Eminem feat. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie (Music Video)

  “Love the Way You Lie” is the second single from American rapper Eminem‘s seventh studio album Recovery. Singer Skylar Grey was inspired to write and record the demo with Alex da Kid when she felt that she was in an abusive romantic relationship with the music industry. Eminem wrote verses to the track and chose Barbadian singer Rihanna to sing the chorus; the collaboration […]

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Love the Way You Lie” is the second single from American rapper Eminem‘s seventh studio album Recovery. Singer Skylar Grey was inspired to write and record the demo with Alex da Kid when she felt that she was in an abusive romantic relationship with the music industry. Eminem wrote verses to the track and chose Barbadian singer Rihanna to sing the chorus; the collaboration was influenced by their past experiences of domestic violenceRecording sessions were held in Ferndale, Michigan, and Dublin, Ireland. The song is a midtempo hip hop ballad with a pop refrain. Backed by guitar, piano and violin, it describes two lovers who refuse to separate despite being in a love–hate abusive relationship.

The single was released through Interscope-Geffen-A&M on August 9, 2010. Critics complimented its melody and realistic themes. They suggested that it was influenced by Eminem’s and Rihanna’s respective relationships with ex-wife Kimberly Scott and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. Eminem promoted “Love the Way You Lie” with performances at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the MTV Video Music Awards and many festivals. The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, stars Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox in a violent relationship and shows Eminem and Rihanna in front of a burning house. The clip had a mixed reception due to scenes of domestic violence. Some critics suggested that it alludes to the personal lives of Eminem and Rihanna.

Eminem’s best-selling single, “Love the Way You Lie” was listed by magazines among the best of 2010 and of Eminem’s work. It was number one on 25 weekly charts, including the United States’Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. The single sold more than five million copies in the US and became the best-selling song of 2010 in the United Kingdom. It won many accolades and was nominated for five Grammy Awards. Artists and groups such as Cher Lloyd and The Band Perry performed cover versions. Rihanna has said that its theme of domestic violence, a topic on which she claims many people do not have insight, is what makes the song effective. She later recorded “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)“, which is narrated mostly from the female perspective.

Writing and production

Rihanna with red, long hair and a dress with floral patterns. Her left hand is raised up and her right hand holds a microphone near her mouth.

Rihanna’s approval of the song’s topic ultimately influenced her decision to work with Eminem.

Development of “Love the Way You Lie” began with the creation of a backing track and hook melody. British hip hop music producer Alex da Kid did this, writing music mostly on his laptop. He made loops for a few hours and produced an electronic drum rhythm, before adding live instrumentation. The drum sounds were sampled from live recordings he had saved. Alex da Kid recorded an acoustic guitar for the verses with a Georg Neumann U87 microphone and an Avid Mbox audio interface. He told Sound on Sound magazine that this song had given him an opportunity to reintroduce live guitar in hip hop music. During the session, he used Waves RVerb and REQ equalization on his main kick track and a MaxxBass plug-in on two others.

Writing began in fall 2009, when American singer Holly Brook Hafermann resided at the Artula Retreat in Bandon, Oregon, composing various songs. Later in New York, under her new stage name Skylar Grey, she visited her Universal Music publisher Jennifer Blakeman in seek of help presenting her music. Blakeman suggested she collaborate with Alex da Kid. The producer emailed Grey his recording, which suggested a theme of abusive romantic relationships to her as she spontaneously sang lyrics to the melody. She told Los Angeles Times that she was in an abusive relationship with the music industry: “I love it so much, and I give it all that I have, yet it beats me down.” This idea inspired the writing, a process that she found came naturally, as if she were creating an alternative pop song for herself. She wrote the chorus to “Love the Way You Lie” in 15 minutes and recorded vocals for Alex da Kid’s demo.

In early 2010 Alex da Kid offered Shady Records Senior Director Rigo “Riggs” Morales a selection of his backing tracks. Morales enjoyed the tracks and sent them to Eminem, who was seeking a different approach for Recovery, his seventh studio album.[10] Acknowledging Alex da Kid, Eminem asked for more tracks and subsequently heard “Love the Way You Lie”. He chose it and told his manager Paul Rosenbergthat he wanted to collaborate with Barbadian singer Rihanna. Eminem told Skyrock FM, “It’s one of those tracks that I felt like only she could pull it off.”Rosenberg sent the track to Rihanna, who accepted Eminem’s request “at the last moment.”Eminem wrote the rapped verses.

Rihanna joined the collaboration because she could relate to the theme of the song: the singer explained that she and Eminem had experienced domestic violence on “different ends of the table”. Eminem and his ex-wife Kimberly Scott had been in a difficult relationship, having divorced in 2001 and again in 2006 after a remarriage. Scott had tried to commit suicide in 2000 and had later sued Eminem for defamation. In February 2009 American singer Chris Brown had assaulted Rihanna and their relationship had subsequently ended. She described “Love the Way You Lie” as a unique, realistic and deep record, adding that it “broke down the cycle of domestic violence” because few people had insight on the topic.

Recording sessions

Recording sessions were held at Effigy Studios in Ferndale, Michigan, where Mike Strange recorded and mixed Eminem’s vocals. Strange’s brother Joe engineered the track. The sessions were finished in two days. Strange edited the vocals with D-Verb—a reverberation software—and an Extra Long Delay plug-in. He preferred making few changes; for “Love the Way You Lie” he almost exclusively used board compression and console equalization. Strange used the Bricasti and Eventide Reverb 2016 mixing tools for “brighter” reverberation.

On most of Eminem’s songs, Detroit musician Luis Resto adds to the musical arrangement, but did not contribute to “Love the Way You Lie”. According to Strange, “Everything we needed was already in the track, apart from the vocals.” Two to three weeks after the sessions, Alex da Kid arrived to help mix and master the track. He had wanted to replace the acoustic guitar on the demo, but Eminem liked the instrumentation. Strange said, “it was simply a matter of trying to match and then to improve on the demo [Alex da Kid]’d sent us.”

Rihanna’s recording sessions were at Sun Studios in Dublin, Ireland. Marcos Tovar mixed her vocals, which were engineered by Spike Lindsey and mastered from Detroit over the Internet. American songwriter Makeba Riddick provided additional vocal production. Equalization, compression and reverberation were added but the vocal balance was unchanged. Strange assumed that Rihanna was satisfied with her recorded vocals and thus did not make major changes on her seven stereo vocal tracks.

Composition and theme

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A 28-second song sample. Backed by an electric guitar and a piano, Rihanna sings the second half of the chorus in a sad voice without vibrato. Eminem begins the second verse over an acoustic guitar, violin and pounding drums, expressing frustration in his voice.

 

“Love the Way You Lie” is a midtempo hip hop ballad. The lyrics describe two lovers who refuse to separate despite their abusive relationship. According to the sheet music published by Universal Music Publishing Group at Musicnotes.com, the song is in the key of G minor with a 4/4 time signature and a tempo of 84 beats per minute. The vocal range spans from B♭3 toD5.”Love the Way You Lie” opens as Rihanna sings the pop refrain over a piano:[23][24]

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright, because I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright, because I love the way you lie.

The refrain is based on a Gm–E♭(add2)–B♭–F/A chord progression. Fraser McAlphine of BBC observed that Rihanna feels confined “in a cell of [her] own creation”. She does not sing withvibrato—a pulsating musical effect used to add expression. One commentator, The New York Times‘ David Brownie, said that despite this her voice subtly shows grief and regret. After her part, Eminem “zap[s] into” the rap: “I can’t tell you what it really is/ I can only tell you what it feels like.”[23] The verses follow a Gm–E♭(add2)B♭–Fsus/A chord progression. Eminem regrets an end to an abusive, failed relationship, describing mutual violence and expressing both fondness and anger. The two artists are portrayed in a romantic relationship when Eminem responds to Rihanna by concluding the verse: “I laid hands on her. I’ll never stoop so low again/ I guess I don’t know my own strength.” Rihanna sings the chorus, backed by an electric guitar and a piano.

Acoustic guitar, violin and pounding drums accompany Eminem’s verses. The lyrics transition from discussing positive aspects of love to negative and violent events. Jayson Rodriguez of MTV News found emotion in the rap and said that in the second verse, Eminem accepts the outcome after initially feeling sorry, as the rapper admits, “Yesterday is over, it’s a different day.”He becomes more frustrated, rapping that two personalities can clash and devastate: “maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano”. Eventually, the love–hate relationship worsens and domestic violence occurs. Eminem admits to lying about promises he initially makes and says late in the song, “If she ever tries to fuckin’ leave me again, I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.”

Journalists and experts have variously interpreted the message in the song. MTV’s Kyle Anderson wrote that it carries a dark theme. Sady Doyle of The Atlantic said that Eminem “turns the anger and accusations toward himself” and confesses about having abused Scott. Writers such as Allie Townsend of Time magazine and Jocelyn Noveck of The Associated Press suggested that the previous relationships of both artists influenced the song. According to Eric Hayden of The Atlantic Wire, the song discusses the issues of an alcoholic couple and may have been influenced by Rihanna’s relationship with Brown. NPR‘s Maura Johnston suggested that the lyrics portray Rihanna as the subject of Eminem’s violence. According to Marjorie Gilberg, executive director of anti-teenage violence group Break the Cycle, “Love the Way You Lie” describes the myths of domestic abuse. He believed that because popular culture depicts often what is socially acceptable, people may more easily accept such violence. Gilberg argued that the victim is often accused of being as bad as the partner but just wants to be loved.

Release and critical response

On May 27, 2010, Eminem revealed “Love the Way You Lie” with the other tracks on Recovery, which was released on June 21, 2010. The single was distributed by Interscope-Geffen-A&M following an Internet leak on June 8, 2010.Initially a radio single, it was released by Polydor Records on CD in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2010. Interscope Records released it in the United States on August 17 and in Germany on August 20, 2010.

“Love the Way You Lie” received favorable reviews from most critics. A writer for Rap-Up listed it among the four best tracks from the album. Doyle and The New York Times writer Jon Caramanica considered the song one of Eminem’s most affecting tracks and “one of the album’s most engaging songs” respectively. It showed Caramanica that Eminem can assess issues from the perspectives of both sexes. Nick Levine of Digital Spy and McAlphine of BBC both gave the song four stars out of five, commending its realistic theme and suggesting that the lyrics allude to the artists’ past relationships. McAlphine wrote that Eminem understands and discusses the topic accurately. He added that Rihanna’s representing the opposite side of the relationship shows “proper storytelling” and “sends a message” because of her breakup with Brown. Winston Robbins of music website Consequence of Sound called the song raw and emotional, attributing its potency to Rihanna’s past abusive relationship and a theme of infidelity and abuse. MTV’s Rodriguez said that it echoes content from Eminem’s earlier albums, but finds him “sober” and “more mature”. He suggested that the lyrics allude to Eminem’s relationship with Scott and that “Love the Way You Lie” is his closest approach to a love song.

Rihanna’s addition was praised. Michael Menachem of Billboard complimented her “exquisitely melodic and surprisingly hopeful” vocal performance and “Eminem’s dark, introspective” rapping.  He noted that the percussion compliments both artists and that Alex da Kid gave the classical arrangement a mainstream touch. Anderson said that the song showcases Rihanna’s emotional vocals and Eminem’s “most intense rhymes about his tumultuous relationships”. Writing for Entertainment Weekly, he likened the “slow-burning” music to that of “Someone Like You“, a 2011 single by British singer Adele. Editors of The A.V. Club compared “Love the Way You Lie” with earlier songs by Eminem that refer to his ex-wife Kimberly Scott—”Kim” and “’97 Bonnie & Clyde“. They found that in “Love the Way You Lie” he is more tempered when discussing a “mutually destructive relationship” and that Rihanna’s involvement creates an eerie mood. Houston Chronicle pop critic Joey Guerra stated that the song brought a “sandpaper and silk sheen” to Rihanna. On the critical side, The Daily Telegraphs Jenny McCartney dismissed the metaphors in the chorus and thought that the song’s theme was over-hyped. She disagreed with its critical praise, arguing that women accept abusive relationships for deeper reasons than sexual and emotional pleasure, such as family and financial issues, as well as helplessness.

