Rap star Eminem has confirmed his new album, his first in four years, will be released on May 18th.

Relapse, the rapper's fifth album, will be preceded by a new single and video in April, Interscope Records announced today, after his previous hit Crack A Bottle hit the number one on the US chart and broke a record for first week download sales.

And as well as confirming the release of his first new material since 2004, Eminem, - real name Marshall Mathers - also announced that he is already working on a follow-up album to Relapse, which should be released in late 2009.

"A lot of people were expecting Relapse to drop last year," he said. "I was one of them.

"Then [Dr] Dre and I went back in the studio in September for a few days, and that turned into six months.

"We were on such a roll; we wound up with a ton of new music produced by Dre. Putting out Relapse 2 will let everyone get all of the best stuff."

Oscar-winner Eminem, 36, has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide and recently reached number four in the UK with Crack A Bottle, featuring mentor Dr Dre and Eminem's protégé 50 Cent.

05/03/2009 15:52:23