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Who’s Writing the Hits?

Q3-2012


The Hit Songwriting Champion of Q3-2012
The Top Collaborative Partnerships Of Q3-2012

The #1 Hit Club of Q3-2012
The Top Pop Songwriters of Q3-2012
All Songs & Songwriters

During the third quarter of 2012 (July – September),  76 credited songwriters were involved in crafting the 21 top 10 Hit Pop songs that landed on the Billboard Pop Songs Chart during the period, averaging 3.6 writers per song.

Of those songwriters, 9 were involved in co-writing two or more hits, with one of them dethroning Dr. Luke as the “undisputed champion of hit songwriting” after a two quarter reign.  That champion is Johan Karl Schuster, (aka Shellback), who saw FIVE of his co-writes landing in the Billboard Pop Songs top 10 during the quarter!

THE BEST OF THE BEST
These songs and “songwriting teams” stood out from the pack based on overall chart performance and superior craft.

Team “Somebody That I Used To Know” (Bonfa, Backer)
This song  proved that anything is possible today’s music industry.  Backer and Bonfa crafted an atmospheric, evocative, infectious Alt/Rock song that went against the grain of everything that you hear in the mainstream, and it took off like wildfire.  To-date Somebody That I Used To Know has hit #1 on 35 charts in 26 countries.

Team “We Are Young” (Dost, Antonoff, Bhasker)
Yet another song that totally went against the grain of all things mainstream, these songwriters crafted an infectious, anthemic Alt/Rock song that skyrocketed to the top of the charts with with a little help from effective licensing campaigns (specifically Glee and the Chevrolet Super Bowl ad) .   To-date, We Are Young has hit #1 on 18 charts in 13 countries.

Team “Call Me Maybe” (Jepsen, Ramsay, Crowe)
Deemed the “summer anthem of 2012,” Call Me Maybe proved that simplistic, ultra-infectious melodies coupled with clever lyrics (and a little help from Justin Bieber) can turn a song into a world-wide phenomenon.  To-date, Call Me Maybe has hit #1 on 20 charts in 19 countries.

Team “Payphone” (Levine, Malik, Levin, Thomaz, Omelio, Schuster)
Very few bands consistently churn out ultra-infectious, memorable singles that are predestined to reach the top of the charts. Maroon 5 is without a doubt one of  those bands, and Payphone is definitely one of those songs thanks to all of the top-notch songwriters involved.  To-date, Payphone has hit #1 on 9 charts in 8 countries.

Team “Wide Awake” (McKee, Walter, Perry, Gottwald, Sandberg)
Most people know her as an all-star performer, but what a lot of people don’t know is that first and foremost Katy Perry is a top-rate songwriter, and she has a knack for assembling the perfect songwriting teams for maximum results (just reference all of her #1′s from Teenage Dream!).  Wide Awake is a perfect case-in-point, combining ultra-infectious, memorable melodies, emotionally charged/imagery laden lyrics and an outstanding vocal performance that provided Katy’s audience with an evocative listening experience that connected on a deep level.  To-date, Wide Awake has hit #1 on 7 charts in 5 countries.

SUB-GENRE BREAKDOWN: Q3-2012

Dance/Club influenced Pop songs had 21 credited writers appearing on 5 songs, averaging 4.2 writers per song.

  • Let’s Go - (3 Writers)
  • Scream - (4 Writers)
  • Starships – (5 Writers)
  • Titanium - (4 Writers)
  • Where Have You Been – (5 Writers)

Rock influenced Pop songs had 7 credited writers appearing on 3 songs, averaging 2.3 writers per song.

  • Everybody Talks – (2 Writers)
  • Somebody That I Used To Know – (2 Writers)
  • We Are Young - (3 Writers)

Songs that possessed a Mix of primary sub-genre influences had 31 credited writers appearing on 9 songs, averaging around 3.4 writers per song.

  • Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – Pop/Rock, Dance – (2 Writers)
  • Call Me Maybe - Teen Pop, Dance – (3 Writers)
  • Give Your Heart A Break – Straight-Up Pop, Dance, Ballad – (2 Writers)
  • Good Time - Straight-Up Electro Pop, Dance – (3 Writers)
  • Lights - Straight-Up Electro Pop, Dance – (3 Writers)
  • One More Night - Straight-Up Pop, Reggae – (4 Writers)
  • Payphone - Straight-Up Pop, Dance, Hip Hop – (6 Writers)
  • Want You Back - Straight-Up Electro Pop, Dance – (2 Writers)
  • Whistle – Straight-Up Pop, Hip Hop – (6 Writers)

“Other” influenced Pop Songs (those that didn’t fall into the primary categories of Dance, Hip Hop, Rock or R&B) had 16 credited writers appearing on 4 songs, averaging 4 writers per song.