Rankings

“Love the Way You Lie” ranked in various best-of-2010 lists. Claire Suddath of Time placed it at number 5 on her top-10 list and felt that the topic made it effective and powerful. AOL Radio considered the song the best of 2010 hip hop music, regarding Eminem as imaginative and passionate. It ranked 9th on MTV News’ top-25 list. Editor James Montgomery attributed the song’s success to its theme and relation to the artists’ past abusive relationships. He concluded, “You cannot write a song any better than that, because that’s how this kind of thing happens in real life.”New York Post placed the song at 2nd place on its “top 210 songs from 2010” list and regarded it as a “comeback club anthem.”On April 26, 2011, Gabriel Alvarez of Complex magazine ranked it at number 100 on their “100 Best Eminem Songs” list, writing that it is a love song in which Rihanna sings beautifully.

Chart performance and sales

“Love the Way You Lie” reached number 1 on many singles charts worldwide. On July 2, 2010, it debuted at number 17 on the Swedish Singles Chart, on which it began a five-week run at the top on August 20. The song entered the Australian Singles Chart at number 14 on July 4, 2010, rising to number 1 after 3 weeks, lasting there for 6 and charting for 38 weeks in total. It first appeared on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 2 in the July 10, 2010, issue. The single entered at number 1 on the US Digital Songs after selling 338,000 digital copies in its first week. In the Digital Songs issue dated August 28, 2010, it regained the top position with weekly sales of 254,000 copies. “Love the Way You Lie” began a 7-week run at the top of the Hot 100 to become Eminem’s fourth and Rihanna’s seventh number-1 US hit. The single rose from number 13 to number 8 on the Billboard Pop Songs in its fourth consecutive week and became Eminem’s ninth and Rihanna’s fifteenth top-10 song on the chart.

“Love the Way You Lie” sold more than 300,000 digital copies on the week of August 14, 2010, reaching new peaks on the Pop Songs and Radio Songs charts, both at number 2. The song claimed Billboard‘s “Airplay Gainer” honor for 5 consecutive weeks. In the Billboard issue of August 21, 2010, Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems recognized the single with the BDS Certified Award for 50,000 radio spins. It topped the Pop Songs chart in the same issue, giving Eminem his fourth number-1 hit on the chart and tying Rihanna with Mariah CareyBeyoncé Knowles and Lady Gaga for the most Pop Songs chart-toppers. The single became Eminem’s first number-1 hit on the Rap Songs chart with him as the lead artist since his 2000 single “The Real Slim Shady“.

The song charted in Canada for 35 weeks and spent 4 weeks at number 1 in New Zealand, where it lasted from June 28 to November 22, 2010, with a re-appearance on December 6. In Norway it held 4 weeks out of 21 at number 1. In Denmark the song first charted on July 2, 2010, at number 14 and rose to the top 6 weeks later. It lasted 26 weeks, 8 of which were spent at number 1. On July 4, 2010, the single entered the UK R&B and UK Singles Charts at numbers 3 and 7 respectively. Towards the end of the month it climbed to number 1 on the R&B Chart and to number 2 on the Singles Chart. Although it never topped the UK Singles Chart, by the end of the year 854,000 copies were sold in the UK, making “Love the Way You Lie” the country’s biggest-selling song of 2010. In October 2011 it became the 109th song to reach one million sales in the UK.

