We Bet You Didn’t Know These Top Artists Wrote Hit Songs For Someone Else
Songwriters are the backbone of the music industry. Their powerful lyrics and catchy instrumentals are the basis for a hit song. Before some musicians made it big, they were writing popular songs for some of music’s top stars. Many famous musicians still prefer to write for other artists who inspire them.
Musicians like Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Bruno Mars don’t only write number one songs for themselves but contribute their natural abilities to other artists as well. These are some A-list singers who’ve written hit songs for other popular musicians.
A former boy band member ended up writing for many female singers.
Calvin Harris is More Than a DJ
Not only is Calvin Harris one of the top DJs in the world, but he has also written for many well-known artists. Songs like Rita Ora’s “I Will Never Let You Down” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love” had Harris busy with the music and the lyrics.
It’s not unusual to see a Calvin Harris song topping the charts. Besides writing the songs, he produces, sings, and remixes them to match his personal dance music genre. It’s no wonder so many iconic artists want to collaborate with him.
P!nk: Singer, Songwriter, Acrobat, and More
As artists continue on in the music industry they have to figure out how to reinvent themselves as time goes on. Someone who’s never struggled to come out with a hit song is pop singer P!nk. Her first album came out almost two decades ago and she’s still making music for both herself and other musicians.
Some of her memorable songwriting credits include “Whataya Want From Me” by Adam Lambert, “Outside of You” by Hilary Duff, and “I Walk Alone” by Cher. Other artists should take note of P!nk’s impressive musical capabilities.
Where Would Miley Cyrus be Without Jessie J?
Britain powerhouse singer Jessie J’s captivating and strong vocals backed up by her upbeat music is what sets her apart from other artists. Besides being a top pop star, Jessie J is the mastermind behind some all-time smash hits.
The most favored of her songwriting credits is Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” It’s one of Cyrus’ top singles of her career and stayed in the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for over 28 weeks. Other than working with Cyrus, she’s written for David Guetta, Koda Kumi, DJ Cassidy, and Robin Thicke.
The Hits Keep Coming for Pharrell Williams
It’s hard not to feel happy when a Pharrell Williams song plays. Fans started to know his name after his 2013 hit single “Happy,” but he’s been working as a songwriter and producer since the early 2000s. When Williams puts his specific touch on a song, there’s no doubt it will become an instant hit.
His list of ultimate superstar clients would make any songwriter jealous. A few of Williams’ credits include “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani, “Hot in Herre” by Nelly, “I’m A Slave 4 U” by Britney Spears, “Sing” by Ed Sheeran, “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, and “Milkshake” by Kelis.
This next music icon wrote for Jay Z and Kanye West.
This Sounds Like a Bruno Mars Song
There’s something about Bruno Mars that makes music listeners want to get up and dance and have a good time. Ever since Mars came onto the music scene, he’s produced massive hits leading to numerous award wins and worldwide fame. Before he was a global superstar, Mars was writing some smash hits for other artists.
Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You,” Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Lift Off,” Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” Sean Kingston’s “Tomorrow,” and Adele’s “All I Ask” were all written by Mars. Even after his success, he continues to write for other singers.
Christina Milian Made Justin Bieber Famous
At the ripe age of 19 Christina Milian signed her first record deal with songs that charted in the Top 40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. After working on her own music, Milian got into acting and writing for other musicians.
While her songwriting portfolio isn’t as large as other artists, her talent in the industry shines through in her work. Some of her most iconic songs are “Baby” by Justin Bieber, “Play” by Jennifer Lopez, and “Start a Fire” by Lil Wayne.
Avril Lavigne Helped Out Kelly Clarkson
Avril Lavigne knows what it takes to make a perfect song. She was already working with famous musicians like Shania Twain by age 15 and signed her first record deal at 16. Soon after she flew onto the music charts with her unique pop-rock songs filled with teenage angst and punk.
When she was working on her 2002 album Let Go, she ended up ditching a song she wrote because it didn’t fit with the theme. “Breakaway” was later passed down to Kelly Clarkson and ended up becoming her third top ten song on the Billboard Charts.
John Legend Will Be Your American Boy
There isn’t another artist like global superstar John Legend. His releases are full of soul, pop, and flawless piano notes. Before the world saw him as a reality TV judge, husband to supermodel Chrissy Teigen, or a music phenomenon, he was the brain behind some popular songs.
It’s impressive to see he’s written for Fergie, David Guetta, and Janet Jackson. Back in 2008 Legend wrote many songs for singer Estelle including her number one hit “American Boy.” She said they were just messing around in the studio and he all of a sudden had the idea for the song. Other collaborators on “American Boy” include will.i.am and Kanye West.
The Bee Gees Kept Music Alive
Disco music would be nothing without the contributions from the Bee Gees. During the 1970s they took the industry by storm with some of the best pop anthems for the decade. With all their massive success it’s hard to believe they found time to write for other artists.
The Bee Gees credits include “Grease” by Frankie Valli, “Chain Reaction” by Diana Ross, “Immortality” by Celine Dion, “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “Heartbreaker” by Dionne Warwick, and “Woman in Love” by Barbra Streisand. In fact, Streisand’s entire 1980 album Guilty was co-written and produced by Barry Gibb with songwriting assists from brothers Robin and Maurice.
Justin Timberlake Is Behind Some of the Best Female Power Anthems
After Justin Timberlake left boy band NSYNC to become a solo performer many critics considered it a risky move. Luckily, he soared to new heights with catchy songs of his own. His undeniable talent jump-started his career and he’s even left his influence on other musicians.