  • As Long As You Love Me – Dubstep, R&B – (5 Writers)
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Straight-Up Pop, Tinge Of Country – (3 Writers)
  • Wide Awake – Electro Pop Ballad – (5 Writers)
  • What Makes You Beautiful - Teen Pop/Rock – (3 Writers)

*Note that there weren’t any straight-up R&B/Soul or Hip Hop/Rap songs landing in the top 10 during Q3-2012.

ADDITIONAL POINTS TO NOTE

  • Every song that landed in the top 10 during the quarter was a collaboration between two or more songwriters.  No one went it alone.
  • Payphone and Whistle featured more credited songwriters than any other top-charting hit during the quarter (6).
  • Somebody That I Used To Know, Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Give Your Heart A Break and Want You Back featured the least amount of songwriters (2).
  • Where Have You Been (Rihanna), Give Your Heart A Break (Demi Lovato), Want You Back (Cher Lloyd) and What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction) were the only songs where the  performing artist(s) were NOT credited as writers.

WHO ARE THEY?

Shellback?  RoboPop?  Cirkut?  Here are the names behind THE names:

  • Adam Richard Wiles:  Calvin Haris
  • Albert Geoffrey McElhinney:  Geoff Mack
  • Alecia B. Moore:  Pink
  • Benjamin Levin:  Benny Blanco
  • Caeron Jibril Thomaz:  Wiz Khalifa
  • Daniel Thomas Omelio:  RoboPop
  • Elena Jane Goulding :  Ellie Goulding
  • Henry Russell Walter:  Cirkut
  • Jeffrey Bhasker:  Billy Kraven
  • Johan Karl Schuster:  Shellback
  • Justin Scott Franks:  DJ Frank E
  • Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson:  Katy Perry
  • Lukasz Gottwald:  Dr. Luke
  • Martin Karl Sandberg: Max Martin
  • Nathaniel Ruess:  Nate Ruess
  • Nick L Van De Wall:  Afrojack
  • Onika Maraj:  Nicki Minaj
  • Sean Michael Anderson:  Big Sean
  • Shaffer Smith:  Ne-Yo
  • Sia Kate Furler:  Sia
  • Tramar Dillard:  Flo Rida
  • Walter Andre E De Backer:  Gotye

The Hit Songwriting Champion of Q3-2012 Back to Top


Johan Karl Schuster (Shellback) had FIVE of his co-writes land in the Pop Songs top 10 during Q3-2012, one of which landed at #1

The Top Collaborative Partnerships Back to Top


The Shellback, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha Connection

The #1 Hit Club Back to Top


31 songwriters were involved in co-writing the 8 songs that landed at #1 on the Pop Songs Chart during Q3-2012

  • Adam Noah Levine (Payphone)
  • Ammar Malik (Payphone)
  • Andrew Dost (We Are Young)
  • Antonio Clarence Mobley (Whistle)
  • Ash Howes (Lights)
  • Benjamin Levin (Payphone)
  • Billy Steinberg (Give Your Heart A Break)
  • Bonnie McKee (Wide Awake)
  • Breyan Stanley Isaac (Whistle)
  • Caeron Jibril Thomaz (Payphone)
  • Carly Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe)
  • Daniel Thomas Omelio (Payphone)
  • David Edward Glass (Whistle)
  • Elena Jane Goulding) (Lights)
  • Henry Russell Walter (Wide Awake)
  • Jack Antonoff (We Are Young)
  • Jeffrey Bhasker (We Are Young)
  • Johan Karl Schuster (Payphone)
  • Josh Alexander (Give Your Heart A Break)
  • Josh Ramsay (Call Me Maybe)
  • Justin Scott Franks (Whistle)
  • Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (Wide Awake)
  • Luiz Bonfa (Somebody That I Used To Know)
  • Lukasz Gottwald (Wide Awake)
  • Marcus Killian (Whistle)
  • Martin Sandberg (Wide Awake)
  • Nathaniel Ruess (We Are Young)
  • Richard Frederick Stannard (Lights)
  • Tavish Crowe (Call Me Maybe)
  • Tramar Dillard (Whistle)
  • Walter Andre E De Backer (Somebody That I Used To Know)

The Top Pop Songwriters Back to Top


These songwriters co-wrote two or more songs that landed in the top 10 during Q3-2012:
*Note: The chart position represents the top position for Q3-2012

