Early Life and Career:
Skylar Grey was born Holly Brook Hafermann February 23, 1986 in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. She began singing harmonies at age 2 and was in a recording studio by age 5 singing backup for children's recording artist Ken Lonnquist. With her mother Holly Hafermann formed the children's folk music duo Generations. They recorded three albums and toured the Midwest over the next ten years. Eventually, she began venturing into Madison, Wisconsin to listen to and hang out with jazz musicians.
Holly Brook - First Hit and First Album:
In 2003 Holly Hafermann moved to Los Angeles and recorded a demo. She was signed as Holly Brook to Linkin Park's label Machine Shop Recordings. Holly Brook sang on the hit single "Where'd You Go" by Fort Minor, a side project by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. A solo album Like Blood Like Honey followed in 2006 and it broke into the national Heatseeker's chart.
Return As Songwriter Skylar Grey:
Holly Brook recorded and toured with Duncan Sheik and was featured on his 2009 album Whisper House. In the wake of emotional difficulties and a retreat from the music industry, the name Skylar Grey came into being. She tells Entertainment Weekly that it was inspired by her love of grey, rainy skies. Her manager suggested the name Skylar, which she liked, and they soon began reintroducing her as Skylar Grey. Producer Alex Da Kid signed her to a publishing deal and the first result was her work writing portions of the massive hit single "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem and Rihanna.
Hits and Solo Artist Recording:
Following the success of "Love the Way You Lie," Skylar Grey began appearing as a singer on hit singles. She sings the chorus of "Coming Home" by Diddy - Dirty Money and does the same on Dr. Dre's comeback hit "I Need a Doctor." She has told interviewers that offers have rolled in at a rapid pace since her songs have become hits. Work on a first solo album is underway with Alex Da Kid.