Don’t call it a comeback! 2013 saw the return of two noteworthy artists who were beginning to fall off the radar until now. Here’s a look at why Eminem and Tamar Braxton are the year’s “Comeback Kids.”
Eminem — The Marshall Mathers LP 2
After releasing Recovery in 2010, fans began to go through withdrawal for lack of new material from Eminem. They got their wish in November, when Em released The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The disc scored an impressive debut atop the Billboard album chart, selling 792,000 in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marked the second-largest sales week of the year; Justin Timberlake sold 968,000 copies of The 20/20 Experience back in March.
Slim Shady’s album also served as his seventh consecutive #1 album — his only album that hasn’t hit #1 was his first one, The Slim Shady LP, which peaked at #2 back in 1999. The feat has pushed him to second place for most #1 hip-hop albums. Em surpassed both Kanye West and Nas, who are tied with six each, while Jay Z holds the record with 13 chart-toppers.
Eminem was among the winners at the first-ever YouTube Music Awards, taking Artist of the Year. He also logged his sixth performance on Saturday Night Live following his showcases in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, and in 2010, alongside Lil Wayne.
“I’m as happy as I can be, I guess,” Em told Rolling Stone. “Hip-hop saved my life, man. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been even decent at. I don’t know how to do anything else. I think they have a word for that — what do they call it? Idiot savant?”
So what’s in store for 2014? Eminem announced the dates of a four-city stadium outing, dubbed the Rapture Tour, beginning next year in New Zealand and Australia. According to organizers, Slim Shady has recruited Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, 360 and New Zealand’s David Dallas to join him when the tour kicks off in Auckland on February 15, which will mark Em’s first time performing in New Zealand. The rappers will also travel to Melbourne and Brisbane, before concluding in Sydney on February 22.
Tamar Braxton — Love & War
Second chances usually don’t come often in the music industry. However, that’s exactly what happened for Tamar Braxton, whose self-titled debut solo album peaked at #127 on the Billboard 200 back in 2000. It took Tamar more than a decade to get her next stab at a viable solo career, but eventually she capitalized on the success of her WEtv reality show, Braxton Family Values, which not only resulted in her own spin-off, Tamar & Vince, but gave her the momentum to promote her much-anticipated follow-up album.
After giving birth to her first child over the summer, Tamar released her sophomore effort, Love and War, which landed at the #2 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, selling more than 144,000 copies in its first week in stores.
Braxton’s sophomore album claimed #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Top R&B Albums chart. The collection’s solid sales marked the largest sales week for a female R&B/hip-hop album since Alicia Keys‘ Girl on Fire.
Tamar also was selected personally by John Legend for his Made to Love Tour, and her Fox daytime talk show, The Real, was picked up for another season. In addition, Tamar released her first Christmas album, Winter Loversland, before 2013 came to a close.
Tamar further solidified her comeback by earning three Grammy nominations, including Best R&B Song for “Love and War” and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Love and War.
“I feel so blessed right now. This has been one of the most incredible years of my life,” said Tamar in a statement. “I’m beyond excited for all of my Tamartian friends to hear and see everything on the horizon and love it all with me!”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio