Rap star Eminem, age 32, is "in the hospital under doctors' care," and "being treated for dependency on sleep medication," according to Interscope Records. The news came on Thursday, August 18th, 2005, just two days after Eminem abruptly cancelled 10 European dates from the Anger Management 3 Tour with 50 Cent that would have run from September 1st through September 17th.
Interscope Records did not give any details on where Eminem is receiving treatment or how long he was expected to be in the hospital. The tour cancellation, according to press releases, was due to exhaustion and "other medical issues." Many now presume those other issues did involve the sleeping medication addiction. Eminem has spoken about drugs and drug addiction a number of times in the past, and he once had a tattoo on his arm of a Vicodin (prescription pain reliever) tablet. Vicodin, a commonly abused drug, was also featured on the cover of his Slim Shady album.
In response to news of Eminem's hospitalization, radio station WKQI-FM (95.5) was collecting fan signatures on a 20 foot long 'Get Well' card in Warren, Michigan. Warren is in Macomb County, the area where Eminem grew up. The radio station will later present the card to Eminem sharing his fans' best wishes.
The European leg of the Anger Management Tour will not be rescheduled. However, 50 Cent announced that he will undertake a headlining tour in Europe this fall with different dates and venues. Akon, the Senegalese-born singer who hit the top of the charts with "Lonely" earlier this year, will join 50 Cent in the new tour.
Eminem is one of the most successful pop recording artists of the past 5 years. He has released 3 #1 pop albums in a row and has reached the top 10 of the pop singles chart 5 times. "Lose Yourself" is his only #1 pop single.