“Love the Way You Lie” was the seventh best-selling single of 2010 in the US, with sales of 4,245,000 copies. The song was certified six-times platinum in Australia for 420,000 shipments and received a double-platinum certification in New Zealand that denoted 30,000 shipments to retailers. It became South Korea’s third best-selling song in 2010 by a foreign artist, with 1,200,653 downloads. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, it sold 9.3 million copies worldwide in 2010. In August 2011 “Love the Way You Lie” became the most downloaded single in the US by Eminem or Rihanna, having sold five million digital copies. Four months later, it was certified as Eminem’s best-selling single. By November 2012 it sold 1.05 million copies in the UK, placing at number 100 on the Official Charts Company‘s “The Million Sellers” list. Alex da Kid told Billboard that he was unsurprised by the single’s success, praising Rihanna’s contribution.

Music video

Background

A shot of Megan Fox from the chest up, with dark brown hair.

A fan of Eminem, actress Megan Foxaccepted a starring role in the video. Director Joseph Kahn said that she helped the video have a strong impact.

The music video for “Love the Way You Lie” was Eminem’s third to be directed by American filmmaker Joseph Kahn. Despite having planned to shoot a feature film and stop directing pop videos, Kahn directed “Love the Way You Lie” because according to him, the song touches on an important topic. Mikey Fresh of Vibe wrote that it was his best opportunity to direct a video for Eminem without the comedic themes of their previous collaborations. For the video he considered English actor Dominic Monaghan as a co-star for his versatility, which would help him play an antagonist effectively. He cast American actress Megan Fox, which Kahn had presumed would be almost impossible because of her popularity with directors.[90] But Fox, a fan, accepted the role unhesitatingly.

Rosenberg gave Kahn one day to write a treatment, which he finished in 45 minutes. Filming began on July 21, 2010, in Los Angeles, with Eminem’s and Rihanna’s parts; Fox’s and Monaghan’s parts were shot later. After photos of Rihanna in front of a burning house leaked online on that day, Kahn tweeted his request to paparazzi to “stop trying to ruin [his] shots, thank you.”The clip was produced by Kathy Angstadt and Maryann Tanedo of HSI Productions. On July 24, 2010, Kahn tweeted that he had finished the shoot. On the next day he confirmed the completion of the director’s cut. He commented for Vibe on the theme and acting:

We wanted to make a specific story about two people—Meg and Dom—not a video that was representative of all couples or all domestic violence situations. I’m not saying that all couples fight this way. I just want people just to be able to identify with the characters and recognize that they’ve seen relationships like this where two people are together that are completely wrong for each other and things spiral out of control. … Megan was the key to this video. … I’ll tell you as a director the reason why [Fox and Monaghan’s] scenes in the video feel so real is because in the moment they were real.

Kahn said that Fox’s involvement increased the video’s impact. Shortly before its release, Eminem reported in a press statement: “Joseph and I worked pretty closely together to make sure we got this right”. According to him, the difficult topic resulted in a powerful video thanks to Rihanna, Fox and Monaghan. Fox donated her appearance fee to the Soujourn House, a battered women’s shelter. On August 5, 2010, at 9 pm ET, the video premiered on MTV and music video website VEVO.

Synopsis

Rihanna and Eminem are standing in front of a burning house in a dark setting.

A video still in which Eminem and Rihanna stand in front of a fenced house lit aflame. The scene illustrates the lyric “I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.”

The video opens as Rihanna sings in front of a burning house and an interspersing scene shows fire on a woman’s (Fox) palms. In another scene, the woman is asleep with her lover (Monaghan) but wakes up, before Eminem begins to rap in a cornfield. She attacks her lover after seeing the name “Cindy” and a phone number written on his hand. He tries to kiss her, but is spat on the face. She then attempts to leave him, but fights after she is brought back. The man pushes her onto the wall and aims his fist at her, puncturing the wall instead. After Rihanna sings again, the video flashes back to when the man and the woman first meet “at a seedy dive bar next door” to a liquor store. The man steals a bottle of vodka and they kiss on the rooftop.

