Max Martin: The Man Behind Every Songs You Love

If you are born sometime between late-1980s and 2000s, there’s a 99.99% chance that Max Martin wrote the soundtrack to your life—you just didn’t know it’s him. Be it Britney Spears, P!nk, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift, Max is the producer/writer behind the career-defining hits of every major pop artists in the last 20 years.

In fact, Max’s impact is second only to the Beatles. With Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off debuting #1 at Billboard this week, Max has earned his 18th #1 and 50th Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100. Beatles’ Lennon-McCartney duo is the only one with more #1s. On the production front, only George Martin (whom produced Beatles) has more #1s.

Still not convinced? Here are the Top 10 ways Max Martin made our childhood, rebelled with us through our angsty teenage years and helped us transition into full-fledged adulthood:

1. He practically invented Backstreet Boys’ entire career

The iconic hit: Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way

Max also made… We’ve Got It Going On; Quit Playing Games (With My Heart); Everybody (Backstreet’s Back); As Long As You Love Me; Larger Than Life; Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely; The One; Shape of My Heart; The Call; Just Want You to Know; I Still…; Bigger; In a World Like This

2. And their rival’s, too

The iconic hit: NSYNC’s It’s Gonna be Me

Max also made… I Want You Back; Tearin’ Up My Heart; I’ll Never Stop

3. He turned a next-door Louisiana girl into the world’s biggest phenomenon overnight

The iconic hit: Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time

Max also made… (You Drive Me) Crazy; Oops!… I Did It Again; Stronger; Lucky; Overprotected; I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman; If U Seek Amy; 3; Hold It Against Me; Till the World Ends; I Wanna Go; Criminal

4. He revived Bon Jovi when they almost become passé

The iconic hit: Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life

5. He gave Kelly Clarkson indie-rock cred

The iconic hit: Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone

Max also made… Behind These Hazel Eyes; My Life Would Suck Without You

6. And made a certain rock star cool again

The iconic hit: P!nk’s So What

Max also made… Who Knew; U + Ur Hand; I Don’t Believe You; Raise Your Glass; Fuckin’ Perfect

7. He helped Teenage Dream tied Michael Jackson’s record for having the most #1 singles from one album

The iconic hit: Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream

Max also made… I Kissed a Girl; Hot n Cold; California Gurls; E.T.; Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.); The One That Got Away; Part of Me; Wide Awake; Roar; Unconditionally; Dark Horse; Birthday

8. And made Taylor Swift the biggest country star, like, ever

The iconic hit: Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Max also made… I Knew You Were Trouble; 22; Shake It Off

9. He turned a Nickelodeon child actress and an Australian white rapper into our two most promising future divas

The iconic hit: Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea’s Problem

Max also made… Break Free; Bang Bang

10. F*ck it… it’s impossible to condense his impressive body of works into a miniscule Top 10 so I’m gonna cheat!

5ive’s Slam Dunk (Da Funk); Until the Time is Through; It’s the Things You Do
Adam Lambert’s Whataya Want from Me

Avril Lavigne’s What the Hell; Wish You Were Here; Smile

Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tonight I’m Getting Over You
Céline Dion’s That’s the Way It Is; Faith
Christina Aguilera’s Your Body; Let There Be Love
Jennifer Lopez’s First Love

Jessie J’s Domino; Bang Bang
Justin Bieber’s Beauty and a Beat
Ke$ha’s Blow; C’mon
Leona Lewis’ I Will Be; I Got You
Marion Raven’s End of Me; Break You; Here I Am
Maroon 5’s One More Night; Daylight
Nicki Minaj’s Va Va Voom; Bang Bang
Robyn’s Do You Know (What It Takes); Show Me Love
Shakira’s Dare (La La La)
Taio Cruz’s Dynamite
Usher’s DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love; Scream
The Veronicas’ 4ever; Everything I’m Not
Westlife’s When You’re Looking Like That

Other artists he’s produced and/or written songs for:

Ace of Base, A-ha, Allison Iraheta, Ana Johnsson, Ashley Parker Angel, Becky G, Bonnie McKee, Bryan Adams, Carrie Underwood, Cher Lloyd, Cyndi Lauper, Daughtry, Def Leppard, Enrique Iglesias, Gary Barlow, Gavin DeGraw, Glee Cast, GRL, James Blunt, Kelis, MKTO, Miranda Cosgrove, Nick Carter, Pitbull, Ray J, Shayne Ward, Simple Plan, Skye Sweetnam, Sugababes, T.I., Vanessa Hudgens, Vicci Martinez, and trust me… many, many more.

What’s your most favorite Max Martin song?


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