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Stan by Eminem

Album: Marshall Mathers LPReleased: 2000Charted:
  • This samples "Thank You" from Dido, a British singer/songwriter. "Thank You" was used in the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors, and became a hit almost two years later after it was used on this.

    Dido told MTV: "A hip-hop producer named DJ Mark 'The 45' King sampled the first part of 'Thank You' from the TV - and he put it on a beat tape, as they do, and sent it to Eminem and he used it. It's that simple. I got this letter out of the blue one day. It said, 'We like your album, we've used this track. Hope you don't mind and hope you like it.' When they sent it to me and I played it, I was like, 'Wow! This track's amazing.'"
  • This song tells the story of a fan obsessed with Eminem. When his letters are not answered, he puts his pregnant girlfriend in his trunk and drives off a bridge. The song ends with Eminem answering his letter and realizing Stan was the man in the news who drove off the bridge.
  • Two videos were shot: a standard MTV version and a 20-minute version. Dido played Stan's wife, and Devon Sawa, an actor who really is a big fan of Eminem, played Stan. Sawa played the human version of Casper in the 1995 movie and was also in Idle Hands. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cassie - Westlake, LA
  • Eminem performed this with Dido on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on October 7, 2000. She also joined him on some of his tour dates.
  • This helped Dido gain popularity in the US. Her album No Angel, which had been out for a year and a half, took off as she got exposure through this and various talk-show appearances.
  • In his last letter, Stan writes how he is like the drowning man in the Phil Collins song "In The Air Tonight." The rumor, which is not true, is that Collins saw a man watch another man drown, then sang the song to him at a concert to let him know he knew.
  • In America, this was just a modest hit, but in the UK, which gave Eminem a lot more love early on, it was his second chart-topper, following "The Real Slim Shady." He didn't top the American Hot 100 until 2002 with "Lose Yourself."
  • Eminem performed this at the 2001 Grammys with Elton John playing piano and singing the Dido part. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) protested the performance, claiming Eminem promoted hatred. The part of this song that was deemed anti-gay was the line where Stan writes, "We could have been together" and Eminem replies, "That's the kind of thing that makes me think we shouldn't meet each other." Elton John didn't have a problem with it.
  • The Grammy performance was released as a single, with some of the proceeds going to charity.
  • Eminem talked about the character Stan in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 Songs: "He's crazy for real, and he thinks I'm crazy, but I try to help him at the end of the song. It kinda shows the real side of me."
  • The producers of the Grammy Awards sued Napster after Eminem's performance with Elton John was heavily downloaded.
  • The composer credits on this song read: Florian Armstrong, Paul Herman, Marshall Mathers. That first name is Dido, whose real name is Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong. Paul Herman was her co-writer on "Thank You."
  • The music video reveals the title character's name via his tombstone: Stanley Mitchell. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brett - Edmonton, Canada
  • In this song, Stan says, "I drank a fifth of vodka, dare me to drive?" This line comes from Eminem's song, "My Name Is." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Khnemu - Fayetteville, NC
  • At the end of the video, after Eminem realizes that he is writing to Stan who killed himself, lightning flashes and in the window beside him you can see Stan staring in at Eminem. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lex - Dayton, OH
  • The song structure and storyline of "Stan" seems to be based on "Fans" by Malcolm McLaren from 1984 which includes an opera aria excerpt instead of a Dido song and tells the tale of an obsessed fan with spoken word rather than rap. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jim - oklahoma city, OK
  • Dido's first child was born at the private Portman Hospital in London in July 2011. So why are we telling you this? Well, she named him Stanley and the Guardian newspaper asked the singer if it was in tribute to this track, which kick-started her career? Dido said it wasn't, it just happened to have always been her favourite name. She added: "I don't mind people thinking that anyway because it was such a great period in my life."
  • Eminem revisited this song on the Marshall Mathers LP 2 track "Bad Guy," where Stan's vengeful little brother, Matthew, kidnaps the rapper in retaliation for destroying his sibling's life.
  • The original version of the third verse was deleted because the engineer was stoned. "When we recorded Stan I worked with a couple different engineers but this particular engineer I had never worked with before," Eminem wrote on Genius. "While we were recording the third verse of Stan, he started rolling a joint and asked me if I minded if he smoked while we cut. What was I gonna do? Say no? He was already rolling it so I told him 'no problem.'"