The clip shifts back to the present, as the man apologizes but later drinks liquor. Rihanna sings, while the couple are reconciled. In another flashback, the man attacks someone who plays pool with his lover. After the video returns once again to the present, Eminem joins Rihanna in front of the burning house and raps the final verse. The woman returns home but locks herself in the bathroom to stop her abusive lover from coming. In a different scene, she closes her hands to extinguish the fire inside. The couple, along with Eminem, are then engulfed by flames. They are shown in front of the burning house. In the end the couple stay together and the video returns to the beginning of the story, in which they sleep.

Reception

“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. 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 telling MTV News his interpretation of “Love the Way You Lie”.

The video received a mixed reception from critics, who commented on scenes of domestic violence. NPR’s Zoe Chace deemed the video sickening, while AOL Music listed it at number five on the “Top 10 Most Controversial Music Videos in Pop”. According to Hollie McKay of Fox News and Stephanie Nilva—the executive director of trauma resource center Day One—it mainly raises “the topic of dating violence among young people”. Nilva praised the clip for accurate depiction of patterns in an abusive relationship and said that its potency came from Eminem’s history of violence-themed songs and Brown’s assault on Rihanna.

A writer for Rap-Up considered the video realistic as “art imitates life”. Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic called it an inaccurate portrayal of domestic violence due to romanticization and insufficient violence, such as the lack of injuries after punching through a wall. Mariel Concepcion of Billboard said that it focuses on the risks of domestic violence and it should be avoided before it is late. Rihanna’s appearance was criticized particularly. Writing for Rolling Stone magazine, Daniel Kreps called it “especially striking”, noting her relationship with Brown. An editor from The Boston Globe commented that although the video is realistic, it hinders Rihanna’s ability to set an example for women in abusive relationships. President Terry O’Neill of the National Organization for Women said that she glorifies domestic violence unintentionally.

Brittany Talarico of OK! magazine saw the video’s message as significant to both artists. Billy Johnson Jr. from Yahoo! Music said that Fox’s portrayal switched between vulnerable and confrontational personalities, while Monaghan’s character is similar to Eminem. Monaghan echoed Johnson’s comment of the couple as a representation of Eminem and Scott in an interview for MTV. In response Kahn, who understood why viewers thought the video had been influenced by Eminem’s and Rihanna’s relationships, asked viewers to realize that this is untrue. He said that the team had been conscious about such personal matters and that Fox’s and Monaghan’s characters are only significant to each other.

Reviewers discussed the acting. Peter Gicas of E! News noted that the two stars portray “combustible behavior the tune is hellbent on describing.”The Wall Street Journal critic Jozen Cummings considered the video more appropriate “for the big screen than the TV screen” due to the involvement of film stars Fox and Monaghan. New York Post‘s Jarett Wieselman wrote that they play their roles perfectly and helped make the video powerful. Entertainment Weekly‘s Whitney Pastorek found the violent acting sexually appealing, while Willa Paskin of New York magazine said that the cast’s appeal “hypnotize[s]” viewers. Paskin noted the use of sepia toning in the burning-house scenes. Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio commented that the video leaves viewers to decide “if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the pair always end up reconciling.”Mikey Fresh of Vibe said that Fox’s natural reaction when Monaghan pierces the wall and almost hits her is an “incredible act of vulnerability”. L Magazine‘s Benjamin Sutton likened the scene in which the characters burst into flames to Chris Bradley, whom Monaghan portrayed in the 2009 action film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Live performances

A large screen with the silhouette of a man, seated with two pistols, is in the center. Surrounding it are screens showing Eminem, who is to the right of Rihanna. The latter is holding a microphone and has short red hair.

Eminem and Rihanna performing “Love the Way You Lie” at E3 2010

On June 15, 2010, Eminem and Rihanna performed “Love the Way You Lie” at Los Angeles’s Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010, accompanied by drummer Travis Barker and D12 member Mr. Porter. Eminem did “Love the Way You Lie” at the T in the Park festival on July 10, 2010, in Scotland, dedicating it to “everybody who'[d] been in a fucked-up relationship.”

