THR's Hitmakers 2013: How Producer Max Martin Sold 135 Million Songs

Britney Spears N'Sync Pink! - H 2013
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Britney Spears N'Sync Pink! - H 2013

The Swedish phenom who tops THR's inaugural list is responsible for Britney Spears, 'N Sync and Pink's greatest hits.

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

By any subjective standard, Sweden's Max Martin (ne Martin Karl Sandberg) deserves his No. 1 ranking as music's top hitmaker. Objectively, though, the numbers don't lie: 135,433,000 singles sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, with more than 38 songs topping a million units.

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Since his first collaboration with Backstreet Boys in 1995, Martin expanded his résumé to include smashes for Britney Spears ("… Baby One More Time"), Bon Jovi ("It's My Life"), Kelly Clarkson ("My Life Would Suck Without You"), Taylor Swift ("We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," "I Knew You Were Trouble") and Maroon 5 ("One More Night"). Tuned in to the pop sensibilities of music fans worldwide, it's no wonder hit-hungry American artists regularly make pilgrimages to Stockholm to work at his Maratone Productions complex. The 41-year-old Swede must be single-handedly responsible for upgrading American superstars' frequent-flyer accounts to platinum. And you could say the same of their songs.

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Max Martin's Top 10 Singles

1. “Dynamite,” Taio Cruz

6,379,000 sold

2. “California Gurls,” Katy Perry 


3. “E.T.,” Katy Perry 


4. “Hot N Cold,” Katy Perry 


5. “So What,” Pink 


6. “Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry 


7. “I Kissed a Girl,” Katy Perry 


8. “Raise Your Glass,” Pink 


9. “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,” Usher 


10. “One More Night,” Maroon 5 


(Source: Nielsen SoundScan)