    "Back then we were recording on 2-inch tape, so once you recorded over something it's gone forever," he continued. "So I'm in the booth waiting and he backs the tape up all the way to the beginning of the verse and punches me in. I realize he's in the wrong spot and I can't hear any of my vocals so I start waving my arms and yelling in the mic to try to get his attention. He doesn't notice so I run into the control room through a cloud of smoke and yell 'Yo, I wanted to keep those vocals' he just looked at me and said 'My bad man…you wanna hit this?' The first half of the verse was GONE. I re-recorded it but you should have heard the original take that s--- was WAY better…oh well!"
  • In 2017, the Oxford American Dictionary added the word "stan," defined as "An overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity." It can be used as a noun ("He's a total stan for Beyoncé") or a verb ("When I was a teenager, I stanned Justin Bieber"). The song is listed as the origin of the word.
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Comments: 79

Mercedes - sorry if you think I'm an idiot, but you are wrong about a couple of things in your post. Dido was NOT nothing before Eminem made her a hit, she was already known for being the younger sister of Rowland "Rollo" Armstrong from Faithless, who had several hits between 1995 and 2002 - she occasionally recorded with Faithless and in fact it was her connection to Rollo that landed her the chance to record the song "Thank Yuo" for the film "Sliding Doors", and it was this that led to her being invited to record "Here With Me" as the theme to Roswell, which was completed in 1999 - a whole year before she ever collaborated with Eminem, let alone before Stan became a hit - so that actually had nothing to do with Eminem at all. There were calls for "Here With Me" to be relased as a single before "Stan" was even released. Also, Dido certainly isn't a one-hit wonder either - between 2000 and 2004 she actually had a run of seven Top 30 hits (including four Top 10 entries in "Here With Me" (#4), Thank You (#3)", "White Flag (#2)" and Life For Rent" (#8). If you don't agree with my views then that's fine - but don't go around calling others idiots just because you don't shre their opinionsDave - Cardiff, Wales
I'm pretty sure that when lighting flashes it's just em's reflection....Jake - Clarksville, Ar
I too, have to agree with 95% of the comments here. A great song, well structured and written in a style only Eminem knows how to...this is why he is as popular as he is. He doesn't mince his words with any of his songs. It shows though, if true, how some fans can be obsessive and sends them over the edge if they don't get that acknowledgement from a star. Phew, glad I'm not famous...YET.John - Stockport, United Kingdom
Dave & John,
You're both idiots. Dido was nothing before Eminem made her a hit. If he hadn't made her well-known from "Stan", Dido's song would probably have never been used for Roswell, because nobody would know her. Adding "Thank You" to "Stan" did make it a more touching song, but he could have used a myriad of song clips that would have done just as well or perhaps better. I'm not saying Dido doesn't have any talent, but it takes more than that to make it in the music industry. Almost everyone in the industry got a leg up from someone, and Eminem was clearly her leg up. Plus, I don't know if y'all noticed, but Dido couldn't even keep her popularity. In all actuality, She's a one-hit wonder; "Thank You" was the only song of hers to make it on the radio. So she really does owe it to Eminem, not the other way around. Think about it.
Mercedes - Corona, Ca
I'm not exactly sure when I heard Stan. All I know is, it's one of the most phenomenal experiences, one of the most groundbreaking in music history.

Now, I'm not used to Eminem being so serious. Looking at albums like The Slim Shady LP, Eminem Show, and even Relapse (which, to me really sucks), it seems that Marshal Mathers really does enjoy using his now-famous Slim Shady persona: A homophobic psycho, who is overwhelmingly violent and sarcastic.

