It's a monster week for rap god Eminem, who scores two significant sales feats and marks a milestone on the Billboard Hot 100.
Eminem's latest album reaches a notable threshold, while his cumulative sales grow ever larger.
"The Marshall Mathers LP 2" sold another 13,000 copies in the week ending March 16, according to Nielsen SoundScan, upping its cumulative total past 2 million (2.004 million, to be exact). All of Eminem's albums have now each sold more than 2 million, led by the first "The Marshall Mathers LP" (released in 2000), at 10.8 million. (He's also one of only two acts with two 10-million sellers since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. The other: Backstreet Boys. 2002's "The Eminem Show" is Eminem's other title to pass 10 million, having sold 10.3 million.)
Thanks to the continued sales of "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," and Eminem's catalog of albums, in general, his cumulative album sales have grown to 44.91 million. He's now overtaken country king George Strait (44.89 million) to become the second-best-selling male artist of the SoundScan era. (Notably, of course, Strait's career predates the inception of SoundScan data.)
Among all artists in that nearly 23-year span, Eminem is in sixth place, displacing Strait to No. 7 on the best-selling album artists list. Garth Brooks boasts the most albums sold, with 69.52 million. The Beatles ranks second (65.55 million) and Metallica places third (54.26 million). Mariah Carey (54.24 million) and Celine Dion (52.21 million) round out the top five.
On the Billboard 200 albums chart, Eminem's last seven sets have hit No. 1. He missed the summit only with his debut, 1999's "The Slim Shady LP," which debuted and peaked at No. 2.
As his album sales continue to soar, Eminem likewise pads his impressive history on the Hot 100 songs chart.
Eminem logs his landmark 50th Hot 100 hit, as "Headlights," featuring fun.'s Nate Ruess, debuts at No. 86. With the bow, Eminem becomes the seventh rapper to tally at least 50 Hot 100 chart entries. Lil Wayne leads all rappers (and all soloists) with 121 entries, followed by Jay Z (82), Drake (69), Kanye West (61), Ludacris (54) and T.I. (53).
"Headlights" is the sixth song from "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" to hit the Hot 100. "Berzerk" peaked at its No. 3 start in September and was followed by "Survival" (No. 16); "Rap God" (No. 7); "The Monster," featuring Rihanna (four weeks at No. 1); and "Beautiful Pain," featuring Sia (No. 99). ("Headlights" is the third single promoted to pop radio. It rises 40-33 on the Mainstrean Top 40 airplay chart, where "Berzerk" peaked at No. 18 and "The Monster" reigned for five weeks.)
Of Eminem's 50 Hot 100 entries, 17 have reached the top 10, with five rising all the way to No. 1: "Lose Yourself" (12 weeks on top, 2002-03); "Crack a Bottle," with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent (one, 2009); "Not Afraid" (one, 2010); and "Love the Way You Lie" (seven weeks, 2010) and "The Monster," both featuring Rihanna.
With five No. 1s each, Eminem, Diddy and Ludacris share the record for the most Hot 100 leaders among rappers.