Eminem was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 18 and he brought Skylar Grey along for a performance that started with his new single “Walk on Water” and evolved into renditions of “Stan” and “Love The Way You Lie,” as well.
In a white gown, Grey sat and sang at a piano just behind and off to the side of Em, who wore all black, including his trademark hoodie pulled up over a baseball cap. He shifted his weight side to side as he began the new song but his movements increased as the song went on.
Though “SNL’s” audio engineers had their fingers ready to mute certain choice words in the song, they did not bleep “retarded” out of the second verse (“Kids look to me as a god, this is retarded/If only they knew, it’s a facade and it’s exhaustive”).
When the beat picked up behind Grey’s third chorus, Em waved his right arm over his head and mouthed the words along with her. Picking up energy himself, he stepped out from behind the mic stand to move around the stage for the third verse, a particularly emotional one that includes a tribute to his late best friend and former D12 member Proof (nee DeShaun Holton): “But the only one who’s looking down on/me that matters now’s DeShaun/Am I lucky to be around this long?/Begs the question though/especially after the methadone/as yesterday fades and the Dresden home/is burnt to the ground, and all that’s left of my house is lawn./The crowds are gone/and it’s time to wash out the blond.”
After Em reminded the audience that he wrote “Stan” in the kicker of “Walk on Water,” Grey stepped out from behind the piano to sing the chorus of that 1999 hit. Performing only a portion of that almost seven-minute track, they then shifted into part of “Love The Way You Lie,” off his 2010 “Recovery” album. (Rihanna, not Grey, is featured on the song on the album, though Grey co-wrote it.)
Em and Grey have collaborated on a number of songs through the years, including the “I Need A Doctor” 2011 single with Dr. Dre, “A–hole” from his 2013 “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” album, “Twisted” from Shady Records’ 15th anniversary celebratory disc “Shady XV,” and most recently, “Kill For You” off her 2016 “Natural Causes” album.
“Walk on Water,” Em’s first single from his upcoming “Revival” album, dropped Nov. 10 and moved into the No.1 position on iTunes hip-hop chart later that same day and into the top 10 in “songs in every category,” as well.