Skylar Grey is the songwriter behind such hit singles as as Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” and Diddy’s “Coming Home.” Recently, she was forced to sell the rights to his entire musical catalog in order to finance her divorce from ex-husband, Elliott Taylor.
“Since 2017 I was going through a divorce and lawsuit, that was just wrecking me emotionally and financially,” Grey told Variety, explaining that her radio silence in recent years was due to the legal dispute. “This past year, 2021, we finally resolved it, settled, I had to sell my catalog in order to afford the settlement, which was very sad in a way, because those songs like ‘Love the Way You Lie’ and Coming Home,’ those are my babies. But at the same time, nobody can tell me I didn’t write those songs just ’cause I don’t own the rights to them anymore. I didn’t want to sell them, but it was my only way to put the past behind me…”
Unlike artists like Julian Casablancas, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, who have sold the rights to their discographies solely to make a big paycheck, Grey didn’t see much from her sale. “Every time one of those songs get used in a movie or whatever, I don’t see any of that money anymore,” she said, adding that “the majority of what I got paid for my catalog went to taxes and my ex-husband.”
“It’s like your life’s work, and then suddenly it’s like, ‘Okay, I’ve got to give the majority of this away,’” Grey added. “But that was my only option. Luckily, I had the option of doing something like that, otherwise I may not have gotten out of the case.”
With her legal issues behind her, Grey recently returned with a self-titled LP, her first since 2016’s Natural Causes.