You might have heard Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’, one of the biggest chart toppers of recent times. You might not know, however, that it was co-written by none other than… the guitarist from Incubus, Mike Einziger. We’ve gathered 20 more unusual writing partnerships that’ll blow your mind.
Icona Pop’s number 1 single ‘I Love It’ is credited as ‘featuring Charli XCX’, but guess what? She wrote it. XCX told NME in an exclusive interview that she doesn’t regret giving the track to the Swedish duo.
The Bangles’ 1986 smash ‘Manic Monday’ was actually written by Prince, using the pseudonym ‘Christopher’. He wrote it for Apollonia 6, a female trio he created, but then two years later offered it to The Bangles.
‘Get The Party Started’, one of Pink!’s biggest hits, was penned by Linda Perry, of American rock band 4 Non Blondes.
Remember when The Simpsons released a song? ‘Do The Bartman’ came out in 1990, and came at a time of massive merchandising for the show. Who wrote it? Well, the King of Pop. Michael Jackson was allegedly drafted in by the show to write the lyrics for this promotional track. In 2015 however, Bryan Loren disputed this, claiming he was the sole writer of the song and Jackson only contributed backing vocals.
Linda Perry also wrote Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’.
Madonna’s ‘Bedtime Story’ was a strange move away from her more commercial sound in 1995, and the first of her singles up to that point that didn’t land in the Billboard top 40. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, then, that this curveball was written for Madonna by the wackiest of them all – Björk.
Aside from glamour and pure outlandishness, there isn’t much to bring Ke$ha and Alice Cooper together. Yet ‘What Baby Wants’ was written by Ke$ha, who also guests on the song.
UB40’s mega hit ‘Red Red Wine’ was written by someone placed as far away from the reggae genre as you could possibly imagine. Yeah, Neil Diamond.
‘Dance Wiv Me’, Dizzee Rascal’s chart-topping 2008 collaboration with Chrome and Calvin Harris was originally written by Harris for The Saturdays, but they turned it down. It turned out to be a good move – the track debuted at the top of the UK charts and stayed there for four weeks.
When Bruce Springsteen met Joey Ramone in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Ramone asked Springsteen to write him a song. The result was ‘Hungry Heart’. Springsteen was so pleased with it that he kept the track, and it became his first big hit.
‘Just Say Yes’, a track from Snow Patrol’s ‘Up To Now’ collection written by frontman Gary Lightbody, almost became a Gwen Stefani song. It was then on track to be included on Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger’s solo album, but when the album was scrapped, Lightbody reclaimed it for Snow Patrol.
Rita Ora’s first and main hit ‘R.I.P.’ was penned by Canadian rapper Drake, although he first offered it to Rihanna, who passed it on.
Shakira’s 2009 track ‘She Wolf’ was co-written by Sam Endicott, singer of indie rockers The Bravery.
Many indie alumni have written tracks for Duffy, including Bernard Butler (also her producer), Richard Parfitt of the 60ft Dolls, and Catatonia’s Owen Powell.
Embrace’s ‘Gravity’ was written by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Coldplay actually played the track first in 2002, before handing it over to Embrace.
David Sneddon won the first Fame Academy in 2002, and is now part of ‘The Nexus’, a songwriting partnership with James Bauer-Mein. They wrote ‘National Anthem’, from Lana Del Rey’s debut album ‘Born To Die’.
Sneddon also co-wrote two tracks for Hurts which made it onto their debut album, ‘Happiness’. The Nexus penned ‘Silver Lining’ and ‘Blood, Tears & Gold’.
The Vaccines’ Justin Young is reportedly striking up the most unlikely of combinations and writing for One Direction. Let’s see where that one goes..
Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals has had a prolific history of writing pop hits, and his credits include Ronan Keating, Enrique Iglesias and Melanie C.
‘Fuck You’ by Cee-Lo Green was arguably the biggest song of 2010, but it wasn’t actually written by the Gnarls Barkley man. That job was down to none other than Bruno Mars.