Eminem performed the song at Ireland’s annual Oxegen festival on July 11, 2010. James Hendicott from State wrote that the rapper’s personality “fill[ed] the stage” as his vocals were sharp and packed “plenty of punch”. He criticized the use of a pre-recorded backing track and noted a lack of live music and female vocals. Eamon Sweeney from Irish Independent called the show only “mildly impressive”. On July 21, 2010, the rapper made a surprise appearance on Rihanna’s Last Girl on Earth Tour to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He performed with Rihanna at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and was voted the best performer of the ceremony, earning 34 percent of votes in an MTV poll. Suddath of Time called the performance dull. Rihanna had told fans initially that she would be absent at the performance, but appeared anyway.

“Love the Way You Lie” was performed without Rihanna at the 2011 Bonnaroo Music Festival for almost 80,000 people. MTV News’ Montgomery wrote that Eminem’s “sheer tenacity with which he attacked” was his strength.Patrick Doyle of Rolling Stone felt that Eminem delivered a triumphal act by “constantly bouncing across the stage” and singing energetically.The rapper performed “Love the Way You Lie” on the second day of Chicago‘s annual Lollapalooza festival on August 6, 2011, once again accompanied only by Porter. Piet Levy of USA Todaynewspaper named the show a “tragic stunner” while members of the audience sang the chorus to compensate for Rihanna’s absence.Katie Hasty of HitFix added that it displayed competition between sexes.

On August 20, 2011, Rihanna joined Eminem in Staffordshire to perform the song on the first day of V2011 (V Festival). James Lachno of The Daily Telegraph considered it an “affecting” rendition. The Guardian called their performance thrilling and an editor from British newspaper Metro felt that it was the best part of the evening. Eminem closed the festival on the night of August 21 in ChelmsfordEssex, for an audience of 120,000.A reporter for International Business Times thought that Eminem’s duet with Rihanna highlighted the evening’s show. Regarding Eminem’s performance at the Sydney Football Stadium on December 2, 2011, Carlie Walker of Byron Shire News said that it “brought the crowd to life.”

Cover versions

Musicians and bands have performed cover versions and remixes of “Love the Way You Lie”. Country music group The Band Perry sung the song at the June 2010 CMT Music Awards. Two months later Taylor Momsen, lead singer of American rock band The Pretty Reckless, performed a cover version of “Love the Way You Lie” for BBC Radio 1‘s Live Lounge, as part of a mashup with the song “Islands” by English pop band The xx. A guitarist for the band assisted her, as she began with a section of “Islands” and then transitioned into the chorus of “Love the Way You Lie”.

British musician Cher Lloyd performed the song in the final five of The X Factor UK‘s seventh season. A writer from The Sun called the performance “stripped-back” and “without any of her usual stage gimmicks.”Mernie Gilmore of Daily Express commented that the song is “a duet for a reason” as Lloyd performed both Eminem’s and Rihanna’s parts. In 2010 Russian guitarist Alex Feather Akimov released “Love The Way You Lie (Heavy Remix)”, a recording that was recognized by Billboard.biz (Web Trends). American post-hardcore band A Skylit Drive recorded a cover of the single for Punk Goes Pop 4, the 2011 release of the Punk Goes… series.

Sequel

Rihanna is standing on a grand piano on a stage illuminated with purple light.

Rihanna performing “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)” on the Loud Tour (2011) in Birmingham, England

On November 3, 2010, an alternate version titled “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)” leaked onto the Internet. Rihanna is the lead vocalist with Eminem as a featured guest. The song mainly views matters from the female perspective and is based on Grey’s demo. Having initially opposed recording a sequel, Rihanna had thought “the original couldn’t be beaten”, but later agreed to record it. She said that the sequel has less production, with only piano and drums. It is the 11th and final track on her 2010 studio album Loud.[154] Grey’s version appears on her extended play The Buried Sessions of Skylar Grey, which was released on January 17, 2012.

