The Real Slim Shady, rapper Eminem (also known as Marshall Mathers), made his whole family famous in his rhymes throughout the ’90s and ’00s—not always for the most flattering reasons. (Actually, almost never for flattering reasons.) But his daughter Hailie Mathers, whose baby voice you might remember from songs such as “Mockingbird,” “’97 Bonnie and Clyde,” and, naturally, “Hailie’s Song,” is all grown up.
Eminem’s daughter, who is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest credited performer on an R&B song at the age of 6 years and 210 days, has always had a presence swerving in and out of her dad’s albums, performing or being referenced on at least nine of his tracks to date. You would think that sort of contact with the music industry could warp a kid’s brain. When you consider the unusual childhood she had with her famously volatile parents, it’s shocking how down-to-earth this rap god’s kid turned out to be.
So what can we expect from Hailie going forward? Is she eyeing the rap game, or does she plan to forge another path? Here’s a rundown of the facts you need to know.
Whether it’s the young man’s fury of The Slim Shady LP or the confessional self-examination of Relapse, Eminem has never shied away from using his life to mine for lyrical material. Hailie has been a part of her dad’s raps since birth, but while other people in Em’s life have shown up as a target of rage, from former school bully D’Angelo Bailey to songstress Mariah Carey, Hailie has never been portrayed in any way but as the object of her father’s undying affections. It’s a delightful twist on the rapper’s macabre persona, a humanizing element among all of the chainsaws and carnage.
While still obviously musical fiction, their relationship was never conveyed more poignantly than on the horrifying Slim Shady LP classic “97′ Bonnie and Clyde,” in which Eminem rides into the sunset with his daughter in the passenger seat and his ex’s chopped-up body sinking to the bottom of a lake in their rear view. On a lighter note, at the end of The Eminem Show’s “My Dad’s Gone Crazy,” Eminem showcases his most straightforwardly funny father-daughter collaboration by allowing a young Hailie to squeak the hook. The controversial rapper has demonstrated that he more than gets the joke. “I wouldn’t let Hailie listen to me, neither,” he raps on that track.
Music is music, life is life, and the chasm in between means everything. Hailie was born to a then-unmarried Eminem and Kim Scott on Christmas 1995. Mom and dad would marry and divorce twice over the following decade, with custody of Hailie shared between them. Though Hailie is Eminem’s only biological daughter, she has siblings that Eminem adopted: Alaina, the daughter of Scott’s twin sister, and Whitney, Scott’s daughter from a different relationship. It’s a complicated, messy situation, but one thing that’s remained true the whole time is Eminem’s devotion to Hailie. He can rant and rave about chopping off heads all day in his music, but the real measure of a man isn’t in record sales. It’s in how he treats the ones he loves, and when it comes to his relationship with his daughter, love’s the only thing you see.
It might not make for good rap, but for what it’s worth, Hailie’s divorced parents seem to have gone over the moon to make sure their daughter had a down-to-earth and safe childhood—which is impressive considering Em once rapped about graphically murdering the mother of his child in a track called “Kim” from 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP.
Truth is more boring than fiction, but for our part, we’re plenty happy knowing that Hailie didn’t actually grow up around mayhem like that. As a matter of fact, at the end of her high school career, she named her parents the most influential people in her life. “My mother and father,” she said, “have pushed me to be the person I am and have given me all the support to achieve what I have.”
When Hailie won the title of Homecoming Queen during her senior year, her mother was at her side watching on the field while her megastar father watched from inside the school, so as not to take away from Hailie’s moment.
Hailie would be turning heads even without the connection to her Grammy-winning dad because, simply put, she’s gorgeous. Pictured here in a photo from her senior prom, she practically glows before the camera, with silken blonde curls, smokey eyes, and a glittering gown. Though she doesn’t appear hungry for fame, it’s clear that Hailie is a camera-ready starlet who knows how to put a look together and make a winsome impression. Is it any surprise so many people want to be her? Oh yeah, that reminds us: don’t believe even half of what you see on the internet, because unfortunately…
Being the kid of a famous person means that if you keep a low profile, you can expect some unscrupulous fakers to slip in to try to steal the spotlight. Twitter pretenders are a dime a dozen, and Hailie has had so many impostors that her dad’s business partners have been known to step in and clear up confusion on behalf of the family. It’s sort of a perfect storm. With such a famous family, it would be easy to believe Hailie would bask in the attention, but the real daughter of Slim Shady keeps her real life more low-key, so don’t be fooled by all those fakers—all those other Miss Shadys are just imitating.
Eminem’s complex lyrics and melodies have always suggested a high-functioning mind, and those smarts seem to run in the family. Hailie graduated summa cum laude from Chippewa Valley High School, a public school in Clinton Township, Mich., in 2014. Her grade point average was a 3.9, and don’t think she was just phoning it in to get those marks. In addition to receiving an Academic Excellence Award and a commendation from the department of psychology, Hailie split her time among a bundle of demanding extracurricular activities: the National Honor Society, Key Club, art club, student council. She even made time for the volleyball team.
She didn’t stray too far from home for college. At the time of this writing, she was attending Michigan State University in East Lansing, where she was reportedly pursuing studies in either psychology or business and entrepreneurship. Whatever degree she earns, don’t be surprised if you see her finish at the top of her class.
It’s no surprise that a celebrity’s child may want to keep a low profile as they pursue their education, but there are signs that Hailie may be ready to stand up and show us all what she can do. A recent Instagram post highlighted the celebrity kid’s skills as a cosmetic artist, designing part of the makeup look for a photoshoot for VIM Magazine at Michigan State University. It’s proof that she can ply her skills with a lip liner on more faces than her own, and that’s a talent that’s likely to be in high demand, judging by the comments begging for tutorials on social media.
Though still very reserved, Hailey has made steps toward engaging with the public on her own terms, quietly staking ground on Instagram in October 2016. She’s been sharing charming flashes of her life on the social media platform under the moniker hailiescott1, sharing inspiring quotes, photography, and stunning fans with the occasional selfie. (She is also occasionally known to induce swag envy.) If she keeps up the snapshots, things are liable to get interesting, as the heir to rap royalty turns 21 on Christmas 2016. Talented and stunning, there’s no telling what Hailie might have in store for us, whether it’s the world of modeling, fashion, or something else entirely. Whatever she decides, if she wants to be in the spotlight, we’ll be waiting and willing to watch.