Eminem, the Nielsen SoundScan Artist of the Decade for 2000-2009, is already kicking off the new decade with more of the same. His latest album, Recovery (Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records), makes its debut atop the charts this week with sales of 741,000 copies; easily outpacing any other release for this year, and setting a bar that no other album has reached for first week sales in almost two years.
The album’s first single, “I’m Not Afraid,” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May. The song was only the 16th in the 52-year history of the Hot 100 to debut at the top spot, and the first rap song to do so in 13 years. The second single from the album, “Love The Way You Lie” (featuring Rihanna), is already showing tremendous growth at radio, and debuts at #1 on the Singles chart this week, with sales of 337,000.
“It’s been 12 years since Eminem signed to Aftermath and Interscope,” remarked Jimmy Iovine, Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Records. “This is a real watershed moment in his career. In my opinion, with this album Eminem’s impact on popular culture, and as a lyricist and writer, puts him on course to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dylan, Springsteen, and Bono.”
Recovery is being hailed as a tour de force for the rapper, receiving a four-star review in the current issue of Rolling Stone, and being described as “his fiercest and most focused work in a long time … a strong return to the form that made him a star in the first place.” (USA Today, 6/21/10)
Eminem performed “Not Afraid” on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater for an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” that aired Friday night, as well as at Sunday night’s “2010 BET Awards.” He heads to Europe next week for headlining slots at Switzerland’s Freuenfeld festival (July 9), T In The Park in Scotland (July 10), and wraps up in Ireland at Oxegen (July 11). Eminem and Jay-Z also will perform co-headlining dates at Comerica Park in Detroit (September 2 and 3) and New York’s Yankee Stadium (September 13 and 14). Tickets for the four shows went on sale late last week and quickly sold out.