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THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers

Behind the songs of Katy Perry, Rihanna, Pink and Taylor Swift are the songwriters, producers and execs that make it all possible.

Rainer Hosch

This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" -- the secret ingredient in these pop hits is behind the scenes: the songwriters, producers, A&R executives and multihyphenate artists who help create those irresistible hooks.

Their services don't come cheap -- from $30,000 to $100,000 per song for the top-tier masters of the craft, often with points as incentives -- but the residuals of a Top 10 hit can last a lifetime. In recent years, however, it's become common to see as many as a dozen names credited on a single tune, which means the slices of the publishing pie are getting smaller. Still, there's plenty left to nosh on, as these 35 in-demand hitmakers prove.

Selection Criteria: For THR’s Hitmakers list, editors based their selections on the following: single and album sales, chart position achieved, current Grammy nominations and years in the business.

Written by Michele Amabile Angermiller, Steve Baltin, Fred Bronson, Rebecca Ford, Sharifa Godfrey, Nisha Gopalan, Shirley Halperin, Sophie Schillaci, Bud Scoppa, Colin Stutz, Georg Szalai, Jeff Weiss, Chris Willman, Stacey Wilson and Emily Zemler.

Items 1-10
  1. Max Martin

    Songwriter/Producerread more

  2. Dr. Luke

    Producer/Songwriterread more

  3. Will.i.am

    Producer/Singer/Songwriterread more

  4. Timbaland

    Producerread more

  5. The Smeezingtons

    Songwriters/Producersread more

  6. Ryan Tedder

    Singer/Songwriter/Producerread more

  7. Benjamin 'Benny Blanco' Levin

    Songwriter/Producerread more

  8. Bonnie McKee

    Singer/Songwriterread more

  9. Stargate

    Producersread more

  10. Ne-Yo

    Songwriter/Producer/Executiveread more