Marshall Bruce Mathers III is known professionally as Eminem. He is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is credited with popularizing hip hop in middle America and is critically acclaimed as one of the greatest rappers of all time. At the age of 14, Eminem began rapping with high-school friend ‘Mike Ruby’. In 1988, he went by the stage name ‘MC Double M’ and formed his first group ‘New Jacks’.
He made his first music video appearance in 1992 in the song “Do-Da-Dippity”. He recorded his debut album ‘Infinite’ in 1996. During his struggling period, Eminem cooked and washed dishes for minimum wage at Gilbert’s Lodge, a family-style restaurant at St. Clair Shores. Later he went to Los Angeles to compete in the 1997 Rap Olympics, an annual, nationwide battle rap competition. In February 1999, he released ‘The Slim Shady LP’ which became one of the year’s most popular albums.
The album ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ broke the US records held by Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle for fastest-selling hip hop album and “Britney Spears” Baby One More Time for the fastest-selling solo album. His song ‘Stan’ was ranked tenth in a Top40-Charts.com survey and also has been ranked 296th on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time list”. The Q popular music magazine called “Stan” the third-greatest rap song of all time. In 2002, Eminem made his debut in the musical drama film ‘8 Mile’.
He was ranked 58th in Bernard Goldberg’s 2005 book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. His album ‘Recovery’ became the sixth consecutive US number-one album and also topped the charts in several other countries. Recovery was the best-selling album worldwide in 2010. He broke the record for the most successive US number-one albums by a solo artist. Eminem is the only rapper with two diamond-certified albums with more than 60 million likes and he was the most-followed person on ‘Facebook’.
In November 2013, Eminem was named the first YouTube Music Awards Artist of the Year, and Later he won the Global Icon Award at the 2013 MTV EMA Music Awards. At the 57th Grammy Awards, he received the Best Rap Album award for ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2’. He has sold more than 220 million records. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Eminem was also the best-selling male music artist in the United States in the 2010s. His songs ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’, ‘The Eminem Show’, ‘Curtain Call: The Hits’, ‘Lose Yourself’, ‘Love the Way You Lie’ and ‘Not Afraid’ have all been certified Diamond or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America. He was a member of the hip-hop group D12. He has over ten billion views of his music videos on his YouTube Vevo page.
Aubrey Drake Graham is a Canadian rapper, singer, and actor. He has been credited for popularizing singing and R&B sensibilities in hip hop. At the age of 15, he started his career as an actor. Drake made his debut in the television series ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’. He used to arrive late on set after spending nights recording music. He was inspired by American rappers ‘Jay-Z’ and ‘Clipse’.
In 2006, Graham released his debut mixtape, ‘Room for Improvement’. His second mixtape ‘Comeback Season’ made him the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have his music video on BET. His third mixtape ‘So Far Gone’ was made available for free download through his OVO blog website. In 2009, the song “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful” both gained Gold certification by the ‘Recording Industry Association of America’. His song “I’m Goin’ In” and “Fear” won the Rap Recording of the Year at the 2010 Juno Awards. On 9 March 2010, Drake released the debut single “Over” which peaked at number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100 List.
His second single “Find Your Love” became an even bigger success the song peaked at number five on the Hot 100 List. The album ‘Thank Me Later’ became the top-selling debut album for any artist in 2010. In the same year, he hosted the first ‘OVO Festival’. His song “Make Me Proud” became the fourth consecutive single to receive Platinum certification by the RIAA. He won the “Grammy Award” for Best Rap Album at the ’55th Annual Grammy Awards’. In 2013, he released his song “Hold On, We’re Going Home” which became the most successful single off the album peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Drake also performed in Dubai, being one of the only artists ever to perform in the city.
The song “One Dance” became Spotify’s most-streamed song ever-amassing over 882 million plays as of October 2016. His song ‘More Life’ become the highest-ever streamed album in 24 hours in 2017. Graham’s album ‘Scorpion’ broke both the one-day global records on Spotify and Apple Music in 2018. The song ‘In My Feelings’ made Drake the record holder for most number-one hits among rappers.
In February 2019, he won his fourth ‘Grammy Award’ for Best Rap Song “God’s Plan” at the ’61st Annual Grammy Awards’. He became the first artist to surpass 50 billion combined streams on Spotify in 2021. On 23 March 2022, he won the Hip-Hop Artist of the Year Award at the ‘iHeartRadio Music Awards’. His highest-certified single is “God’s Plan”. He holds several Billboard Hot 100 chart records. Drake has the most charted songs by any artist. In 2021, he became the second act to occupy the entire Hot 100’s top five in a single week. He is the highest-certified digital singles artist ever in the United States.
3. Post Malone
Austin Richard Post is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Post is known for his variegated vocal styles. He worked at a Chicken Express as a teenager. At the age of 15, he chose “Post Malone” as his stage name. In 2015, Malone released a music video for “White Iverson”. After hitting one million views within a month. He signed a recording contract with Republic Records. He worked with a number of prominent rappers like ’50 Cent’, ‘Young Thug’, and ‘Kanye West’. He did an opening act for Bieber’s Purpose World Tour (2016- 2017). On 20 April 2016, he release his new single “Go Flex”.
