January 11, 2023

For the first time, the Grammy Awards will honor songwriters with the “Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical” title. This award will be given to an exceptional and prolific songwriter that does not perform their own songs, but instead writes for others. 


Songwriters are the unsung heroes of the music industry. They’re behind most of the hit songs you hear on the radio, yet their names are not well-known (or even known at all) to the general public. 


Songwriters are the architects behind songs, so that performers can sell songs to their fans. It benefits the writers because they have the chance for their compositions to be heard, and it saves time for emerging artists who don’t have much experience writing their own music. 


In 2017, Music Week magazine conducted a study to uncover how many songwriters it takes to write a hit. The average of 4.53 writers might seem surprising. 


But, some songs have even more writers behind their lyrics. The track with the most songwriters of the past decade is “Strip That Down” by Liam Payne, with 15 writers credited. 


You might be thinking, why are there so many writers on a single song? The answer is simple: more songwriters equals more ideas, and a greater chance of getting the song heard. 


Hit songwriters have to be able to build a song that is commercial enough to be played on the radio, but also unique enough to not get lost in the millions of other songs released each day. Writing a hit is truly a calculated science.


The next time you’re listening to music, review the songwriters behind your favorite song. You might be surprised to see how many of the songs you love weren’t actually written by the people who perform them.

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About the Contributor
Gabriella Salvucci is a senior music major at Lincoln Park who writes the In Queue Music Review column. This is her first year writing for The Siren. She enjoys writing songs, playing gigs, and reading.

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