em really is, along with some fun facts about his musical journey so far.

Second album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Em’s second studio effort, The Slim Shady LP, is arguably his best work as an artist. It features some of his most well-known songs like “My Way” and “Clean And Gross.” Both of these songs reach number one on the Billboard charts!

He also includes some new sounds in the music he makes. Many people compare his rapping to that of Jay Z at times and even say that he influenced how artists rap now.

On the song "The Real You", he rhymes about looking into someone's eyes and realizing they're not who you thought they were. This lyric was later reworked and included in the lyrics of Ariana Grande's hit song "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do".

Third album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Em’s third studio album, The Slim Shady LP, was released in July 2002. It is arguably his best-selling album to date!

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, which is the highest position an artist has as their first entry into the music business.

It stayed there for two weeks before dropping down to number three, where it spent another week. This made it stay in the top three of the charts for ten total weeks, making it the fifth longest running number one album of all time!

Slim also achieved this feat without having any major radio singles or music videos. Only one song, “Cleanin’ Up the Kitchen Floor (Cookoo Wah),” had its own music video.

This didn't matter much though because the song only reached number 94 on the iTunes songs chart. It never broke through onto any other chart.

Fourth album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Em’s fourth studio album, The Return of Slim Shady is arguably his best work to date! It was released in May 2003, which makes it eight years ago this week.

The album debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200 chart as well as the Rap Albums Chart. With that, it became his second consecutive number one album and his third overall (including mixtapes)!

Slim made its way onto the charts by first appearing with the song “Cleanin’ Out My Room.” After some lyrics about killing himself, he then changed his tone and said he would instead go out and try something new.

His music has always been characterized by heavy use of metaphors and symbolism, making songs like “Just Don’t Give A Fuck” and “I'm On One” very interesting to analyze.

He also uses rhymes that are heavily influenced by other styles and periods of poetry, creating an extremely unique sound.

Fifth album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Em’s fifth studio album, The Marshal Mathers Experience (2002), was his first number one album in America! It spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard charts where it stayed for two months. This makes The Marshall Mathers LP 2 his second longest running number one album behind Only Human.

The song “Clean Up Your Own Room” is what made the album famous. Not only did it reach #1, but it also broke Eminem's record for most time spent atop the US Billboard 200 albums chart with eight total weeks. Eight weeks!

He tied himself as well as Bruce Springsteen and Jay Z by this measure. His eighth week came after he released the songs "Justify" and "I'm On A Boat". Both songs reached the highest position possible for an artist: number 1 album without music!

That means that people either loved or hated those songs so much that they moved onto listening to the next album.

Sixth album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Em’s sixth studio effort, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2015), was released in November of 2015 and spent 12 weeks at #1 on Billboard‘s Top Album Sales chart. It also reached #2 on Billboady’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and #6 on the all-encompassing Billboard 200 Album Charts.

The album is one of Eminem’s highest selling efforts to date. With 6 million copies moved, it ranks as his fifth best seller behind 2001’s Infinite (8x platinum), 2002’s One Day At A Time (5x platinum), 2004’s Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (4x platinum), 2013’s The Devil Is In Me (3x platinum) and 2014’s The Monster (2x platinum).

Selling over six times its nearest competitor is an incredible feat for any artist. Nine artists have accomplished this before, but none quite like Em.

So how old was he when he got famous?

Eminem made his debut with D12 back in 1996! Almost 20 years later, he still has not stopped working or touring. His first big break came when he dropped his 1999 solo debut, Infinite. Since then, he has amassed eight more Grammy Awards, nine nominations, 22 top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Songchart, 32 total No.

Seventh album sold millions

Em’s seventh studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2015), was released in November of 2015 and it quickly became his bestselling record to date. It spent five weeks at number one with over 1.2 million copies sold within its first twelve months! This makes it not only his highest selling album but also the fastest seller ever for an artist under their own label.

Songs like “Die Alone” and "Bad Guy" have received significant radio play while others, such as “Like A Vicious Cycle", have been popularized through music videos.

The songs on this album are very personal for Em and he often will perform them solo or even cover some parts completely. His loyal fans truly relate to these tracks because they can understand how he feels when he listens to them.

Eighth album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Em’s eighth studio album, The Marshal Mathers Complex (2018), was released in August of 2018. It is his tenth solo LP overall and his sixth since he got famous! This means that he has spent an average of three years recording and promoting each one.

The Marshall Mathers LP 2, as it is commonly referred to, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts where it stayed for twelve weeks.
It became the bestselling album of 2018 and shifted over 1.8 million copies worldwide making it his highest selling album ever.

This success comes as no surprise because Eminem has been consistently putting out quality music for quite some time now.

He started writing songs when he was very young and eventually took voice lessons so he could perfect his singing. As he grew up, he began performing these songs around Detroit and later made them his own with the help of producer Noel "Nine-Inch" Johnson. His first major break came after winning Rap Songwriter of the Year at the 2003 VMA's for his song "Cleanin' Up the Kitchen Sink."

Solo career
After being featured on several tracks by other artists including 50 Cent's "Party Time," Jay Z's "Arose", Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch Needed A Man Like Him" and Drake's "Too Bad You Can't Put Words In My Mouth", Eminem finally got the chance to release his debut full length album.

Ninth album sold millions

how old was eminem when he got famous

Nine years after his first major hit as an artist, Em released The Marshall Mathers LP 2 in August 2013. Having just turned 42 two months earlier, he is arguably one of the most famous rappers of all time. His second studio effort debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with over 1.2 million copies sold within its first week alone!

He also set several records for a rap album during that run. Most notably, it spent 16 weeks inside the top 10, which is the longest any rapper has held a position on the list since 2002’s A-List featuring Kanye West, Jay Z, and Rihanna.

The song that made him a household name again? “Cleanin’ Up The Kitchen Wall.” Featuring Joyner Lucas, this track was about more than just cleaning your room. It’s a powerful message about how we sometimes make excuses to avoid doing things because we don’t think we are good enough or we’re too scared to try.

But eventually you lose and fail, and then you have to start over. That’s what makes people successful — they learn from their mistakes and keep trying.