It Takes A Village: 10 Pop Hits That Took At Least 6 Writers To Cobble Together, From “Drunk In Love” To “Timber”

Apr 30th, 2014 // 4 Comments
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Ahhh. Remember the good ol’ days when it only took one skilled tunesmith to write a hit single? Yeah — our minds don’t stretch back that far, either. In fact, if you have to travel in time, to “Somebody That I Used To Know” in 2012, to find the last single to top the Billboard Hot 100 with only one writer credited to it. (That would be Mr. Gotye himself, Wally de Backer.)

These days, it takes a small army to craft what we naive listeners would deem to be the simplest of songs. Remember Flo Rida‘s “Whistle”? You know — the chart-topping oral sex jam disguised as a radio-friendly, sing-song trifle for the whole family to purse their lips and blow to in the car? That one took no less than half-a-dozen writers to put together.

Below, we rounded up another 10 such pop smashes that required a team of musical geniuses — or at least Pitbull — to pen. Some may surprise you and even shatter the illusion of your favorite artists as unique jacks-of-all-trades, able to dash out catchy hits all by their lonesome.

Carry on to find out the wicked truth behind all the glitter, pop fanatics!

NICKI MINAJ — “STARSHIPS”
NUMBER OF WRITERS: 6
SAMPLE LYRIC: “Jump in my hoopty-hoopty-hoop, I own that / And I ain’t payin’ my rent this month, I owe that.”

Among the writers of Nicki’s biggest hit are RedOne, who co-penned Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” and Rami Yacoub, co-producer of Britney Spears’ first smash, “…Baby One More Time.” Sigh. It was all going so well for them until this.

BRITNEY SPEARS — “WORK BITCH”
NUMBER OF WRITERS: 6
SAMPLE LYRIC: “You wanna Lamborghini / Sip martinis / Look hot in a bikini / You better work, bitch!”

Food for thought: It took Britney, will.i.am, Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso and three others to concoct “Work Bitch,” but only one man to write Hamlet.

KATY PERRY FEAT. JUICY J — “DARK HORSE”
NUMBER OF WRITERS: 6
SAMPLE LYRIC: “Shorty so bad, I’m sprung and I don’t care / She ride me like a roller coaster, turned the bedroom into a fair.”

Katy, Max Martin and Dr. Luke are a dream team that have amassed countless #1s over the years. Throw in a few more songwriters, a big video production budget, some cat references and the kitchen sink, et voila — another chart-topping classic.

MILEY CYRUS — “WE CAN’T STOP”
NUMBER OF WRITERS: 7
SAMPLE LYRIC: “We all so turnt up here / Getting turned up, yeah, yeah”

Production duo Rock City, also known for strip club staple “Pour It Up,” were clearly in their element when adding their talents to this beloved twerk trash.

ONE DIRECTION — “STORY OF MY LIFE”
NUMBER OF WRITERS: 7
SAMPLE LYRIC: “The story of my life / I give her hope, I spend her love / Until she’s broke inside”

All five members of 1D took a stab at writing “Story Of My Life.” And they still needed to wrangle in two others. Well done, lads.

idolator

  1. BetterThanYou

    4 didn’t bomb, it went #1. i wish you ppl would stop saying that about #1 albums its so dumb

  2. Swizz

    This is why Taylor is better than the rest of the pop musicians out there. Sure, she collaborates with a co-writer here and there, but her music is unequivocally her voice. Everybody else has boilerplate songs that are just passed from singer to singer until someone says “yes” to it.

  3. Happy was written and produced by Pharrell alone…

  4. Dr. Luke

    to be fair, Starships likely took six writers because they all couldn’t stand the smell of her stank weave and personality and QUIT before the song was done, thus being replaced.

    For Timber, it took one 2 write and 9 to move “refrigerator” to the mic.

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