The song peaked at number 19 on the Canadian Hot 100 and lasted on the chart for 8 weeks. Rihanna performed a short medley that includes “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)”, “What’s My Name?” and “Only Girl (In the World)” at the American Music Awards of 2010. Another medley, composed of “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)” and “I Need a Doctor”, was performed at the 53rd Grammy Awards. BBC Online reviewed the sequel positively, saying, “Eminem’s verse exud[es] the kind of volatile, simmering menace that got everyone so excited about him in the first place. But it is Rihanna’s vocal—at once commanding, soulful and vulnerable—that anchors the song.”

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Award Result
2010 Teen Choice Awards
Choice Music: Rap/Hip-Hop Track Won
MTV Europe Music Awards
Best Song Nominated
Best Video Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards
Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year Won
People’s Choice Awards
Favorite Music Video Won
Favorite Song Won
2011 Barbados Music Awards
Best Collaboration Won
NRJ Music Awards
Chanson Internationale de l’Année (International Song of the Year) Nominated
Clip de l’Année (Video of the Year) Nominated
Grammy Awards
Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Rap Song Nominated
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
Best Short Form Music Video Nominated
Billboard Music Awards
Top Digital Song Nominated
Top Hot 100 Song Nominated
Top Radio Song Nominated
Top Rap Song Won
Top Streaming Song (Audio) Nominated
Top Streaming Song (Video) Nominated
MuchMusic Video Awards
Best International Artist Video Nominated
MuchMusic.com Most Watched Video Nominated
UR Fave: International Video Nominated
Detroit Music Awards
Outstanding National Single Nominated
Outstanding Video / Major Budget (Over $10,000) Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards
Best Cinematography Nominated
Best Direction Nominated
Best Male Video Nominated
Best Video with a Message Nominated

Track listing

  • CD single
  1. “Love the Way You Lie” – 4:23
  2. Not Afraid” (Live at T in the Park) – 6:54

Credits and personnel

The credits for “Love the Way You Lie” are adapted from the liner notes of Recovery.

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)
1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)
1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)
1
Belgium (Ultratop 40 Wallonia)
1
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)
1
Czech Republic (IFPI)
2
Denmark (Tracklisten)
1
European Hot 100 Singles
1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)
1
France (SNEP)
3
Germany (Media Control AG)
1
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)
1
Ireland (IRMA)
1
Israel (Media Forest)
1
Italy (FIMI)
1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)
4
New Zealand (RIANZ)
1
Norway (VG-lista)
1
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 5)
1
Romania (Romanian Top 100)
1
Russia (Download Chart)
1
Scotland (Official Charts Company)
3
Slovakia (IFPI)
1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)
1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)
1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)
1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)
2
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)
1
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)
29
US Billboard Hot 100
1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
7
US Latin Songs (Billboard)
23
US Pop Songs (Billboard)
1
US Rap Songs (Billboard)
1

Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
Australia (ARIA)
1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 75)
5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)
21
Belgium (Ultratop 40 Wallonia)
11
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)
7
Denmark (Tracklisten)
7
European Hot 100 Singles
8
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)
35
Ireland (IRMA)
4
Italy (FIMI)
20
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)
20
New Zealand (RIANZ)
2
Spain (PROMUSICAE)
11
Spain Top 20 TV (PROMUSICAE)
19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)
1
US Billboard Hot 100
7
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
59
US Pop Songs (Billboard)
9
Chart (2011) Position
Spain (PROMUSICAE)
41

Certifications

Region Provider Certification
Australia
ARIA 6× Platinum
Belgium
BEA Gold
Denmark
IFPI Denmark Platinum
Germany
BM Platinum
Italy
FIMI Platinum
Japan
RIAJ Gold
New Zealand
RIANZ 2× Platinum
Russia
NFPF 3× Platinum
Spain
PROMUSICAE Platinum
Switzerland
IFPI 3× Platinum
United States
RIAA 5× Platinum


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