Stan's got a great story. First off, we have an absolutely obsessed fanatic, named Stan. He's got everything: rare albums like The Slim Shady EP, underground music, posters, everything. He's written to Eminem a few times before ("I wrote a couple letters back in autumn / You must not of got 'em, there must of been a problem at the post office or somethin'). He's an absolute maniac. He's an abusive asshole to his girlfriend (whom Dido sings lines for and plays in the Music Video), whom is very depressed because of this ("My tea's gone cold" / "I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all"), but tries to make something out of the relationship ("With your picture on my wall" / "It reminds me that it's not so bad... it's not so bad...")

His anger issues are verbally and mentally obvious. ("I ain't mad that you haven't wrote back / "I just it's f--kED UP that you don't answer fans") He's even so addicted to Eminem he loves him. ("Sincerely, Stan." / "P.S. We should be together.") And this is him with his pregnant girlfriend. Granted, he does respect his family ("My little brother Matthew, you're like his idol, man"), and seems to really blame the rapper ("We waited four hours in the blistering cold for an autograph, and you said no.") for someone else's mistakes.

And the end part is quite possibly the most sadistic part of the song, both in writing AND in nature. Stan's drinking, under depressants, and has locked his girlfriend in the trunk, suffocating. ("I ain't slit her throat or nothin'" / "I just tied her up") He's going to drive over a bridge. His anger level is at its highest. The details in this particular verse in the song are extraordinary, and shows the rap artists' poetic skills, clearly. (" I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it" / "And when you dream about it I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it" / "I hope your conscience EATS at you and you can't BREATHE WITHOUT ME!") Absolutely poetic. And when the sound effects of the car smashing through the bridge rails and splashing into the water, killing Stan and his pregnant girlfriend, you feel SYMPATHY.

It's actually kind of amazing, really.
Alec - Gilbert, Az
'Stan' did indeed make UK #1 (for one week in December 2000, after which it was displaced by BTB) - as it did in ten other countries. In the US, restricted airplay meant that the cut didn't even make the Top 40. Bizarre.Jez - London, United Kingdom
Stan is a great song but I do't like the video clip.Alison - Sydney, Australia
stan is such a great song the way he goes withh it its so great... emenim is the greatestBecca - Sunland Park, Nm
I don't think anyone has mentioned it being "dark" humor...it did strike me that way.
Sometimes kids take themselves too seriously...and then again...sometimes parents should take them seriously!
Dare_in - Springfield, Il
Stan is by far my favorite song of all time. I cant stop listening to it. All of Em's new stuff doesn't even compare to this Stan. Eminem is the greatest rapper of all time.. and will forever live in fame for his natural talent behind the mic.. songs like this were written straight from the heart and get under the skin if its listeners.Brian - Ann Arbor, Mi
good goood gooooooood song. i heard the original dido song playing on the radio, so after the part in this song came on, i turned off the radio and rapped the rest. my seven year old sister and her friends were AMAZAED at my freestylin skills. lol. 9/10Ivy - Springfield, Ne
Eminemis hands down the best rapper who ever lived. I this song is proof.Its insanely genius, everytime i hear this song, i feel it in my bones. I feel very fortunate to have been in my prime age to listen to this song, and allow me to reflect on things in my life. This song is straight up sick. If anyone thinks there is one more song, in this world, rock, rap, jazz, that is more real than this i wanna hear it. Because i think no such thing exists. This is as real asit getsand it give me the f*cken chills.Sheldon - Surrey, Ar
1.The song refers to 97' Bonnie and Clyde[actual name] to the more common name:(Just the two of us[chorus formed name]).form The Slim Shady LP
"If I get a daughter...I'm a name her Bonnie."

2.As someone else stated earlier in Bonnie and Clyde Eminem Slit his "girlfriend"'s throat.

