Nowadays fans are hardly shocked to find out a favorite musician won’t write all their own lyrics. Sometimes they will collaborate on a tune or sometimes they simply select a song from several submitted to them. What may be surprising for some fans, however, is discovering that some of those hit songs were written by fellow best-selling singers. It makes sense after all: why should a singer-songwriter be restricted to just writing music just for themselves?
We dug up some of the biggest hits ever written by one singer for another. Our list includes veteran lyrical geniuses, like Kanye West, to up-and-comers who are starting to make a name for themselves (at least where song-writing for others is concerned!), like Katy Perry. Even Taylor Swift (who’s notorious for her own kiss-and-tell tracks) is on here for helping write a fellow country crooner’s autobiographical love song on their behalf.
Check out our 10 biggest tracks written for singers by other singers now.
10 No. 10 - Lady Gaga Wrote Telephone for Britney Spears
9 No. 9 - Cee Lo Green Wrote Don’t Cha for the Pussycat Dolls
8 No 8 - Jessie J Wrote Party in the USA for Miley Cyrus
Party in the USA, which was written by English chart-topper Jessie J with a few others, debuted on Miley Cyrus’ album The Time of Our Lives in 2009. The song was part of what Cyrus called a “transitioning album” away from her Hannah Montana image. Coming as the sixth highest-selling digital single of the year and hitting number two on Bilboard’s Hot 100, Party in the USA was one of Miley’s best selling singles – despite her admission of never having listened to a Jay Z song.
7 No. 7 - Katy Perry Wrote I Do Not Hook Up for Kelly Clarkson
6 No. 6 - Kesha Wrote Till the World Ends for Britney Spears
5 No. 5 - Kanye West Wrote Izzo (H.O.V.A.) for Jay Z
4 No. 4 - Taylor Swift Wrote Best Days of Your Life for Kellie Pickler
3 No. 3 - Ed Sheeran Wrote Little Things for One Direction
2 No. 2 - Timbaland Wrote SexyBack for Justin Timberlake
1 No. 1 - OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder Wrote Halo for Beyonce
Ryan Tedder worked with Timbaland (who also makes our list) for two years early on in his career. Timbaland mentored the budding songwriter and set him up with plenty of industry contacts. Since then, Tedder has written songs for Adele, Demi Lovato, Leona Lewis, James Blunt, Adam Lambert, Ellie Goulding, Colbie Caillat and B.o.B. to name a few. He also penned Beyonce’s hit track Halo alongside Queen Bey herself. Halo sold over 3 million electronic copies in the US alone; it also won a Grammy.
Despite being a huge success, Tedder was unlucky enough to receive some harsh criticism from Kelly Clarkson, for whom he wrote Already Gone. Clarkson was just about to release her track by him when she heard Halo and called him on his honeymoon to admonish him for giving her a similar song. He said that they have different vocal melodies and aren’t the same, but the media did point out plenty of similarities when both tracks hit the airwaves.
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