There's no clear-cut path to success. A lot of new artists find early blog support and YouTube subscribers essential to the ride. Then there's artists like Skylar Grey who blow up in that split-second, WTF, where-did-they-come-from, sort of way. Last year, she helped pen Eminem and Rihanna's No. 1 single, "Love The Way You Lie" (RiRi's chorus, obvs), that stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks.

She's gone on to work with T.I. and Diddy, and most recently provided hooks for Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said," and Dr. Dre's Detox single, "I Need A Doctor." The 24-year-old Wisconsin native born Holly Brook Hafermann, has been quietly working since she was a kid, and shrouded in mystery until her newfound success—but she just released her first official pictures as Skylar Grey, so not anymore. And especially not after you read this...

Written by Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo).

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