Johan Karl Schuster (Shellback)– 5 Top 10 Hits

  • One More Night – Maroon 5 (#5)
  • Payphone – Maroon 5 (#1)
  • Scream – Usher (#6)
  • Want You Back – Cher Lloyd (#9)
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift (#10)


Martin Karl Sandberg (Max Martin) – 4 Top 10 Hits

  • One More Night – Maroon 5 (#5)
  • Scream – Usher (#6)
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift (#10)
  • Wide Awake – Katy Perry (#1)

Savan Kotecha – 4 Top 10 Hits

  • One More Night – Maroon 5 (#5)
  • Scream – Usher (#6)
  • Want You Back – Cher Lloyd (#9)
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction (#3)

Adam Noah Levine – 2 Top 10 Hits

  • One More Night – Maroon 5 (#5)
  • Payphone – Maroon 5 (#1)

Adam Richard Wiles (Calvin Harris) – 2 Top 10 Hits

  • Let’s Go – Calvin Harris (#5)
  • Where Have You Been – Rihanna (#3)

Carl Anthony Falk – 2 Top 10 Hits

  • Starships – Nicki Minaj (#3)
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction (#3)

Rami Yacoub – 2 Top 10 Hits

  • Starships – Nicki Minaj (#3)
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction (#3)

All Songs & Songwriters Back to Top


These are ALL of the songwriters who collaborated on a top 10 hit during Q3-2012
*Note: The chart position represents the top position for Q3-2012

#1 Hits

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen (#1)

  • Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Joshua Ramsay
  • Tavish Crowe

Give Your Heart  A Break – Demi Lovato (#1)

  • Billy Steinberg
  • Josh Alexander

Lights – Ellie Goulding  (#1)

  • Ash Howes
  • Elena Jane Goulding
  • Richard Frederick Stannard

Payphone – Maroon 5  (#1)

  • Adam Noah Levine
  • Ammar Malik
  • Benjamin Joesph Levin
  • Caeron Jibril Thomaz
  • Daniel Thomas Omelio
  • Shellback

Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra (#1)

  • Luiz Bonfa
  • Wally de Backer

We Are Young – fun. featuring Janelle Monae (#1)

  • Andrew Dost
  • Jack Antonoff
  • Jeffrey Bhasker

Whistle – Flo Rida (#1)

  • Antonio Clarence Mobley
  • Breyan Stanley Isaac
  • David Edward Glass
  • Justin Scott Franks
  • Marcus Killian
  • Tramar Dillard

Wide Awake – Katy Perry (#1)

  • Bonnie McKee
  • Henry Russell Walter
  • Katy Perry
  • Lukasz Gottwald
  • Martin Sandberg

#2 – #10 Hits

Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (#2)

  • Alecia B. Moore
  • Gregory Allen Kurstin

Everybody Talks – Neon Trees (#3)

  • Tim Pagnotta
  • Tyler Glenn

Starships – Nicki Minaj (#3)

  • Carl Falk
  • Nadir Khayat
  • Onika Maraj
  • Rami Yacoub
  • Wayne Hector

Titanium – David Guetta f. Sia (#3)

  • David Guetta
  • Giorgio H Tuinfort
  • Nick L Van De Wall
  • Sia Kate I Furler

What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction (#3)

  • Carl Falk
  • Rami Yacoub
  • Savan Kotecha

Where Have You Been – Rihanna (#3)

  • Adam Richard Wiles
  • Albert Geoffrey McElhinney
  • Esther Dean
  • Henry Russell Walter
  • Lukasz Gottwald

Let’s Go – Calvin Harris f. Ne-Yo (#5)

  • Calvin Harris
  • Ellen Pietropaoli
  • Shaffer Smith

One More Night – Maroon 5 (#5)

  • Adam Noah Levine
  • Max Martin
  • Savan Harish Kotecha
  • Johan Karl Schuster

Rumor Has It – Adelde (#8)

  • Adele Adkins
  • Ryan Tedder

Scream – Usher (#6)

  • Johan Karl Schuster
  • Martin Sandberg
  • Savan Kotecha
  • Usher Raymond

Good Time – Owl City f. Carly Rae Jepsen (#7)

  • Adam R Young
  • Brian Dong Ho Lee
  • Matthew Arnold Thiessen

As Long As You Love Me – Justin Bieber f. Big Sean (#8)

  • Andre Lindal
  • Justin Bieber
  • Nasri Tony Atweh
  • Rodney Jerkins
  • Sean Michael Anderson

Want You Back – Cher Lloyd (#9)

  • Savan Kotecha
  • Shellback

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift (#10)

  • Johan Karl Schuster
  • Martin Sandberg