You might think that Justin Bieber is big — he dominates the pop charts and has more twitter followers than Barack Obama — but really, Eminem could teach him a thing or two about being big. See, the US rapper — who will perform on the final night of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after-race concerts on November 4 — was the biggest selling artist of a decade.
The Detroit-bred star last week came in ninth on Forbes’ list of the top ten highest-earning rappers, taking in $15 million (Dh55 million) in the last year, despite not having released an album since 2010. Recovery — which was 2010’s biggest selling album, worldwide — is just one of the albums that has made Eminem the best-selling artist of the 2000s.
Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers (and aka Slim Shady) follows Kylie Minogue on November 2 and Nickelback on November 3 to complete the line-up for the concerts which follow each day’s racing, at du Arena, Yas Island.
"We’re thrilled to be bringing Eminem. He is a music icon, and fans have wanted to see him perform in the UAE for a very long time. We’re excited to answer fans’ wishes and deliver what looks set to be an incredible After Race Concert," said John Lickrish, CEO of concert organisers Flash Entertainment. "Having Kylie Minogue and Nickelback alongside Eminem for the after-race concerts this year is quite exciting for FLASH. Get ready for Abu Dhabi’s most diversely eclectic event — Yasalam 2012."
There may even be new music in the setlist with news last month that he has started work on a new album, having spent much of his time recently helping his supergroup Slaughterhouse complete their album, welcome to: Our House. Eminem is also the CEO of Shady Records.
"I’ve actually kinda just started. I’ve been on the move a little bit too, so I’ve been in between things, sneak songs in here and there," Eminem told MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway in August. "We actually just finished the [Slaughterhouse] album last week... Now I’ve got time to be able to start doing things for my own project."
Top of that Forbes list was Dr Dre, the man who played a big role in bringing out the best in the angry young rapper. Dre produced Eminem’s first album, the Slim Shady LP in 1999; now Eminem, as the head of his own record label says he’s still inspired by his mentor, using "all of Dre’s little tricks, I’ve stolen over the years".
The concerts are open to F1 ticketholders only. In a change to previous years, 2012 race-goers will need to visit Yas Marina Circuit each day to collect their concert wristband to get access to the concerts. The rest of the Yasalam events will be announced on September 18, said Flash.