Skylar Grey is about to get a lot more popular.
The singer made her Grammy debut, performing her featured vocals from Dr. Dre and Eminem’s “I Need a Doctor” during their set at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.
Grey, born Holly Brook Hafermann in Wisconsin, used to go by simply Holly Brook. The name should ring a bell to those familiar with Fort Minor, the hip-hop side project of Linkin Park frontman Mike Shinoda. In 2003, while living in California, she was signed to Linkin Park’s Machine Shop Recordings imprint, and appeared on “Where’d You Go” from Fort Minor’s The Rising Tied. Pre-dating her Fort Minor work, she had already released three folk albums with her mom by age 15.
Grey released a solo album in 2006 called Like Blood Like Honey but lately has come to prominence thanks to a number of high-caliber songwriting gigs with A-list rap stars. Hotshot producer Alex Da Kid, who has produced tracks for the likes of Nicki Minaj (“Massive Attack”) and B.o.B. (“Airplanes”), signed Grey to his Wonderland Music imprint last year. Since then, she has co-written and/or appeared as a featured vocalist on songs including Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie,” Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said,” and Diddy-Dirty Money’s “Coming Home.”
Grey’s resounding performance at the Grammys is a good omen. Drake, whose debut, Thank Me Later went platinum, received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist at this year’s awards. But in 2010, a year before his nomination, he hit the Grammy stage to perform “Forever” alongside Eminem and his Young Money boss Lil Wayne. Grey is working on her new album, with Alex Da Kid helming production and may well on her way to attaining similar breakthrough success.