It seems like Timberlake’s writing talents are spread across many female artists. Rihanna, Beyoncé, Madonna, Keri Hilson, and Leona Lewis are not only his close friends but some of his top collaborators. In 2009 he helped Rihanna write the emotional song “Cold Case Love” after her tumultuous break up with Chris Brown.
She might’ve won an Oscar this year, but this next musician wrote for other famous singers before hitting it big.
Lady Gaga Never Stops Working
Out of all the musicians past and present, there hasn’t been anyone quite like Lady Gaga. Her first single “Just Dance” followed by numerous other number-one pop jams have made her one of the top artists in history.
Before she was Lady Gaga, Stefani Germanotta was writing some smash hits for other musicians. Britney Spears, Michael Bolton, New Kids on the Block, Adam Lambert, and Jennifer Lopez all can thank Lady Gaga for her contribution to some of their songs. Also, her song “Telephone” with Beyoncé was originally written for Britney Spears.
Sia’s All Star Collaborations
While audiences don’t get to typically see Sia’s face when she performs, her incredible vocal abilities matched with energetic dancers make for a great show. It may seem like Sia only recently stepped into the music scene, but her presence among other artists has been prominent for awhile.
Sia made her mark in the industry with songs like “Diamonds” by Rihanna, “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida, “Titanium” by David Guetta, and “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” by Ne-Yo. Other iconic musicians she’s helped out include Carly Rae Jepsen, Rita Ora, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé. By now it’s probably uncommon for millennials to not know one of her songs.
Everything Ed Sheeran Touches Turns to Gold
There are so many Ed Sheeran songs that became some of the last decade’s biggest hits including “Thinking Out Loud,” “Perfect,” and “Shape of You.” This British pop sensation has proved his songwriting abilities are something special, so he branched out to write for some of the world’s greatest singers.
Some songs Sheeran added his personal touch to include Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” Taylor Swift’s “Everything Has Changed,” The Weeknd’s “Dark Times,” One Direction’s “18” and “Little Things,” Hilary Duff’s “Tatoo,” Major Lazer’s “Cold Water,” and Liam Payne’s “Strip That Down.” Soon after one of his songs is released it almost always ends up climbing the music charts.
Kesha Moved on From the Dollar Sign
Fans most remember when Kesha first hit the music scene with her pop single “TiK ToK” in 2009. Her synthesized songs were and still are blasted on speakers for people to play when they want to let loose and have a good time. Even though she’s categorized as a singer, Kesha mainly considers herself a songwriter.
Her exceptional vocal abilities mixed with her natural songwriting talent equal some sensational songs. Kesha’s writing credits include “Timber” by Pitbull, “Till the World Ends” by Britney Spears, and “Pink Champagne” by Ariana Grande.
Do you know which famous artist and reality show judge wrote for Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears?
These Singers Should Thank Katy Perry
Another music superstar who’s been able to reinvent herself is Katy Perry. Every time she puts out new music it’s something that is able to build off her previous work without being too similar. Before Perry was famous she made music under the name Katy Hudson with songs fitting into the Christian pop genre. Both back then and in the present she had a hand in many popular artists’ songs.
Ashley Tisdale, Kelly Clarkson, Iggy Azalea, Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj are just a few her collaborations. Many of Perry’s songs end up not making the cut for her albums, so she passes them on to other singers.
Harry Styles Comes Into His Own
It can be daunting to leave a boy band with millions of fans, but Harry Styles took the leap and left One Direction to pursue a solo career. Styles is able to hold his own in the entertainment industry because of his unique vocals, fearless personal style, and powerful songwriting.
Styles’s writing is in high demand from other singers. Ariana Grande co-wrote “Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart” with Styles and even performed it at the Grammy Awards. He’s also written for Meghan Trainor, Augustana, Alex & Sierra, Kodaline, and of course One Direction.
Taylor Swift Defies Genres
Originally Taylor Swift threw herself into country music, but as her popularity continued to grow she knew that it could fit into multiple genres. One of the reasons why Swift is a favored musician is due to her emotional and honest lyrics. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to put so much personal information in a song that will be listened to by millions.
Musicians took note of this and made themselves available to work with Swift. She wrote the song “Better Man” specifically for Little Big Town because she thought their harmonies would be perfect. Swift also secretly co-wrote “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris and Rihanna back when she was dating Harris.
Neil Diamond Isn’t Monkeying Around
It’s rare to find musicians that are still in the business over half a century later. Neil Diamond is one of the best-selling artists of all time with a whopping 38 songs hitting the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. Some of what he wrote for other artists actually ended up becoming more successful than his own songs.
His influential songwriting credits include “Red Red Wine” by UB40, “I’m A Believer” by The Monkees, and “Sunday and Me” by Jay and the Americans. Diamond wrote a few other songs for The Monkees, which became the most popular songs of their career.
Carole King Is a Songwriting Queen
Carole King is arguably one of the greatest songwriters of the last century. Her talents were enough to inspire a Broadway musical based on her life as a singer/songwriter. She built her career on knowing what makes an instant hit and who has the right voice for it.
The biggest songs of her career came during the 1960s and 1970s including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by The Shirelles, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” by Bobby Vee, “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva, “Chains” by The Beatles, “I’m Into Something Good” by Herman’s Hermits, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by The Monkees, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, and “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor.
This next performer wrote many of his songs under a pen name.
Prince Used a Pen Name
Prince was one of the top performers in the world and heavily influenced the music world. His eccentric stage presence, original fashion sense, and dynamic vocal range launched him to immediate stardom. While his own catalog of songs left a huge mark on the industry, he was also able to write for other musicians.
He kept busy working with singers like The Bangles, Sinead O’Connor, Stevie Nicks, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Patti Labelle, Kenny Rogers, and more. Often times he would come up with a pen name when writing, so that he wouldn’t hog the spotlight.