Who Did “Love The Way You Lie” Better: Rihanna Or Skylar Grey?

Feb 1st, 2011 // 38 Comments

You know Eminem and Rihanna’s version of “Love The Way You Lie.” And you know Rihanna’s rendition where she takes lead vocals, from her album Loud. Now prepare to hear songwriter Skylar Grey’s original demo for the Grammy-nominated tune. “I wrote the demo initially for myself because I thought, ‘Oh, I have this big song, and now I have a little bit of a launching pad to put out my own stuff’,” Skylar, whose real name is Holly Hafferman, told PopEater. Listen to the original version of the song below.

Grey continued: “As soon as Rihanna and her team heard my demo, they were like, ‘Oh we want it for Rihanna’s album,’ so I had to make the decision if I was going to let them have it or not. But I did and so it was on Rihanna’s album, too.”

“Love The Way You Lie” is currently nominated for a total of five Grammys, including Record and Song of the year, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Last month we talked to “Love The Way You Lie” producer Alex Da Kid, who had this to say about Skylar:

“She’s signed to my production company and I’m just in the middle of negotiating a label situation through a major record company. We figure probably by January or February I’ll make it concrete and we’ll go from there. To me she’s an amazing artist. She plays like nine or ten instruments. She writes amazing songs. She’s the real deal.”

Obviously Eminem and Rihanna made “Love The Way You Lie” famous all over the world. Do you think Skylar, who also co-wrote Diddy-Dirty Money’s current hit “Coming Home,” should have kept the song for herself?

idolator

  1. Skylar Grey, her voice suits the song better and Rihanna sounds kinda off-key on the high notes.

  2. skylar has a beautiful voice, but on the low notes she loses it a bit. made the song boring during the parts that rih and em set on fire. i think she made a great play by getting her work to the masses all over the world, she shows the talent. she did the right thing, and now she can sell her work herself. im looking forward to watching her career.

  3. Shady

    Skylar, because she wrote it to, rihanna just copied it

  4. Fanboy

    Um shady Skylar wrote it and sold it to Rihanna
    Rihanna had no writing credit on the song
    that’s the way the songwriting industry works
    This is a demo so the singers can know what the song sounds like

  5. LMG

    Unfortunetly, the songwriter rarely gets to sing their own work. If she hadn’t sold it to Em I doubt anyone would have ever heard of her. I like Rihanna, I do, but I like Skyler’s voice on this better as it, to me at least, shows the history of why this song was written in the first place. It has more feel to it.

    I liked her voice on the intro to ‘Coming Home’ than I do whoever sang it on the Norton show.

  6. its me

    Skylar’s voice fits this song better , IMO. Interesting to hear some backstory on the song because the way it was presented to the public.

    People talking about how brave Rihanna was to sing this song when she had absolutely nothing to do with the song, wasn’t even written for her or with her in mind. WOW!

  7. NoNoNoNoNO

    Rihanna sounds so much more emotional, she does this song a LOT better.

  8. Shawn Chris

    “Artists” with terrible voices, such as Rihanna and Katey Perry, ruin good songs everyday, but we would probably never hear those good songs without their fame. It’s unfortunate, but the majority of the world could care less about a true artist, it’s all about a catchy song sung by a popular singer. So obviously I believe Skylar’s version of this song is far better, but it was a good decision for her to give it up, because it is obviously benefiting her career in the long run. She’s even on that new Lupe Fiasco Song, “Words I Never Said” (also produced by Alex Da Kid) which I’m sure will be blowing up very soon. I would buy an album by Skylar first day, so hopefully she makes it there.

  9. Truth

    Eminem did it better.

  10. Tina

    Skylar definetly did it better. Don’t get me wrong i like Rihanna’s version but Skylar voice fits the song better. Congrats Skylar on a job well done!

  11. Daniel

    I don’t think they should be compared…Rihanna’s had more…”umph?” this one seems softer….to the point where I thought they were two completely different songs for a seconds.

  12. Xander

    I know Skylar Grey’s previous work from the last 5 years (when she performed under her other name) and she is one of the most talented artists I’ve heard in years!! Everybody who has heard the other songs she wrote on her album and EP’s know what I mean. She has this angelic voice which is unique… There are more singer/songwriters who can put this feeling in their songs but not the particular way she does it…

  13. Alex

    I think Skylar did the right thing by selling her song. It got her name out there. She’s excellent and I can imagine that just like a lot of the semi ex producers and songwriters… She has got an amazing career to come. I will definitely be buying anything she’s will be putting out from now on. And I hope that when her album does come out… that this demo track is on there. Its beautiful.

  14. justme

    I’m not a fan of any of Rihanna’s music. She does not sound good. You can tell she doesn’t write her own songs. There’s no feeling behind the words, just acting. She’d probably make a better actress.

  15. really she jsut had a blank look

  16. jayman

    Skylar’s version was filled with so much emotion. its like she’s singing about something she went through. Can’t really explain it but i get a picture of what she’s trying to say from every note that she sings. Rihanna’s version is also good but lacks the emotion of skylar’s version. skylar did a better job. guess skylar knows the inner workings of the song that were not written on paper for rihanna.

