Hit-making is a collaborative process, with many hands and minds going into the mix to create a finish product. Don’t believe us? Check the credits for your favorite song in the charts today! In among the seemingly dozens of names you’ll find the one tunesmith who had the original germ of the melodic hook…and sometimes even the whole song! Most of these songwriters are unsung heroes (see what we did there?), names and faces unfamiliar to the masses despite the hours of pure pop pleasure they’ve given us over the years. Today we’ve decided to honor them by sharing their original demo versions of some of their greatest hits. Read on and enjoy the original voices behind the songs!
“Beautiful” by Linda Perry (better known from Christina Aguilera’s 2002 album Stripped)
The modern classic ode to self-acceptance was originally written (and produced!) by the great Linda Perry. Formerly of 4 Non Blondes, she has penned hits for P!nk, Gwen Stefani, and Alicia Keys, to name just a few!
“Umbrella” by The-Dream (better known from Rihanna’s 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad)
It’s not news that Dream is a hit making machine, writing Rihanna’s coming-of-age cut (and collaborating on a ton of others!), as well as Beyonce’s show-stopping power ballad “1+1,” the Rolls Royce-shakin'”Partition” and Justin Bieber‘s breakout hit “Baby.”
“Rude Boy” by Ester Dean (better known from Rihanna’s 2009 album Rated R)
Ester is all over the place these days, responsible for not only this Riri hit, but also “S&M,” and “What’s My Name,” “You Da One,” and many others, as well as Beyonce’s “Countdown” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass”…and we’re just getting started. Bow down, b-tches!