Finding out the famous composers behind hit songs is like finding out your favourite musicians have secret identities—Sia has written songs for Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, Frank Ocean for Alicia Keys, the list goes on—but one of the most prolific undercover songwriters is someone you might not expect: OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder is an in-demand writer and producer for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Check out these 11 totally unexpected tracks that Tedder collaborated on.
Don't miss Tedder appear as a mentor on tonight's episode of The Launch! Tune in at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.
1. “Rumor Has It,” Adele
While he gets excited about all his projects, Tedder was particularly keen to work with Adele, whom he called “the best singer in the world.” He spent a week with the songstress collaborating on the track, playing blues-inspired guitar riffs while she improvised vocals over them.
2. “Most Girls,” Hailee Steinfeld
Steinfeld is a promising, young talent in the music world (not to mention, she’s got acting chops), and Tedder is not one to let a rising star slip away. (He collaborated with Leona Lewis and Colbie Caillat early in their careers on some of their most successful tracks.) "Most Girls" has certainly been a huge track for Steinfeld: The girl-power single has racked up more than 55-million views on YouTube in just a couple of months.
3. “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis
This wildly popular heartbreak anthem was released just months after “Apologize” catapulted OneRepublic into the spotlight. In fact, it broke the band’s radio-play record and added songwriting cred to Tedder’s own rising star.
4. “Burn,” Ellie Goulding
Tedder wrote this track with his OneRepublic bandmate Brent Kutzle on their tour bus before a concert. They were so excited about the song that they were late for the gig!
5. “Maps,” Maroon 5
“Maps” is just one of many songs that Tedder worked on for Maroon 5. In addition to this 2014 single, Tedder also wrote “New Love,” “Love Somebody” and “Lucky Strike” for Adam Levine and co.
6. “Neon Lights,” Demi Lovato
While this song is a great dance track, Tedder’s original demo of the song, called “Broken Lights,” has a more stripped-down feeling. When Lovato’s glitzier version took off, the demo was leaked online, and it is still easy to find.
7. “I Want You to Know,” Zedd ft. Selena Gomez
German DJ Zedd picks stunning vocalists for his songs, so Gomez was a natural fit for this dance floor track. Originally, however, it looked like Tedder might voice his own lyrics as he does on the demo. Like “Neon Lights,” the demo was released after the song became a hit.
8. “Welcome to New York,” Taylor Swift
This love song for her adopted home was the first track Swift recorded for her smash-hit album 1989 (Big Machine Records, 2014). She wanted the song to set the stage for the glamorous, catchy sound of the whole project, and no one could have done it better than Tedder.
9. “Faith,” Stevie Wonder ft. Ariana Grande
Tedder certainly knows how to genre-bend when called upon. This little-known (and somewhat unlikely) duet was created for the animated movie Sing (Universal Pictures, 2017). Tedder showed his versatility by arranging the track’s funky, retro sound to suit the R&B stylings of the young pop diva and the old-school legend.
10. “Happier,” Ed Sheeran
Tedder and Sheeran wrote over two-dozen songs for his latest album ÷ (Atlantic, 2017). Only this ballad actually made it on to the record, but the songs are not lost completely: Tedder still has all of the recordings and lyrics saved, so they may resurface again soon.
11. “Halo,” Beyoncé
The request to write “Halo” came directly from Queen Bey herself. Tedder wasn’t supposed to be working as he was on bedrest with an ankle injury. While his wife was out (and could not tell him to rest), he and a friend pumped out the track in just three hours.