Undeniably influential and undeniably controversial, Eminem, born Marshall Mathers III, first got his start in the mid-1990s on the underground, predominantly black, hip-hop scene in Detroit. Raised in poverty by his mother, Mathers quickly realized that rap was his only way out of his miserable lifestyle. At 17, he dropped out of high school and seriously pursued a music career under the name Eminem--finally grabbing the attention of Dr. Dre, who produced his debut LP in 1999, which went triple platinum and grabbed multiple Grammys. While Eminem's music was successful, it was also deemed homophobic, violent and misogynist by multiple activist groups who protested outside his concerts. He also gained controversy for his lyrics blatantly slandering his mother, his daughter's mother, and several celebrities, which have spawned multiple law suits against Eminem. The controversy subsided a bit when he starred in a semi-autobiographical account of his life growing up in Detroit, entitled 8 Mile and winning him an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Eminem has continued to stand by his controversial raps, releasing new albums and producing other rapper's albums, all released to positive acclaim and gaining Eminem appearances on multiple publications' lists of Most Influential Musicians and Best Rappers.