Eminem's estranged father Marshall Bruce Mathers dies aged 67

Eminem's estrangement from his father was the subject of many of his tracks [Photo: Courtesy]

Eminem's dad Marshall Bruce Mathers has died at the age of 67 - decades after walking out on his son as a six-month-old baby.

The man who fathered the world-famous rapper died this week near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Neighbours reported that he'd had a heart attack at home.

He and Eminem had a fraught relationship and had been estranged for years.

According to TMZ, Marshall - who went by Bruce - married the rapper's mum Debbie when she was just 15 and he 22.

They went on to have Eminem two years later, but split shortly afterwards and he moved to California and had two more children - Michael and Sarah, who his son has never met - in subsequent relationships.

Eminem, meanwhile, moved with his mum to Detroit with her family, and it was there he established himself as an up and coming rapper.

Eminem often made threats against his father in his song lyrics (Image: PA)

Bruce struggled with his demons, eventually attending Alcoholics Anonymous and counselling sessions at a rehab centre.

His father's estrangement became the subject of many of Enimen's songs, including his hit Cleanin' Out My Closet.

In it, he raps the lines: "My fa***t father must've had his panties up in a bunch ‘Cause he split, I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye. No, I don't, on second thought, I just f**kin' wished he would die. I look at Hailie, and I couldn't picture leavin' her side."

And in the hit track My Name Is, Eminem states: "When you see my Dad, tell him that I slit his throat in this dream I had."

He'd previously said in interviews that Bruce would occasionally call his childhood home while family members were babysitting him, but would never speak to his son.

He used to write letters to his dad when he was being bullied at school, but they would always come back addressed 'return to sender'.

He pleaded in the Mirror for his famous son to get in touch, saying: "I desperately want to meet my son and tell him that I love him.

"I'm not interested in his money. I just want to talk to him. I want him to know that I'm here for him if he lets me back into his life."

In his open letter, Bruce wrote: "Hello, son. You won't remember me, though I held you in my arms when you when you were a baby. You think I dumped you and your mother and never came looking for you. You're convinced I'm a drunk who never answered any of your letters .Well, I want you to read this and realize you've been fed lies all your life. Now you'll hear the truth for the first time."

Eminem's dad Marshall Bruce Mathers [Photo: Courtesy]

He went on: The one ambition left in my life is to give you a hug and tell you I've always loved you. I'd get on a plane right now, this second, and go anywhere in the world if you'd meet with me .Please get in touch."

But Eminem refused to listen to his dad, telling the Mirror: "My father? I never knew him. I've never even seen a picture of him.

"I heard my dad is trying to get in contact with me, but not now. I never got one letter.

"I never got anything from him and I think he could have at least tried to write. He could have done something - made an effort."

Bruce's second wife Teresa Harbin told the Mirror in 2001: "Marshall hasn't seen his son since he was a baby and all he has is one picture of him holding the boy.

"He hasn't seen him since shortly after the picture was taken and he would love to hold him once again.

"But Eminem has made it quite clear he wants nothing to do with him at the moment."


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next