Skylar Grey Says She Had to Sell Her Entire Catalog to Pay for Divorce
Skylar Grey has crafted hits for Eminem, Rihanna, Kehlani and more, and in a new interview, the singer/songwriter says she had to sell off her entire catalog in order to afford legals bills for her contentious divorce.
Speaking to Variety on Monday (June 6), Grey opened up about why she’s largely stayed out of the limelight in recent years. “I wasn’t really allowed to talk about everything that was going on because I was in a legal dispute. … But since 2017, I was going through a divorce and lawsuit, that was just wrecking me emotionally and financially,” she said. “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.”
While the songwriter maintains she didn’t have any plans to put her back catalog — which also included tracks by Ciara (“Beauty Marks”), G-Eazy (“Pick Me Up” featuring Anna of the North) and Nick Jonas (“Right Now” with Robin Schulz) — on the market, she reached a point where it felt like she didn’t have any other options. “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,” she added. “I didn’t want to sell them, but it was my only way to put the past behind me.”
Now that Grey isn’t seeing any dividends from her life’s work, she’s focused on moving forward and continuing to make new music like her self-titled 2021 album. “I feel like everybody’s categorizing me as the songwriter, and I wanna be an artist,” she said, comparing her situation to a scene she saw in Kanye West‘s recent Netflix documentary series Jeen-Yuhs: A Kayne Trilogy.
These days, Grey says she’s “taking all matters into my own hands, managing myself and producing my own album. I’m doing my own merch, I’m selling my own merch and shipping, packing and shipping out of my house right now. I’m back at square one, but I really believe in what I’m doing.”
Grey received five Grammy nominations in 2010-11 — song of the year and best rap song for “Love the Way You Lie,” recorded by Eminem featuring Rihanna; best rap song and best rap/sung collaboration for “I Need a Doctor,” which she recorded with Dr. Dre and Eminem; and album of the year as a producer on Rihanna’s Loud.