3."I drank a fifth of vodka dare me to drive?" as another person already mentioned comes from the song "My Name Is"

4.Eminem did an underground song with Skam called Old world Order.
Martini - Cologne, Nigeria
This song is about Stan "the Man" Musial, the great baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals. When eminem was growing up he had a Topps baseball card of Musial. He lost it when he used it in the spokes of his bicycle to make the bike sound like a motorcycle. He was riding over a bridge at the time and the card fell into a stream. Hewrote to Stan Musial to try to get another card, but never got a reply. A genuine tragedy in is life and beautifully captured in this song.Paul - Boston, Ma
Great song one of best of hisSaltine - Htown, Tx
dis song is awsum. its the only one em did that i actualy thot about.iv heard all his songs and he is my idol.Dallas - San Antonio, Tx
I think that its really sad and ppl i looked this up and everything that goes on in this song is true. all of this happened. the guys full name was stanley mitchell. and if u pay attention to the video and at the tombstone it says his name on it.Tosheouna - Cadiz, Ky
Good song thanks to Dido.Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
This song.... Im speechless I can't explain this song is so addicting. I love Eminem..Kayla - St. Paul, Mn
i've played this song over hundred times. i don't understand why it's so addictiveStafler - Durban, South Africa
when i watch it at the end when matthew stans lil bro, his mom is shocked when he pulls back his hood and its just going to be a cycle only wit mattew not with stanIan - Durand, Il
I don't know if anyone said this about the song: but I figured since everyone is making random comments about it, I would fill this in:

When Stan is recording the cassette right before he runs the car off the bridge he makes the statement: "But I didn't slit her throat, I just tied her up."
-Stan's making a reference to Em's song "Just the Two of Us": which is sort of a humorous song in-which Em slits a particular woman's throat(not gonna say any names) and he and his daughter toss the woman in a river.
Kenneth Reid - Petal, Ms
I like the song, I love the song Thankyou. my cousin and my family are mormon and she was not allowed to listen to eminem so when she was baby sitting me she put in the cd and she says " don't tell anyone I listen to him" I was like eight. I never new the song name of it untill now! I love it. An im surprised that they would work together.Jasmin - Ogden, Ut
It was ranked number 15 on Vh1's 100 greatest hip-hop sonsg.Austin - Smallsville,new England, --
Powerful song. I was just wondering is it based on a real story.Austin - Smallsville, Ne
This is easily Emenem's BEST song. Most of the others are needlessly offensive and mind-numbingly repetitive. This song actually means something.The Walrus - Uralla, Australia
The guitar chords in the background are really cool. I find it so smart how Eminem changes the tone of his voice to effectively to make it sound like Stan changing, then Eminem's cool, calm voice.....Allox - Qld, Australia
Wow, based on the comments, this song is pretty popular, and I have to say I love it. For some reason though, it always sends these chills up and down my spine, just cause it's so...I don't know, there's just something about it, ya know?Jailene - K-town, Wa
Though I don't like hip hop at all, I really like this song.Stefano - Rome, Italy
I hate RAP and eminem, but this is the one song that I actually REALLY REALLY LIKE. It is a good song with a referece to another good song.Max - New Brunswick, Nj
this is the best song in the world and for all you ppl who think otherwise then talk to my fists. i would do what stan did just to get him to notice me. he is my hero so all u ppl get lostBob - Detroit, De
Aaron - Eminem owes a lot to Dido, remember, he sampled her, not the other way roundDave - Cardiff, Wales
i like this song cuz it shows how fans can go crazy and over obbsessed with their idols. I love Eminem but I would never do what Stan did
Bryanna NY
Bryanna - New York, Ny
eminem owes it all to dido? John, Millersville, your so naiive. dont be so ignorant and stop just making up your opinion on an artist from what u hear from others without actually listening to their music.Aaron - Brisbane, Australia
Stan is my favorite song of all time. eminem makes me proud to like rap and hip hop!Sean - London, England
I wouldn't say that I'm not a rap fan but I hate most mainstream rap. There's some good rap/hip hop but it's more of like alternative rap/hip hop. I hate the crap that just keeps repeating itself and says nothing. Anyway, I DO love this song; one of Eminems best.Jon - Oakridge, Or
I think this just might be Eminem's best song and I'm not really a big Eminem fan.Jt - Tullahoma, Tn
I think this song is really great and sad, and this song's bass is really cool alsoRuy - Lima, Peru
I think this eminems most critically acclaimed song but on my list number 2 his best song in my eye is loose your self because it it very inspirational but this is #2 then moshAlex - St Louis, Mo
Best moment? Three.

