Previously Known For: As Eminem’s Daughter
|Currently Known For: Student at Michigan State University|
“Somebody please help him! I think my dad’s gone crazy!” Years before she joined the Guinness World Records as the youngest performer to ever record an R&B hit single thanks to her work on her dad’s 2002 single, “My Dad’s Gone Crazy,” Hailie Jade Scott Mathers was born into fame on December 25, 1995 in Detroit, Michigan to a young rapper named Marshall Bruce Mathers III and Kimberly Anne Scott. With Mathers better known to his fans as Eminem, it was only a matter of time before Hailie herself became a hot topic of conversation thanks to the drama surrounding her parent’s relationship and her father’s risqué and violent lyrics that stemmed from his own troubled childhood.
Abandoned by his father and raised by a single mother, Marshall Mathers moved frequently between Michigan and Missouri throughout his childhood. Often described as a loner with a knack for storytelling, Mathers discovered hip hop and rap, which completely changed his life in high school. At 15 years old, he met a young girl named Kimberly Anne Scott and serenaded her with his rendition of LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” before sharing his dreams of becoming a famous rapper. By then, Scott was hooked by the aspiring artist and, two weeks later, ran away from home with her twin sister and moved in with Mathers and his mother. In the years, following, the two shared an on-again, off-again relationship as Mathers worked to build his career as a rapper shortly before Scott announced she was pregnant. The couple welcomed their daughter, Hailie Jade Scott Mathers, into the world on Christmas Day in 1995.
Despite being rejected by many established rappers because of his race, Eminem quit school and forced himself to do radio shows and freestyle battles while working 60 hours a week as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. Then, days before Hailie’s first birthday and their first Christmas as a family, he was fired from his job and left with nothing in his pocket or his bank account. With his substance abuse already spiraling out of control, Eminem’s desperation overwhelmed him as he attempted suicide for the first time. Luckily, the attempt failed and Eminem rekindled his passion with the release of his debut album, Infinite, which was a massive critical and commercial flop. This time, however, Eminem refused to let the failure define him and, instead, pushed forward using his daughter as inspiration.
Eminem developed a violent alter ego named Slim Shady and explored more risqué lyrics, which caught the attention of Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. Under the label, he released award-winning albums like The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show while garnering mainstream success. Even then, he put his daughter ahead of everything saying, “I’m a father first, before anything. I’m a father before I’m a rapper. So, you know my daughter comes first no matter what. If there’s important things going on in her life that I need to be there for, then I’ll drop what I’m doing…”
Eminem’s bond with Hailie came front and center as Eminem’s success skyrocketed. She became a frequent topic in his lyrics in singles like “Kim” and “97’ Bonnie & Clyde” just as her parent’s relationship took a turn for the worse and ended in divorce in 2001. With Eminem assaulting Scott’s boyfriend and then Scott suing for defamation of character after the release of “Kim,” Eminem briefly lost parental rights to Hailie and ignited a court battle that ultimately earned him joint custody, which he celebrated with the release of “Hailie’s Song” in 2002. Coincidentally, that’s the same year he brought Hailie into the studio where, at six years old, she famously said, “Somebody please help, my dad’s gone crazy.” In the blink of an eye, Hailie’s turn of phrase was included in her dad’s next hit single, “My Dad’s Gone Crazy,” which earned her a place in the Guinness World Records as the youngest artist to have an R&B hit single.
“That’s my little girl, you know she’s goofy too,” Eminem said during an interview in 2002. “One day we were in the studio doing a song and she was like, ‘Somebody help me, I think my dad’s gone crazy.’ I said, ‘Hailie, what did you say?’ She said it again and then said, ‘Daddy, I want to do it on the mic.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I got her in the booth… I lied to Kim and told her I was taking Hailie to Chuck E Cheese that day, but I took her to the studio. When she found out that I used our daughter to write a song… she blew… We had just got back together for a couple of weeks. Then I played her the song and she bugged out.”
Despite her father’s violent lyrics, his history of drug abuse and his wild persona, Hailie has always remained at the forefront of her dad’s career as he dedicated his 2005 MTV Movie Awards performance of “Mockingbird” to her. “Being a dad is definitely living a double life,” Eminem said when asked about balancing his role as an artist with fatherhood. “As far back as I can remember, even before Hailie was born, I was a firm believer in freedom of speech. I never wanted to compromise that, my artistic integrity, but once I hit them gates where I live, that’s when I’m Dad. Taking the kids to school, picking them up, teaching them rules. I’m not saying I’m the perfect father, but the most important thing is to be there for my kids and raise them the right way.”
Doing exactly that, Hailie hasn’t wanted for much over the years but that hasn’t gotten in the way of her academics nor has it made her unlikable. In fact, she was crowned Homecoming Queen at Chippewa Valley High School in Michigan where her dad proudly watched behind the scenes. After graduating with honors and thanking her parents saying, “My mother and father are the most influential people in my life because they have pushed me to be the person I am and have given me all the support to achieve what I have,” Hailie enrolled at Michigan State University where she made her way to sorority row as a member of Zeta Tau Alpha.
Today, Hailie continues to enjoy life at Michigan State and, thanks to social media, has gradually earned quite the following on Instagram as she shares snapshots of both her life and her famous dad who, after 21 years, still says that Hailie is the driving force behind his life and career. Of course, regardless of his fame, Eminem is still a protective daddy as one source says, “He still wants to protect Hailie, so he gets nervous when she goes out in short dresses and heels. He likes her in sweatpants and a ponytail.” It looks like there’s a softer side to Slim Shady after all!