Eminem’s ‘Not Afraid’ Enters Billboard Hot 100 At #1

Recovery track is only 16th single to claim that feat in chart's 52-year history.

Add another triumph to the long list of achievements for [artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist]. The Detroit lyricist will land atop the Billboard Hot 100 on Thursday, when his latest single, “Not Afraid,” debuts at #1, marking only the 16th time in the chart’s history that a record has premiered in the lead slot.

According to Billboard, Eminem has now joined a select group of artists that includes Michael Jackson (“You Are Not Alone”), Whitney Houston (“Exhale [Shoop, Shoop]“), Celine Dion (“My Heart Will Go On”), Lauryn Hill (“Doo Wop [That Thing]“) and Diddy (“I’ll Be Missing You”), among others.

Mariah Carey leads the pack with three songs having debuted at #1 on the chart, “Fantasy,” “Honey” and her collaboration with Boyz II Men, “One Sweet Day.” “American Idol” has impacted the charts in a big way in recent years, as tunes by Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks have also opened in the Hot 100 top spot. And the last artist to accomplish that feat was Britney Spears, whose 2009 hit “3″ reached the chart’s summit in its first week.

“Not Afraid” is Eminem’s first offering from June 22′s Recovery, the follow-up to last year’s Relapse. Late last month, Eminem announced the single via Twitter, writing simply “I’m Not Afraid.”

The song debuted online April 29, and on the track Eminem acknowledged his bumpy comeback after a five-year hiatus, calling his last album “ehh,” before promising better material on the upcoming Recovery. “To the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back/ I promise to never go back on that promise,” Em spits in the second verse. “In fact, let’s be honest/ That last Relapse CD was ‘ehh’/ Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground/ Relax, I ain’t going to do that now.”

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