In the same year, he released his first full-length project, a mixtape, titled ‘August 26th’. Malone made his national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! by performing the “Go Flex”. The song ‘Congratulations’ was his first top-ten song on the Billboard Hot 100. Later he released the first single from the album “Rockstar” featuring “21 Savage”. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2017, American monthly magazine ‘Rolling Stone’ call him “one of the most popular musicians in the country”. His album Beerbongs & Bentleys broke the first-day streaming records on Spotify with 78.7 million streams worldwide. The album was also certified platinum by the RIAA after four days. In August, Post broke “Michael Jackson” 34-year-old record for most weeks on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
The song “Sunflower” with ‘Swae Lee’ was the promotional and lead single to the soundtrack for the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018. On 10 February 2019, he performed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the awards show. In August 2020, he invested in Envy Gaming and became a co-owner of the organization. Malone has won 10 Billboard Music Awards. He is the first solo artist to top the Rap Airplay and Adult Contemporary charts. He has set the record for the longest climb to number one (41 weeks) on the Adult Contemporary chart by a solo artist.
4. Ed Sheeran
Edward Christopher Sheeran is an English singer-songwriter. At the age of four, he sang in a local church choir. he began writing songs and learned to play guitar around the age of eleven. In 2004 school report described him as a “natural performer” and his classmates also voted him “most likely to be famous”. Later he was accepted at the National Youth Theatre in London as a teenager. At the age of thirteen, he independently released his first collection of work titled ‘Spinning Man’. He auditioned for the ITV series ‘Britannia High’ in 2008.
Sheeran began studying music at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford. He released EP in 2009, You Need Me, and collaborated with Essex singer Leddra Chapman. He also self-released two other EPs in 2010, Ed Sheeran: Live at the Bedford and Songs ‘I Wrote with Amy’. On 26 April 2011, Sheeran appeared on the BBC music show Later with Jools Holland, where he performed his debut single “The A Team”.
The song “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart. In 2012, he won the ‘Brit Awards’ for Best British Male Solo Artist, and ‘British Breakthrough Act of the Year’. He played at arenas and stadiums across North America as the opening act for Swift’s The Red Tour. On 24 March 2014, Sheeran performed at the Teenage Cancer Trust charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He wrote more than 120 songs for the album. The album ‘Thinking Out Loud” became his second single to reach number one in the UK. Spotify named him the most-streamed artist and the most-streamed album. The album made Sheeran iTunes’ best-selling artist in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Sheeran’s second studio album “multiply” was named the second-best-selling album worldwide in 2015. He won Album of the Year at the 2015 ‘Brit Awards’ and also received the ‘Ivor Novello Award’ for Songwriter of the Year from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. He received ‘Grammy Awards’ for the song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ in 2016. ED’s third album ‘Divide’ was the best-selling album worldwide in 2017.
The songs ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’ broke records in a number of countries by debuting in the top two positions on the charts. He became the first artist to have two songs debut in the US top 10 in the same week. The song ‘Perfect’ became Christmas number one in 2017. He was named the Global Recording Artist of the Year.
5. The Weeknd
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye is a Canadian singer-songwriter and record producer. He is known for his sonic versatility and dark lyricism. In August 2009, Tesfaye began anonymously releasing music on YouTube. He uploaded the song “What You Need”, “Loft Music” and “The Morning” to YouTube under the username “xoxxxoooxo”. the songs drew some attention online and were later included in a blog post from rapper ‘Drake’. In 2011, Tesfaye released his debut mixtape ‘House of Balloons’. He released his second mixtape ‘Thursday’ in 2011. His mixtape, ‘Echoes of Silence’ was a longlisted nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize.
Tesfaye held his first live performance at the ‘Mod Club Theatre’. He participated in concerts hosted by the ‘Black Student Association’ at the University of Toronto. He also contributed to four songs on Drake’s second studio album ‘Take Care’. On 13 November 2012, The album ‘Trilogy’ peaked at number four on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales. In 2013, Tesfaye released the title track to his debut studio album Kiss Land. He released the song “Earned It” from the soundtrack for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015. His second ‘The Hills’ peaked at number one and become Tesfaye’s first number-one single. The Hills was certified diamond by the RIAA, marking Tesfaye’s first diamond-certified record.
In 2015, he partnered with the electronic vaporizer company ‘Pax Labs’ to release a limited edition vaporizer. The album ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ became his first number-one project in the US and is one of the year’s best-selling albums. He has received numerous accolades, including four ‘Grammy Awards’, ’20 Billboard Music Awards’, ’17 Juno Awards’, ‘six American Music Awards’, and ‘Two MTV Video Music Awards’. Tesfaye is among the world’s best-selling music artists with over 75 million records sold. He holds several streaming and Billboard chart records.
He is the first artist at the same time to debut in the top three of Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song ‘Blinding Lights’ is the longest-charting song in Billboard history. In April 2019, he became an owner and global ambassador of the esports company ‘OverActive Media’. He was named on the list of the world’s most influential people by ‘Time magazine’. Tesfaye was honored with ‘Humanitarian Award’ at the inaugural Music in Action Awards.