This troubled-love ballad was produced by Alex da Kid and features Barbadian R&B singer Rihanna. Eminem told Skyrock Radio in Paris about the collaboration: "The one I did with Rihanna is one of those tracks that I felt like only she could pull it off, only she could do it."
Rihanna explained in an interview with E!'s Ben Lyons how this ode of sorts to the rapper's tumultuous and at times abusive relationship with ex-wife Kim came together: "They reached out to us directly and they just said, 'We have this song and we just think Rihanna would be perfect to sing it,'" the Barbadian pop star recalled. "And, of course, I was like, 'OK, if I love it, I'll definitely do it, because I love Eminem.' And I love the song. It's really beautiful, and it really stands out," Rihanna added. "It's a really unique record. I'm really excited about it."
producer Alex Da Kid had been trying to land a beat on an Eminem record for a long time. However, it was only when the Detroit MC realized that the beat master behind B.o.B's hit was the same guy who was sending him musical samplings that Shady's people reached out and requested "something different." "A lot of time, generally in the industry, [artists] will say they want something different, but they don't know what that is until they hear it," Da Kid is quoted by MTV. "So you kind of just go out there yourself. 'Cause if you chase what they did before, it never really works out, and I wanna do different things anyway. That's my thing. I took his past work into account, but he was looking for new things, and I did my thing, and luckily it worked out."
Rihanna told Access Hollywood
that when Eminem approached her to be featured on the track, she felt a powerful connection with its lyrical content. The singer, whose domestic violence troubles with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown made headlines around the world, discussed her decision to collaborate with Eminem. "It's something that, you know, [Eminem and I have] both experienced, you know, on different sides, different ends of the table," Rihanna said. "It just was authentic. It was real. It was believable for us to do a record like that, but it was also something that needed to be done and the way he did it was so clever. He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence and it's something that a lot people don't have a lot of insight on, so this song is a really, really powerful song and it touches a lot of people."
Rihanna added that she felt no concern in tackling the song despite its forward lyrics. "Eminem is an artist of class and I knew if he sent me a record there must be something to it," she said. "It couldn't just be, 'Oh, duh! She was in that relationship, so we have to get her.'"
This was the first song with "love" in its title to top the Billboard Hot 100 for over two years. Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love
" previously spent four weeks at #1 in April and May 2008 and was immediately preceded by another "love" song at the summit, Usher's "Love In This Club
The song's music video was shot in Los Angeles and directed by Joseph Kahn, who, in addition to his work on previous Eminem videos, has also directed clips for Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani. Rihanna appears in the clip, which also features Lost actor Dominic Monaghan and Transformers actress Megan Fox playing a couple engaged in an abusive relationship. "I think we tried as hard as we could to not glorify the violence, to try and explain that this was a relationship that is by no means ideal and a relationship that probably should have ended a lot sooner than it did," Monaghan told MTV News. "The concept of 'Love the Way You Lie' was essentially a look at the relationship that Eminem was in with his wife, Kim, so I kind of felt like I was playing Eminem a little bit, and Megan Fox was kind of playing Kim.
It's the story of them getting to know each other, and it's the story of their tumultuous relationship, and it was the story of the breakdown of their relationship," Monaghan added. "Ultimately, what I think he's trying to say in the song... is that he should have walked away a little bit quicker than he did and not let it get as messy as it did."
Monaghan injured his left knee during the video shoot when he braced it on the floor while punching Fox more than 50 times. The actor also hurt his hand when he punched a mirror.
In an interview with Billboard magazine, Alex Da Kid explained how his song ended up on Recovery: "I met Riggs [Shady Records senior director of A&R Rigo Morales] in [Universal senior director of creative affairs] Jessica's office. We went back and forth for a while, and then "'Airplanes' happened and Em heard it and loved it, and he wanted to get on it. Then he asked me if I had anything else with a hook for him, and I sent him 'Love the Way You Lie.' We didn't know if it was going to make the album or not, because he had half the album already mastered and the other half was getting mastered. I went in to mix it with him, and Rihanna was in Dublin, recording her part and sending it to us. We did it in two days, and then two days after that the album had to go to the pressing plant."
Rihanna recorded a sequel to this song, "Love The Way You Lie (Part II)." This one has the same intense and emotional lyrics but this time is sung from the female's perspective with Rihanna on lead vocals and Eminem as a featured guest.
This was the best selling single of 2010 in the UK selling 820,000 copies from its release to the end of the year. Runner-up was Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are
" whilst Usher's "OMG
" was third on the list.
The song was co-written by Skylar Grey (birth name Holly Brook Hafermann), who is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. Grey formerly performed as simply Holly Brook and was featured under that name on Fort Minor's hit single "Where'd You Go
." After her success with that song, she maintained a low profile in the industry until contributing to this tune.
Grey stated in a blog for the 2011 Grammy Awards, "When I wrote the chorus to Eminem's 'Love The Way You Lie' featuring Rihanna, I was living alone in a cabin in the woods, with my home studio. I was taking a step away from the industry in an effort to nurture my muses, which had been seriously damaged. I certainly wasn't attempting to write a hit song, but rather channeling what naturally came to me, with no expectations."
Skylar Grey told NME how she was inspired by her weakness for bad boys to pen this song: "It wasn't necessarily about literal violence in a relationship, but that vicious cycle of somebody who keeps you on you're toes because they're kind of a a--hole," she explained. "I do tend to fall for a--holes because they keep me on my toes and I don't get bored. That's what I wrote it about."
Urban Method, The Pretty Reckless, Jason Chen and Tyler Ward are among the acts to cover this song.