Skylar Grey will be hosting Cyclone Voice, Iowa State's annual singing competition, tonight in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Grey is known for songs such as "Glorious" and "Coming Home, Part II."
The event was originally called Cyclone Idol when it was part of VEISHA, according to Ricky Young, special events co-director for SUB. Once VEISHA died out, the Student Union Board (SUB) took over and changed the name to Cyclone Voice to model the popular singing competition, "The Voice."
The competition begins way before the singers take the stage. The event is planned the semester before and since they always have a celebrity host, the hosts are chosen far in advance. The process of selecting the chosen host goes through the SUB committee, the directors and the agencies the celebrities are under.
Once all of the details are hammered out, it is time for the actual participants. The applicants must follow a certain set of rules, the first being how it is required to be a student (yes, they will check). Once you get approved, you get to move into preliminaries judged by chosen people from the Ames and Iowa State and music communities.
This year, 13 singers are moving on to perform in the competition Thursday night. These 13 singers can stick with the original song they chose to perform in the preliminaries, or they can send in a new track. The host of the show will say a few words describing you with a fun fact and your song. After all of the acts, Skylar Grey will be performing a few songs as well.
Skylar Grey has been nominated for five Grammy awards. She has co-written lyrics for artists like Rihanna, and she has been featured on albums ranging from Dr. Dre to Eminem, according to her website. Along with her impressive writing and features, she has collaborated with music producers who produce artists such as Imagines Dragons and Beyonce.
In an interview with "Glamour" about her 2018 Super Bowl commercial for Budweiser, Grey said it is only now we are meeting the real her.
"When I first came out, I had black hair and was, like, a little bit goth. I was going down this dark road, but it’s really not who I was or who I am. This time around I am just totally embracing what comes naturally to me," Grey said to "Glamour." According to Glamour, the new Skylar is a result of a recent divorce, a bout of depression and rebranding.
According to multiple interviews, Grey is a frequent collaborator with Eminem, and according to "Glamour," this was always Grey’s dream. The Grammy nominee grew up in a folk duo with her mother, but 13-year-old Grey found that the song "Stan" was the first song that truly spoke to her.
“From that point forward, I had this dream of working with [Eminem]. I guess I am just living proof that you can do or be whatever you want to. I was, just a few months ago, performing 'Stan' with him on 'SNL.'" She shakes her head. "Crazy, how the world works," Grey said.
Cyclone Voice is taking place Thursday, April 12 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. This is a free event, and it will start at 8 p.m.