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Eminem's stalker anthem 'Stan' hits streaming milestone on Spotify

Adam Graham, The Detroit News on

Published in Entertainment News

Things didn't end too well for Stan, the subject of Eminem's 2000 stalker anthem from his "Marshall Mathers LP."

But there's good news for the song: "Stan" is now a member of Spotify's Billions Club, having surpassed the 1 billion streams marker on the platform, Eminem's ninth song to achieve the digital milestone.

"Stan," built around a sample of British singer Dido's 1998 track "Thank You," is a narrative that finds Eminem rapping the first three verses from the perspective of an increasingly annoyed stalker who's trying to get the attention of the rapper. The last verse is a response from Em, who comes to realize the fan took his admiration for Eminem way too far.

It was an early example of Eminem's sharp storytelling skills and one of the highlights of "The Marshall Mathers LP," Eminem's follow-up to his breakthrough 1999 set "The Slim Shady LP." "Stan" — which was produced by Eminem and Mark James, the New York DJ known professionally as The 45 King, who died in October at age 62 — was the third single released from the album, and it peaked at No. 51 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. ("Thank You," released as a single in the wake of "Stan's" success, ironically performed better, peaking at No. 3 on the chart, becoming Dido's highest charting song in the U.S.)

Eminem performed "Stan" at the Grammy Awards in 2001 alongside Elton John, at the height of Em's controversy surrounding the use of homophobic slurs in his lyrics. The song's video, starring "Final Destination's" Devon Sawa as Stan (and featuring Dido as his girlfriend), has earned 691 million views on YouTube. Eminem and Dido teamed up to perform the song on "SNL" in October 2000; Dido wore a chain featuring the logo of Eminem's group, D12, around her neck during the performance.

Eminem performed the song alongside Ed Sheeran during his induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022; the pair reprised the performance over the summer during Sheeran's concert at Ford Field.

"Bad Guy," the opening track from 2013's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," is a sequel to "Stan."

"Stan" has a long tail; while the song details the dark side of fame and the obsessive nature of fandoms, "Stans" and "Stan culture" have become shorthand terms for fans, embraced and even used as a term of endearment by those it describes. It eventually found its way into the Merriam-Webster dictionary, where it is defined as "an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan."

 

"Stan" follows "Rap God," which joined Spotify's Billions Club in October, as well as his songs "Mockingbird," "Godzilla," "The Real Slim Shady," "Love the Way You Lie," "Lose Yourself," "'Till I Collapse" and "Without Me."

"The Monster" (932 million streams) and "Not Afraid" (925 million) are likely Em's next tracks to join the club.

"Lose Yourself," Eminem's Oscar-winning theme from "8 Mile," is his most popular song on the service, and is less than 30 million streams away from hitting the 2 billion marker.

In all, 527 songs have crossed over into Spotify's Billions Club; Drake and Justin Bieber are tied for most songs on the list with 14 apiece, followed by Bad Bunny, Rihanna, Ariana Grande (12 each), Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd (11 each).

"Electric Love," the 2014 alt-pop song from Michigan's Børns, also recently crossed the 1 billion streams threshold on Spotify.

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