Eminem was inducted Saturday into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after performing some of his most popular songs with Steven Tyler and Ed Sheeran at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles — and delivering a humble speech about “the music that basically saved my life.”
The decorated rapper, who performed the Oscar-winning “Lose Yourself” at the Academy Awards in 2020 and earned an Emmy for the 2022 Super Bowl Half Time show, was inducted by his mentor Dr. Dre — after explaining why he shouldn’t even be there.
“One...[is] that I’m a rapper, and this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Eminem, according to The Detroit News. “And there’s only a few of us right now that have been inducted in already. Secondly, I almost died from an overdose in 2007, which kind of sucked.”
Eminem then urged his adult daughter Hailie, who featured in some of his most controversial songs as a child, to plug her ears before adding: “because drugs were fucking delicious, and I thought we had a good thing going man, but I had to go and fuck it all up and take too many.”
“And finally, I had to really fight my way through, to try and break through in this music,” added Eminem, who garnered respect as a Detroit battle rapper. “And I’m so honored, and I’m so grateful that I’m even able to be up here doing hip-hop music because I love it so much.”
Eminem was inducted alongside Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Carly Simon, Lionel Richie, the Eurythmics and others. His speech truly made it a night for hip-hop as Eminem thanked the pioneers who came before him by reading out more than 100 names alphabetically.
“Those were my rock stars man, and I just want to say those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction,” he said after crediting the likes of 2Pac, the Beastie Boys, Gang Starr and The Notorious B.I.G.
“Because without them, a lot of us wouldn’t be here,” Eminem added. “I know I wouldn’t.”
Eminem previously recounted his near-fatal overdose on the “Paul Pod” podcast in September and revealed he was taking up to 80 valium per day before collapsing in his bathroom. His recovery marked a serious shift in his music and led to even further success.
A former underdog who lyrically scrapped his way to recognition in Detroit’s underground scene, he sold more than 220 million albums to date, with 10 consecutive albums debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts — and is one Tony Award away from EGOT status.
“And he doesn’t care about that,” said Dr. Dre. “I care about it more than he does. What’s most important to him is that he’s earned the respect of his peers as one of the best to ever do it. It is my great honor to induct my friend, Eminem, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
The induction ceremony will be available to stream on HBO Max on Nov. 19.