Ask Billboard: Pen Pals: Readers Respond, Part 3

Ne-Yo Writing Songs for Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


PEN PALS, READERS RESPOND, PART 3

Hi Gary,

I thought of a few more titles to add to the list of hit songs by one act that were written by fellow star artists. They were all written by one multi-talented artist.

Ne-Yo, who just celebrated his second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 as a guest vocalist on Pitbull's "Give Me Everything," frequently co-writes with Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen of the Norwegian production team Stargate.

He co-wrote Rihanna's top 10 singles "Unfaithful" (No. 6, 2006) and "Russian Roulette" (No. 9, 2009) and her 2008 No. 1 "Take a Bow," as well as Beyonce's No. 1 "Irreplaceable," Mario Vazquez's "Gallery" and Paula DeAnda's "Walk Away (Remember Me)."

Thanks,

Hugh Peacock
Perth, Australia



Hi Gary,

The Bee Gees wrote one of my all-time favorite Diana Ross songs, 1985's "Chain Reaction," which peaked at No. 1 in the UK but, sadly, stopped at No. 66 on the Hot 100.

Madonna co-wrote "Love Won't Wait" for Take That's Gary Barlow that reigned in the UK in 1997.

Also in 1997, Annie Lennox wrote and sang backup vocals on Whitney Houston's "Step By Step," from "The Preacher's Wife." The song peaked at No. 15 on the Hot 100.

And, Mariah Carey co-wrote "Where Are You Christmas?," performed by country superstar Faith Hill, with "My Heart Will Go On" writers James Horner and Will Jennings. The song reached No. 10 on Adult Contemporary and No. 26 on Country Songs.

Thank you,

Jesper Tan
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


PEN PALS, READERS RESPOND, PART 3


Hi Gary,

Regarding the letter from Hugh Peacock regarding hit songs written by superstars that were performed by other artists, here is an unusual one:

"Starting Over Again" by Dolly Parton, which hit No. 1 on Country Songs and No. 36 on the Hot 100 in 1980, was written by Donna Summer ... and her husband Bruce Sudano.

I am really enjoying this topic and looking forward to stumbling upon a few more surprises.

Nse Ette
Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria



Hi Gary,

I noticed than no one mentioned these pen pals in your column, so I want to contribute two more:

Then-husband and wife George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam wrote Whitney Houston's Hot 100 No. 1s "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and "How Will I Know." As the duo Boy Meets Girl, the pair enjoyed three chart entries, including the No. 5 smash "Waiting for a Star to Fall."

While Pebbles saw three of her singles go top five on the Hot 100 in 1988-90, she also co-wrote "Whip Appeal" with the song's singer, Babyface. The slow jam hit No. 6 on the Hot 100 in 1990.

Thanks,

Luis Manuel Acosta
Lloret de Mar, Spain


Hi Gary,

Cathy Dennis co-wrote "Toxic" by Britney Spears, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" by Kylie Minogue and "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry.

Dennis enjoyed quite a few hits of her own back in the early '90s, including the 1991 Hot 100 top 10s "Just Another Dream" (No. 9), "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (No. 2) and "Too Many Walls" (No. 8).

Scott McKnight
Atlanta, Georgia



Thanks Hugh, Jesper, Nse, Luis Manuel and Scott! (It's safe to say that "Waiting for a Star to Fall" remains one of my all-time favorite songs. 1989 follow-up "Bring Down the Moon," a No. 49 Hot 100 hit, is also well-worth remembering).

Please keep the examples coming! I'll run more and add some that I've come up with in next Friday's "Ask Billboard." As always, please send any of your valued insights to askbb@billboard.com.

In the meantime, enjoy our special recap of the Adult Contemporary chart's 50th anniversary, as the survey reaches the milestone Sunday (July 17).

We've already presented the top 50 AC artists and top 100 AC songs of the chart's first five decades.

Next week in Chart Beat, we'll continue the celebration, with more of our AC spotlight, including interviews with several of the format's most beloved stars. (Please also feel free to e-mail any of your thoughts about those two special rankings, or your favorite AC artists and songs).

Have a great weekend!