1) Hit me back, just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan.

Just makes it so unbearably real, especially when you've heard the song before and know where it's going. It sounds like something that would, and could, happen, and that makes it so much more disturbing.

2) We waited in the blistering cold for four hours and you just said no. That's pretty s****y man, you're like his f**king idol... I ain't mad.

Up until then you can see where Stan's coming from, and you can see that he's right, that was a really selfish thing to do, but then he just swings suddenly to not being upset: it shows how f**ked up this actually is for him, and how unstable he's become.

3) I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it. And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you scream about it. I hope your conscience eats at you and you can't breathe without me.

Do I need to explain? The rhythm and the intensity in his voice.... wow.
K - M, Chile
he made the song to answer crittics saying that he was corrupting kids and stuff. and how could he be dead for two years he performed at the grammys last yearAaron - Winnemucca, Nv
Eminem did not die in Vegas 2 years ago. He's been seen in the public eye hasn't he?Ashley Jade - Cleveland, Ga
This could be a rumor but i heard that eminem died 2 years ago in vegas and 50 cent has been writing his songs and used recordings of his voice 2 cover the songsRandy - Lexington, Ky
This song is one of Eminem's best songs ever! It tells the truth, though.Jeevan - Brampton, Canada
i love this song so much. people think this song encourages people to go crazy like how stan did but i think em is just tryna say that thats what fans do. they go crazy with celebs. im pretty sure tho that i would go crazy too but not that crazy.Nikki - Brampton, Canada
Of course,I love Eminem .I wonder When he will come to China to have the Eminem show.He is the person I admire most.I always listen to his songs when I am unhappy.The best relaxation I ever have had.Tony - Ningbo, China
I only know three musicians that could think of something as talented as this: Beatles, Bob Dylan, and EminemAnkur - Moonman, Canada
best eminem song ever!!!!!!!! your the man e!!!!Chris - Darwen, England
Eminem's best song by far in my opinion. I think John has a point, Eminem does owe some of this song's success to Dido, but this song also started her career in the USA. Great song, very meaningful and super.Chrissy - Manchester
This is one of Eminem's best songs. It is impressive. I hate that new s**t he's coming out with now though.Chris - Slidell, La
I love this song,It made me cry because when i was 7 i first heard it recorded on a tape.(my bro had recorded it)And 3 years later when i asked my sister's friend if he knew about it he told me yes and i asked the name of the song and he told me stan.So i looked it up and watched the music video,it was the most touching thing i had ever been through.At first when i heard it i thought it was Dido and Eminem talking 2 each other then when i saw the video i understood everything...
I thought i was the only one who chose this song as a favorite but, I was wrong.I love ur talent Eminem if your reading this your my idol i look up to you and so does my boyfriend dont ever quit we love you!God Bless,Bye!^_^
- Ur Loving fan Claudia Martinez
Claudia - Los Angeles,california, Az
Kathleen - 561, Fl
I love the song. I guess it became superhit because of Dido. Its about a neglected fan. The video is ok..makes lot of sense! I heard eminem is anti-gay, is it true?Sum Sum - New Delhi
At the end of this video, when the lightning strikes, you can see Stans face in the window: looking in on Eminem writing his letter.Shane - Newcastle, England
I've never really liked Eminem, but I really like this song a lot. I think it's very clever. I suppose what got me into it was the fact that it's based on "Thank You". I don't actually like all of Dido's songs that much - but I really like that first verse of that song. This song deals with really heavy stuff - it's really interesting to see Eminems thoughts on the mind of someone who's suicidal. Eminem very cleverly uses sound effects and the editing of his voice (for the verse in the car and rain and stuff) in this song. It surprises me how much insight this one song gives to Eminems attitudes and values. Usually one song won't give that much of an overall impression of an artist. I suppose it's the very clever blend of text-types between letter and song. Personally, I apreciated the song for its music and it's words (but moreso the words) and I think it's great - a view i do not share of most of the rest of Eminems songs (although I do like "Lose Yourself").John - Sydney, Australia
it is such an angry song, which is clearly about the obsessed fan that takes his love for slim to a new level.Kevin - Indepence, Mo
oh this song was so good lol and the video really shocked me great song no one could beat that!!Jen - Nv
this is what separates eminem from all other rappers. do you think mike jones or that idiot trick daddy could do something like this? Never. Great song.Matt - Millbrae, Ca
I think the song is mint,Eminem dragged Dido Back up from the bottom when they made this tune ! xxxxxxxxxxxxxAmber - Shropshire, United States
I think Eminem owes it all to Dido, actually...it seems that all the modern rap/hip-hop songs use older stuff as background music. Quite frankly, Eminem's lyrics come across (in his typical style) as crude, tactless, and certainly far from deep. When expressing vague sadness that a fan murders his pregnant girlfriend and kills himself is considered deep, the artist in question needs to evaluate his song writing tactics.

