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20 Songs With Surprising Writers

  • You might have heard Avicii's 'Wake Me Up', the song topping the chart at the moment. 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.

    Photo: Press

    Added: 16 Jun 2011

  • Icona Pop’s number 1 single ‘I Love It’ is credited as ‘featuring Charli XCX’, but guess what? She wrote it. XCX told NME earlier this month in an exclusive interview that she doesn’t regret giving the track to the Swedish duo.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 03 Jul 2013

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 18 Apr 2011

  • ‘Get The Party Started’, one of Pink!’s biggest hits, was penned by Linda Perry, of American rock band 4 Non Blondes.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 07 Sep 2012

  • 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 drafted in by the show to write the lyrics for this promotional track.

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    Added: 18 Apr 2012

  • Linda Perry also wrote Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 18 Apr 2011

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 18 Jul 2012

  • 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.

    Photo: Tom Martin/NME

    Added: 07 Jun 2012

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 24 Oct 2011

  • ‘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.

    Photo: Jenn Five/NME

    Added: 14 Jul 2013

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 05 Nov 2012

  • ‘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.

    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

    Added: 07 Jul 2012

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 30 Aug 2012

  • Shakira’s 2009 track ‘She Wolf’ was co-written by Sam Endicott, singer of indie rockers The Bravery.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 15 Apr 2011

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 18 Jul 2013

  • 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.

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    Added: 09 Jul 2009

  • 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’.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 31 Jul 2013

  • 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’.

    Photo: Jenn Five/NME

    Added: 14 Jul 2013

  • 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..

    Photo: PA

    Added: 31 Jul 2013

  • 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.

    Photo: PA

    Added: 05 Oct 2011

  • '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.

    Photo: Tom Martin/NME

    Added: 25 Jun 2011