Eminem made a triumphant return to the stage at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 12). Live from London’s SSE Arena, Wembley, Slim Shady opened this year’s show with the first-ever performance of his Beyoncé-assisted single “Walk On Water.”
While Bey didn’t make the trip, Skylar Grey, the song’s co-producer and co-writer, joined Marshall Mathers, dressed in all white. As she played piano, Em—clad in a hoodie, cargo pants, and white high-tops—launched into his vulnerable single, backed by a string section.
Eminem, who has received 35 EMA nominations and won 16 times, has said that the Rick Rubin-produced song is about mortality. “It’s mortality, not being Superman and what if I can’t come up with the best shit I wrote every single time?” he recently told the “Broken Record” podcast.
Eminem on his win for Best Hip-Hop at #MTVEMA: "I'm not really sure how I got this, because I haven't had an album out in a few years" 😂😂
— Rap-Up (@RapUp) November 12, 2017
During the broadcast, Em also picked up the award for Best Hip-Hop, which he received from Chuck D and B-Real. “I wanna thank Chuck D and B-Real,” he said. “They’re one of the reasons I’m able to be here right now. These guys are like gods to me.”
Released on Friday (Nov. 10), “Walk On Water” is the first dose of new music from Eminem’s upcoming album Revival, which is expected to arrive Nov. 17. It will be Shady’s first LP since 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
One day after the album’s release, the rapper is scheduled to return as musical guest on “SNL” with host Chance the Rapper.
Watch Em take over the EMA below.