Pop Culture | Music | 00s

The Story Behind The Insane, Decade-Long Feud Between Eminem And Mariah Carey

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Nothing attracts attention (and publicity) like a famous feud.

The Hatfields and the McCoys, Sega and Nintendo, Kanye and 50 Cent, these public fights made everyone pick a side and defend their cause no matter what. But the strangest -and most intense - feud of all was the beef between rapper Eminem and pop star Mariah Carey in the early 2000s.

Harpo Productions / Fuse

It was the peak of both their careers when the two musicians started calling each other out publicly, which created a media firestorm.

Ironically, it was a planned collaboration that first drove a wedge between the pair.

Carey and her managers reached out to Eminem after seeing him perform at the Grammys with Elton John. They hoped to get Eminem to appear on her Charmbracelet World Tour, but obviously plans fell through.

That would have been the whole story, except Eminem referenced a relationship with Carey in his song "Superman" in 2002.

“What you trying be? My new wife? / What, you Mariah? Fly through twice," he said in the song, adding that he would rather "beg Maria to take me back" than smoke crack.


Fans were stunned to learn the hit musicians were once a couple, and Eminem seemed to confirm the news in an interview with Rolling Stone.

"There's truth to that," he told the magazine. "But on the whole personal level, I'm not really feeling it. I just don't like her as a person."

The feud kicked off for real when Carey denied the rumors on Larry King Live.

“I hung out with him, I spoke to him on the phone. I think I was probably with him a total of four times," she told the host. "And I don’t consider that dating somebody."

Carey took things a step further on her tour the next year, bringing out an Eminem puppet while performing her song "Clown." In case you forgot, that song goes...


"You should've never intimated we were lovers/ When you know very well we never even touched each other."​ Ouch.

Things seemed to cool down for a few years, before Eminem broke the truce and things got really personal.

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