This song is Eminem's best. It is also a terrible song.
John - Millersville, Md
as a musician myself i tend to listen to every song i can to see what the story is behind it. And does this have a story or what! My wife couldnt stand m&m b4 she listened to this song.Now she absoloutely loves him from stan to my band and superman to mockinbird, there's another great tune!!
-richard,great yarmouth,england
Richard - Great Yarmouth, England
This is an incredible song. I'd like to know if all that stuff with Stan actually happened though, if yes someone post it. ThanksGabriel Maclean - Toronto, Canada
This is probably Ems deepest songs. Mind you The Einem Show gets pretty deep an all. Just wanted 2 say so.
Jamie - London, England
Brilliant, powerful and one of many instant classics on The Marshall Mathers LP. He's the best artist around nowadays. From a Beatles fan.Daniel - Leeds, England
I like the song, and that's not becauuse i like Eminem, it kinda speaks out, i dont know how but it just does, im a person who listen to music to calm me down n while im listenin, i listen to EVERY single word in the song to find out what their message is.Stephanie - Auckland, New Zealand
It's a good song...awesomely written. The way he sings it sounds like that crazy stuff happened, but I don't think it did.Ken - San Diego, Ca
This would be a great song for everybody if it weren't sung by a rapper known for writing songs about raping his mother and hacking up "f*ggots". Very emotional, intense song, but really graphic for something played on MTV almost every hour in 2000.A.j. - Chicago, Il
eminem always ends up sampling the most random songs out of the blue like sing for the moment and that song in runnin. i think all those samples dont work except in stan where everything is done perfectlyVikki - New York, Ny
i was downloading music and i saw the artist for a song i love called stan featuring eminem.it is really messed eminem featured dido not the other way around.Joe - Oshawa, Canada
is whats in the song stan something that really happened???
please e-mail me at
and tell me
The parody of this on Mad TV, while predictable, is hilarious. Instead of Elton John and Eminem hugging after the performance, they start making out.Adrian - Wilmington, De
I really want to know HOW IN THE WORLD Eminem hooked up with Dido to make this song? Em doesn't strike me as the kind of guy that normally listens to music like Dido.Linda - College Station, Tx
Sorry, my mistake, I meant Roswell, not Farscape in my previous post - I'd just been watching Farscape, and put that in by mistake!!!Dave - Cardiff, Wales
Actually, this song didn't make No.1 in England for 11 weeks at all - it was famously beaten to the top spot by cartoon character Bob The Builder. As for the view that Dido owes Eminem a lot, what people seem to forget is that Eminem sampled Dido, not the other way round. With "Here With Me" having been used as the theme to Farscape, Dido would eventually have made it big without Eminem's help anyway.Dave - Cardiff, Wales
Sad song...Jacqui - Bedford, Va
Em finally takes a look in, at what it's like to be the fan, and what it is to be him..........Shana - Radcliff, Ky
Eminem rox but I not allowed to listen to it. i listen to it behind mum's back1Cassandra - Cobram, Australia
This song just flows and has a good beat. It truly shows Eminem's artistic abilities. Dido owes him a lot.Gustavo - Manteca, Ca
Stan is an impressive song and proves once and for all that eminem is a serios artist and not just a stupid sicko. Admittedly, its pretty sick thoughPhillip - Dublin, Ireland
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