Don't call it a comeback. Call it a Recovery.
Last week, Eminem appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to deliver his Top 10 Pieces of Advice to Kids. Coming in at No. 6: "Always purchase music through authorized retailers that pay royalties to the artists."
Well, guess what? They listened.
Recovery, Eminem's collaboration-heavy new album, sold 741,000 copies in its first week of release, making it not only the best debut of the year, but the best album debut since October 2008, when AC/DC's Black Ice burned up the charts.
The sales tally easily ensures that Em will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts this week, marking his sixth straight debut in the top spot. Only Jay-Z has spent more time there, with 11 direct-to-No. 1 albums.
The rapper was also king of the downloads, as the 255,000 copies he sold digitally give him the second-biggest online sales debut for an album ever. Only Coldplay's Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends scored better, though just barely, in the digital world.
So what does it all mean? Simple: We don't have to guess anymore. Shady's back.