The release of PRISM marks the return of Katy Perry but also several key musical players responsible for some of the best pop music of the past two decades. These producers and songwriters have had a hand in nearly everyone of Perry’s hit singles as well as mega hits by Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Ke$ha, and more recently, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke.
1. Benny Blanco
The rapper and producer first joined Katy Perry’s world in 2008 to work on two singles from her ’first’ album, One Of The Boys. Blanco served as producer of “I Kissed A Girl” and “Hot N Cold.” He followed up those hits with a slew of radio-friendly tracks for other artists, including Ke$ha (“Die Young,” “Tik Tok,” “We R Who We R,” “Your Love Is A Drug”), Maroon 5 (“Moves Like Jagger,” “Payphone”), Rihanna (“Diamonds”) and Britney Spears (“Circus”). In between all of that success, he still had time to write and produce Perry’s third number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. While he has yet to take one home, Blanco has been nominated for five Grammy Awards.
2. Lukasz Sebastian “Luke” Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke)
Perhaps the most well known of Perry’s hit factory, Dr. Luke (like Max Martin) is the most in demand by female pop stars. He has written for everyone that has had a hit since 2004. Dr. Luke’s breakthrough single was Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” since then he’s been responsible for what feels like everything from Pink’s announcement that she wasn’t dead to Avril Lavigne’s foray into pop (The Best Damn Thing) and from all of Perry’s hits to Miley Cyrus’ now-a capella classic, “Party In The U.S.A.” Now, he’s on track to becoming one of pop music’s most prolific hitmakers. Not bad for someone who had simultaneous back to back Billboard number ones thanks to “Roar” and “Wrecking Ball.”
3. Max Martin
Anyone who grew up in the ’90s likely have heard Martin’s that became staples on MTV’s T.R.L. Two of those songs (“I Want It That Way” and “…Baby One More Time“) landed in the top 25 of MTV/Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Pop Songs. He practically defined what teen pop music sounded like in the ’00s with hits for Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Pink. Most recently, he landed on top of the charts for Taylor Swift’s dub-stepping, goat-friendly hit, “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
4. Bonnie McKee
The person to benefit the most from her work with Katy Perry is Bonnie McKee. The singer/songwriter/actress teamed up with Perry to write a number of hit tracks starting with “California Gurls” up until “Roar” and quickly became her biggest secret weapon. Over the years, McKee began to stand out as she started charting with other songs penned for the likes of Taio Cruz and Britney Spears. And now, she’s really stepping out on her own thanks to the viral hit, “American Girl.”
5. Henry Russell Walter aka Cirkut
Walter (pictured left) is known as Dr. Luke’s righthand man working closely with him since 2010. He was the last (on this list) to join Perry’s team and contributed tracks to her reissued Teenage Dream album as well as her 3-D film’s soundtrack. Walter is back again this year with not only hits for Perry (“Roar” and several other soon-t0-be number ones) but also Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and Robin Thicke’s “Give It 2 U.” Walter also has the most eclectic roster of artists on his production list, including Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds and The Weeknd.