Only 13 Number One American Songs This Century Had Only One Writer
A very unexpected new musical feud has emerged this week. Blur and Gorillaz star Damon Albarn has caused a stir online after he dismissed Taylor Swift’s songwriting abilities in a Los Angeles Time interview.
After claiming that she doesn’t write her own songs, he later criticized her use of co-writers, saying, “I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different from writing.
Huge backlash ensued, including from Swift herself, who insisted“I write ALL my own songs. Your hot take is completely wrong and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs, but it’s really crazy to try and discredit my songwriting. WOW” ( it should be noted that Albarn later apologized to Swift “unreservedly and unconditionally”).
People were quick to empirically support Swift, with many reminding Albarn that she wrote her entire 2010s third album. Speak Nowall alone.
And now, like Billboard Highlights, Hot 100 data tilts in favor of Swift over Albarn. When the publication analyzed the numbers in 2020, they discovered that only 13 of the 283 songs to reach number one this century had only one author:
Vertical Horizon – “Anything You Want” (Matthew Scannell)
Matchbox Twenty – ‘Bent’ (Rob Thomas)
Alicia Keys – ‘Fallin’ (Alicia Keys)
Nickelback – ‘How Do You Remind Me’ (Chad Kroeger)
OutKast – ‘Hey you!’ (Andre 3000)
Daniel Powter – ‘Bad Day’ (Daniel Powter)
Plain White Tee – ‘Hey There Delilah’ (Tom Higgenson)
Soulja Boy Tell’em – ‘Crank That (Soulja Boy)’ (Soulja Boy)
Owl City – ‘Fireflies’ (Adam Young)
Usher feat. will.i.am – ‘OMG’ (will.i.am)
Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – “We Found Love” (Calvin Harris)
Pharrell Williams – “Happy” (Pharrell Williams)
Ed Sheeran – ‘Perfect’ (Ed Sheeran)
Never miss industry news
Get the latest music industry news, information and updates straight to your inbox. Learn more
Added to this finding, only 29 of the 540 songs – or just over 5% – to peak in the top 10 for the first time in the past decade are credited to a single author. J. Cole plays strong in this area with four songs, followed by Twenty One Pilots’ Tyler Joseph and, unsurprisingly, Swift with three songs.
A look at the current ranking shows little change: only nine of the 100 songs are attributed to an author, but this is considerably helped by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work on the Encanto soundtrack.
Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto Cast – ‘We’re Not Talking About Bruno’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda
Glass Animals – “Heat Waves” (Dave Bayley)
Jessica Darrow – ‘Surface Pressure’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Diane Guerrero & Stephanie Beatriz – ‘What else can I do?’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz & Encanto Cast – ‘The Family Madrigal’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Sebastian Yatra – ‘Dos Oruguitas’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Eric Church – ‘Heart on Fire’ (Eric Church)
Stephanie Beatriz – “Waiting for a Miracle” (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, John Leguizamo, Adassa, Maluma & Encanto Cast – ‘All of You’ (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
For more on this topic, follow The Industry Observer.