  17. Chris

    Wow!! her voice is stunning!!!! she should make a version with eminem :D
    Skylar > Rihanna!
    Thats all~

  18. A

    Skyler’s voice suits the song way better than rihana’s voice does.
    I loved her version way more. cant stop listening to it <3

  19. iveta

    SKYLAR… lol she did it much better….. she’s the best :)

  20. ani0227

    rihanna cant sing in general. skylar kicked ***. eminems inspiration for the song was rihanna (with her chris brown drama) thats the only reason he picked her.

  21. nina

    I think Skylar Grey is awesome! I’ve been listening to her original demo of the song on repeat. She has an amazing voice and she’s so talented for writting so many hits.
    IMO, I think it’d be great if Skylar gets more public attention for her talents, however, it was the right choice to have Rihanna do the collaboration with Eminem, because Rihanna had… “background” with the theme of the song. If it wasn’t for the duet with Rihanna, this song might not be this popular right now.
    Nonetheless, I think Skylar is so talented and I’m sure she’ll make it big one day!
    p.s. I was suprised to find that she sang the chorus for Where’d You Go (Fort Minor), Coming Home (ft Diddy) AND Love the Way You Lie! So that’s the person behind the beautiful voice!

  22. Sukanya

    The song suits with Skylar a lot! Her original version is fantabulous!!!!!!!! Oh I just love it! I think SKylar and em or skylar alone would have done it better!

  23. Bernard

    I wish i could see the song Skylar Grey & Eminem – Love the way you lie on TV, to hear it at the radio, not to search it on youtube . Skylar Grey is awesome

  24. Skylar’s is way better than Rihanna’s not because she wrote it but because she puts more emotion on the song… She feels it… And I think that Rihanna sings it to just sing it… She doesn’t get the whole point of the song….

  25. Sophia

    Everyone’s saying that Skylar put more emotion into the song but in reality how do you know that? Just because Rihanna didn’t write the song doesn’t mean she didn’t put as emotion into it. Now, when I listen to each rendition of the song I can feel the heart in both artist. I do give Skylar props for actually writing the song and I put she can relate much more to it obviously because she wrote the song… BUT to be honest, I get the jitters when Rihanna sings it.. it’s so powerful and her voice is beautiful… Not saying that Skylar’s isn’t because Skylar sings it great as well… I’m in the middle…..

  26. M

    Rihanna had waaaay more emotion in her voice, especially the cracking at the high notes, which a few people are saying is because she can’t sing, no its because it shows much more hurt. Skylars good, but Rihanna could put the overall power and feeling behind the voice and make the listener feel the pain. I’m even doin a cover with this song especially because of how well rihanna could show the emotion. AND to everyone who says rihanna cant sing, do you think you’re any better, would you be able to sing this song as well as she did?

  27. M

    actually Eminem went through the same trauma with one of his girlfriends…get it right

  28. M

    I’m pretty sure she knows the meaning of the song, considering she was in an abusive relationship and almost a whole album is about her recovery.

  29. god

    Skyler Gray of course, her voice has a soul in it . I’m not saying that Rihanna has a bad voice… she tries her best every time but personally I think Skyler Gray is better

  30. Romaro

    I like Skylar and I love the lyrics she wrote, but just because she wrote it doesn’t mean she sings it the best. She sounds so ‘depressed’. It has its place but Rihanna’s version is so much more ‘listenable’ (if thts a word) because of the passion and the power and the beauty behind the performance… Grey’s version borders on being boring especially when compared to Rihanna’s version.

  31. lol

    how can ppl say rihanna voice doesnt suit the song… it doesnt make sense. If y’all didnt kno skylar grey wrote the song, y’all wuddnt even be thinkin bout tht ish. skylar greys voice is aight but its so soft and whispery and soft core – seems weak. when she sings glasses shatter from the fights and ish it sounds so empty. riri duz it with soooo much more passion tht u wud expect a from a song with a messed up title like love the way u lie… but i guess different ppl like different things but RIHANNA ALL THE WAY!

  32. Mooshy

    The beauty of music, for me, is that it can touch and embrace emotion without any given parameters. I feel these words, the melody and story of the song in both of these artists renditions. love it, love it, love it!!!

  33. ThisGuy

    Personally, i just discovered the Skylar Grey version and enjoy it way better than Rihanna’s though Em’s rapping kicks ass.

  34. superdaddy

    this version is deffinately a breath of fresh air!!!!

  35. Just my opinion

    I really like both but I have to say….I like the song in whole better by Skylar. I love her voice and I like the song much better as a song and not as a rap.

  36. Maras

    I like Skylar, like her voice than Rihanna.
    Everbody can see in other Skylar’s song. It good as this song.

    I think so…

  37. Tia

    She should have kept it for herself but let them do a remake and give her credit. That way it was heard by everybody and she still got credit for the work she put in.

  38. november

    I definitely prefer Ms. Skylar’s version. Rhianna’s always felt like a performance to me. Dynamic, yes, but in a showy or ostentatious way. This version makes me understand the words more, and makes me listen harder, feeling the crevices of what she is trying to say. It feels more solid and real, in my opinion.
    So yeah; I prefer Skylar’s beautiful, soft version.

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