Encore is the fifth studio album by American rapper Eminem. It was set for release on November 16, 2004, but was moved up to November 12, after the album was leaked to the Internet. Encore sold 760,000 copies in its shortened three day opening week and claimed the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200. The album sold 1,632,000 copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States in November, 2004. Worldwide sales of the album stand at 11 million copies, with 7.8 million being sold in the United States.The shock-oriented lyrics in Eminem's previous three albums were toned down somewhat in Encore in favor of a lighter approach. Eminem was already beginning to show this lighter side on The Eminem Show and continued it with Encore.The album features substantially more production from Dr. Dre than The Eminem Show. The Eminem Show was mostly produced by Eminem and longtime collaborator Jeff Bass.The cover for Encore, which shows Slim Shady taking a "final bow", is representative of the fact that Eminem would soon plan to retire his alter ego. The outro to "Encore/Curtains Down" also hints to this, as Slim Shady can be heard shooting into the audience and finally committing suicide by sticking a pistol in his mouth. These events are also depicted in the album's inlay art. The album was also made to seem as though it was recorded live, due to simulated audience claps and chants in some parts. On the front of the CD there is a bullet and a mock suicide note from Eminem. it reads:"To my family and all my friends, thank you for everything. I will always love you. To all my fans, I'm sorr... (the ink trails off the paper as if the writer has fallen.)".On the release date of the album, a censored version was released, that edited the profanities, violent and sexual content, as well the drug references from the album, and album booklet, there were different lyrics on the songs "Puke", "My 1st Single" and "Just Lose It", while all the profanities on all other songs were just blanked out, the clean version also had the bonus disc with it too. Also the song "Ass Like That" is listed as "A** Like That" on the clean version. The song 'Encore / Curtains Down' took out the shooting sequence that appears at the end of the track. Also, on the song 'One Shot 2 Shot' the intro to the song is completely wiped from the song and the censored version starts out right at the first chorus.This is the only Eminem album that does not include a Steve Berman skit or a Ken Kaniff skit (besides Infinite). However, both characters reappeared on Eminem's recent studio album Relapse, which included a Steve Berman skit appearing as its own track while the Ken Kaniff skit appears following the end of the song 'Underground' as a hidden skit. This also the first Eminem major label album to not feature Dina Rae on Track 13.The copy of the song "We as Americans" was the source of controversy when, as an unreleased bootleg it circulated with the lyrics "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead." Eminem was investigated by the Secret Service (referenced in the video for his song "Mosh" as one of the news clips on the wall). These lyrics were censored on the bonus disc.Despite being viewed by many critics as Eminem's weakest album in terms of quality, three songs from the album were eventually included on Eminem's compilation album Curtain Call: The Hits; Mockingbird, Just Lose It, and Like Toy Soldiers.The album did not receive a Best Rap Album nomination, making it his first major album not to be nominated, following wins for The Slim Shady LP (2000), The Marshall Mathers LP (2001), and The Eminem Show (2003). However, two songs from the album received nominations but did not win:* "Encore/Curtains Down", featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group* "Mockingbird" for Best Rap Solo PerformanceDespite the commercial success of the album, it has been subject to some criticism amongst critics and fans alike for its tone and greatly simplified lyricism compared to Eminem's past albums. Conversely, in terms of controversy, this album attracted less notoriety than previous Eminem albums due to the fact that shock-oriented lyrics were toned down somewhat in favor of a lighter approach than Eminem's previous three albums. However, the album did provoke some controversy over anti-Bush lyrics and lyrics that made fun of Michael Jackson, who complained about Eminem's depiction of him in the video for "Just Lose It".Eminem has since acknowledged that Encore was a "good, but not great" album and admitted that it wasn't up to his personal standards. He also stated that around the time Encore was being made he became addicted to prescription drugs.