150 Newsmakers: 52: Eminem, rapper, Oscar winner


Our staff amassed a list of the 150 Michiganians who most affected the news, history and our lives − for better or worse − in the 150 years of The Detroit News, ranked from 150 to 1 (Read the FAQ on our selection process here). Here are our picks, one a day through our birthday on Aug. 23.

52: Eminem, rapper, Oscar winner (1972-present)

Eminem performs during the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Eminem on the sidelines at Ford Field for a Lions game.

Born Marshall Mathers III, and known professionally as Eminem, the rapper is credited with popularizing Hip Hop in middle America. Eminem was brought to Warren at age 12 by his mother, who had been a singer herself. For much of his youth, the family lived in a mostly Black and working class neighborhood of Detroit. He dramatized his upbringing with the movie “Eight Mile.” based on his song Lose Yourself, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. As a teen, he competed in freestyle rap battles and open mic contests. In 1987 he competed in the Rap Olympics in Los Angeles, finishing second and grabbing the attention of producer Dr. Dre. His Slim Shady EP was one of the most popular albums of 1999. His success is considered to have broken racial barriers for White rappers, and his music a touchstone for the American underclass.

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