Many Grammy viewers might have asked themselves the same question several times during Sunday night's ceremony: Who was that?
In addition to Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding, another woman who hit the stage of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards had plenty of viewers wondering who she was: first-time nominee and performer Skylar Grey, who took to the stage with Eminem and Dr. Dre during their intense set.
As it turns out, the Wisconsin-born Grey, whose real name is Holly Brook Hafermann, already has a long hip-hop résumé, although much of her work has been behind the scenes. Grey partially penned and inspired Eminem and Rihanna's Grammy-nominated chart-topper "Love the Way You Lie," and she released her own version of the song, which PopEater.com debuted earlier this month.
After Em, Rihanna and Maroon 5's Adam Levine performed their stirring rendition of "Love the Way You Lie," Grey segued into "I Need a Doctor," a song off Dre's Detox. While the presence of Eminem, Dre, Rihanna and Levine onstage for the two-song set was undoubtedly one of the show's highlights, it was Grey's haunting singing of the chorus, "I need a doctor," that helped elevate the moment. Grey tweeted after the performance, "Thank you @Eminem and @drdre so much for having me on the Grammy stage!!!! Had a blast!!!!"
Plenty of Eminem fans were likely able to place Grey's voice from having heard "I Need a Doctor." But in fact, Grey already has her own musical career going. The black-haired beauty revealed to "Access Hollywood" at the Grammys, "I started performing at age 6, performing with my mom. We had a little duo, and I started writing songs with lyrics around 14. By the time I was 15, I had three independent albums."
Before taking on the stage name Skylar Grey, the singer/songwriter/producer was known as Holly Brook. As Holly, she released a solo effort called Like Blood Like Honey in 2006 and also lent her unique vocals to Fort Minor on their hit "Where'd You Go.".
While Grey has since shed her former stage name, telling PopEater, "Holly Brook is dead," she has not slowed down on collaborative efforts. In addition to "Love the Way You Lie," Grey can be heard on the Diddy-Dirty Money track "Coming Home" (which she also co-wrote), Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said" and two tracks for T.I., including his hit duet with Christina Aguilera, "Castle Walls."
But it's heavyweight producer Alex Da Kid who ties all of Grey's current successes together. Having already done well together on efforts like "Love the Way You Lie," Alex and Grey plan to team up yet again for her upcoming, yet-to-be-titled solo effort.
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