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5 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Written by Other Artists

Many people picture the music industry as being cut-throat and highly competitive. While that is true, you might be surprised to find out just how much collaboration goes on behind the scenes! A lot of artists will turn to friends or even other musicians for help when they have a bit of writer’s block. Another common occurrence is artists writing songs for themselves but realizing it’s not right for them and selling it to another musician. Keep reading to find out the real writers behind some of the biggest songs.

1. "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" - Harry Styles for Ariana Grande 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ariana Grande’s heartbreaking 2014 hit was written by none other than Harry Styles! Ariana spoke to MTV about the song and explained that Styles was visiting a recording studio when two of her producer’s approached him about writing a song for her. The song is even more impressive when you realize it was written in one day!

2. "Party in the U.S.A" - Jessie J for Miley Cyrus 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The “Price Tag” singer opened up about how she was the mind behind Cyrus’ 2009 hit. Many singers will do songwriting on the side, and for Jessie J, it paid off! She mentioned that the royalties from “Party in the U.S.A” alone helped her pay rent for three years. 

3. "Diamonds" - Sia for Rihanna 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SIA (@siamusic) on

Sia has written for a number of artists such as Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, and Britney Spears. “Diamonds”, however, was the first time a song of hers had reached number 1! A fun fact is that in 2016, Sia actually released an album full of songs she had originally written for other artists but had been rejected.

4. "Hollaback Girl" - Pharrell Williams for Gwen Stefani

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pharrell Williams (@pharrell) on

Yep, this iconic early 2000’s hit was penned by the same guy who wrote the song “Happy”. Williams did not shoot to fame until 2013 with the previously mentioned hit, but he was writing songs for famous singers long before that. He has written songs for artists like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Snoop Dogg.

5. "Breakaway" - Avril Lavigne for Kelly Clarkson

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Avril Lavigne (@avrillavigne) on

After writing and recording “Breakaway” for Lavigne’s debut album, the writer and her team felt it wasn’t the right fit for her and sold the song to Clarkson. She initially recorded the song to be part of the soundtrack for "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement", but it was so popular that she included it on the track list for her second album and even used it as said album’s title!

Did any of these shock you? What were some songs you were shocked to find out were written by other artists?

 

Kayla is a sophomore at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is studying Advertising and Marketing Communications and hopes eventually go into Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing. Growing up in Staten Island, the "forgotten borough", Kayla is no stranger to city life and grew up taking regular trips to Manhattan. You can usually find her exploring the city with friends or watching the latest musical to hit Broadway. You can also find her on Instagram @kaylaacariffe
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