"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn.

That's all right because I like the way it hurts.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry.

That's all right because I love the way you lie."

Raise your hand if you've heard those words before, perhaps on the radio.

OK, that looks like pretty much everybody.

But how many know they were written by a former Bandon resident?

The song "Love the Way You Lie," recorded by Eminem and Rihanna, dominated the charts all summer, spending seven weeks at No. 1 and six at No. 2. It was the third-most downloaded song of the year, selling 4.25 million copies.

More recently, it's earned a pair of Grammy nominations for songwriter Skylar Grey - the artist formerly known as Holly Brook, daughter of Candace Kreitlow of Bandon.

Grey, along with Eminem and producer Alex Da Kid, is nominated for song of the year - one of the top four prizes at the Grammys - as well as best rap song.

Awards next Sunday

"I'm so proud," said Kreitlow, who plans to attend next weekend's ceremony in Los Angeles.

"To me, she's already won. A nomination like that is so incredible."

The Grammys will air Sunday, Feb. 13, on CBS.

The song also earned three other nominations for Eminem and Rihanna, helping Eminem garner a leading 10 nominations.

But its local origins are much less widely known. Since its release in June, handlers have kept Grey shrouded in mystery in preparation for the relaunch of her solo career.

She's made no public appearances - though she was seen in Bandon over the holidays - and wasn't permitted to grant an interview. She did, however, answer questions via e-mail through a publicist.

Artist in residence

It turns out that Grey wrote her big hit during the short time she lived in Bandon.

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In August 2009, local gallery Art 101 announced that Brook, as she was then known, would be the artist in residence at the Artula Retreat that fall. Her time there paid off.

"I wrote ‘Love the Way You Lie' while retreating in the woods in Oregon," Grey wrote.

"It was the first beat of Alex Da Kid's I ever wrote to. I had no expectations for the song. Once Eminem decided to put it on his album and had Rihanna sing it, everything happened so fast. It's been surreal."

Grey, who'll turn 25 this month, said she's fortunate for the Grammy nominations and grateful for the opportunities it has led to.

She's written two other versions of the song for Rihanna's album and has written and sung on several other current and upcoming hip-hop collaborations that have arisen out of her partnership with Da Kid.

Return to top 10

Two of those projects are now in the top 10 on iTunes. Her voice is featured on both Dr. Dre and Eminem's "I Need a Doctor" and Diddy-Dirty Money's "Coming Home," which she co-wrote with Jay-Z. She's also written for T.I. and Christina Aguilera.

Rap collaborations aren't new for her, and neither is chart success. Her previous persona got a similar career boost five years ago with Fort Minor's "Where'd You Go?," a collaboration with Linkin Park that reached No. 2. A solo album followed that year.

In 2009, Brook toured with Duncan Sheik, including a stop in Bandon for a sold-out show at the Sprague Community Theater.

But local fans weren't aware of her involvement with her recent work until last week, when an e-mail to the Holly Brook mailing list informed them of her name change, with little explanation.

‘Holly Brook is dead'

Before that, her last message came June 20, the day "Love the Way You Lie" was released. On Twitter and Myspace, it said: "Listen up ladies and gents ... the time has come for me to fall back behind the scenes for good. It's been a pleasure tweeting with you."

The mysterious disappearance was followed by months of secrecy. The fog surrounding Grey began to clear this week. Her website, www.skylargreymusic.com, launched Monday, and her first interview, with PopEater, appeared Tuesday.

In it, she acknowledges her past but says, "Holly Brook is dead."

Part of that past includes her early career performing with her mother, beginning at age 6 in Wisconsin.

"I knew she had talent since day one," Kreitlow said. "It was almost mind-boggling."

Chip Dombrowski can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 243, or at cdombrowski@theworldlink.com.


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