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Power Players

No. 83
Martin Karl "Max Martin" Sandberg

Pop's Platinum Pen...

Max Martin either wrote or co-wrote so many '90s teen pop hits, you could make mixtapes exclusively from them: from his December 1995 Billboard Hot 100 debut, Backstreet Boys' "We've Got It Goin' On," through Britney Spears' ". . . Baby One More Time" and many more. And Martin has actually been even more ubiquitous during the past several years. His mentorship of Dr. Luke (see No. 30)--the two collaborated on Luke's chart debut, Kelly Clarkson's 2005 hit "Since U Been Gone"--has created a power base out of the slick, sassy, guitar-driven hits that have minted a template for Katy Perry, P!nk, Adam Lambert and even Avril Lavigne. But he's hardly relying on that partnership: Just last year, he helped pen hits for Britney Spears, the "Glee" cast and others, making him Billboard's No. 1 Hot 100 songwriter with 20 songs that debuted or peaked in 2011 for a total of 25 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Luke was No. 2, and the two shared ASCAP's 2011 songwriter of the year honor, an award that Martin won in three consecutive years (1999-2001). That he won again 10 years later is just one testament to the Swede's power and longevity.

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