Entertainment Music The greatest songwriter you’ve never heard of

The greatest songwriter you’ve never heard of

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Right now, this man has a number one song, album and music video – but you’ve likely never heard his name.

You’ll definitely know the number one singles he’s penned though – The Weeknd’s everywhere single Can’t Feel My Face, Ryan Adams’ Taylor Swift cover album 1989 and Swift’s video chart-topper Wildest Dreams.

His name is Max Martin and despite his anonymity, he hasn’t just appeared from song writing heaven in 2015.

In fact, since 1996 the Stockholm-born Martin has been writing for the kings and queens of the pop music world. He is credited with penning some of the most popular anthems of the past 20 years.

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Think of your favourite Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, P!nk, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift or Katy Perry tunes and chances are Martin’s fingerprints are all over them.

His hand is so musically magical that only legendary Beatles’ Paul McCartney and John Lennon have written more US Billboard Number one singles than he.  

Max martin Backstreet boys
Max Martin spoke at the unveiling of the Backstreet Boy’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He wrote many of their songs. Photo: Getty

Martin has even written more Billboard top 10 singles than The Beatles, Madonna and Elvis. Click on the owl to see all 58 of them.  

After he penned much of Taylor Swift’s stunning 1989 album in 2014, the planet was reminded of Martin’s talents in June 2015 through The Weeknd’s smash-hit tune.

You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing Can’t Feel My Face – pop music radio stations, alternative stations, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, retail shops or gyms – it’s even knocked Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk out of our heads.

The secretive, even reclusive, writer was sighted in a rare appearance at the Grammys earlier this year, when he won his first ever gong at the ceremony for best non-classical producer.

“My first!” he said when accepting the award. “I want to thank all my co-producers, co-writers and the artists, who make me look a whole lot better than I deserve.”

True to his spotlight-shunning approach, the Swede spoke for under 30 seconds.

Martin won the Grammy for his role producing Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off from the 1989 album.

On that album he also co-wrote: Blank Space, Style, All You Had To Do Was Stay, Bad Blood, How You Get The Girl, Wildest Dreams, Wonderland and New Romantics.

While he doesn’t like to spend too much time in the media, he certainly has enough seminal pop music to ensure his legacy is widely known.

Here are just some of the hits Max Martin wrote

Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), 1997

Britney Spears – … Baby One More Time, 1998

NSYNC – It’s Gonna Be Me, 2000

Bon Jovi – It’s My Life, 2000

Kelly Clarkson – Since You Been Gone, 2004

The Veronicas – 4ever, 2005

Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl, 2008

P!nk – So What, 2008

Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, 2012

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, Problem, 2014

Taylor Swift, Blank Space, 2014

The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face, 2015

Demi Lovato – Cool For The Summer, 2015



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