How does Ne Yo write his songs

Do singers write their own songs?

The biggest stars in the music industry owe their success primarily to ingenious songwriters. Talents are simply distributed differently. Not everyone can do everything equally well. It's not a secret. Some people inspire with incomparable singing qualities, others are great at creating a catchy text from a few weird ideas. So everyone does what they can, and that's a good thing. Do you think? Not so in the music industry, where, in addition to music, everyone involved is primarily concerned with a lot of money, reputation and fame. Writing a hit song is like winning the lottery. The royalties for text and music flow to the author over decades. So it's no wonder that everyone wants to get a piece of the cake.

In addition to earnings, the artists are primarily concerned with their good reputation in the industry and with the public. For this reason, the majority of singers and musicians only feel recognized as artists when their name is also listed as the author of their songs. Even pop stars who are popular with very young audiences are expected to be able to write their own songs.

For this reason, it has now become a common practice to indicate participation in creative work, even if it is often not true. It's an open secret that even well-known greats in the music business hardly contributed to the creation of their greatest hits. It goes even further, some singers are even supposed to only allow songwriters to write for their next album if their name is at least mentioned as a co-author of the songs on it. In view of this behavior, it is not surprising that many a successful singer-songwriter asks himself how less gifted colleagues can so obviously lie and put their names under something they were not or almost not involved in creating. Songwriters nowadays call themselves singers more than those who really deserve the title. Unfortunately, this practice is not new to the music industry and can be traced back to the days of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

Singers who are not songwriters

Elvis Presley

Elvis had an erotic voice and, in addition to his good looks, an unmistakable stage presence, which brought him multitudes of female fans. He couldn't write his own songs. His enterprising manager Colonel Tom Parker is said to have forced the authors of his famous songs such as "Love me Tender" or "Jailhouse Rock" to forego some of the license fees due to Elvis (and his). It was, after all, honor enough to write for the "King of Rock'n Roll".

Frank Sinatra

He was the voice of swing jazz of his time and hardly anyone will doubt that this voice was particularly memorable. It is also a fact that none of his hits came from his own pen. The famous singer Paul Anka wrote the world famous "My Way" for Sinatra and Bart Howard wrote the snappy "Fly me to the Moon". They used it to create evergreens that were then covered countless times.

Elton John

He was also accused of having pretended that his songs were all his. In fairness it should be admitted that in his case this accusation is only partially true. As a pianist gifted with composing, Elton John was always more than just a singer. He was and is the musical head of his songs, a large part of which was created in collaboration with the songwriter Bernie Taupin. A fact that he never hid. After all, “Rolling Stone Magazine” counts Elton John together with Bernie Taupin among the 100 best songwriters of all time.

Whitney Houston

She possessed one of the most incredible voices in pop and soul music. It was described with superlatives like "legendary" and "larger than life" and brought Whitney Houston 39 chart placements. The Grammy Award winner tried her hand as an actress, but is only mentioned twice as a co-author of her songs.

Diana Ross

The lead singer of the vocal trio “The Supremes” was world famous before she laid down an equally remarkable career as a solo artist in the “R&B” field. Diana Ross was not known for writing her own songs. That was also not the intention of the label "Motown", whose workhorse she was at times. On the contrary, the same pieces were often deliberately bought in order to be recorded by several interpreters.

Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne also repeatedly doubts what part she really has in the songwriting of her songs. There are repeated suspicions in the media (also fueled by colleagues) that the share that she has in the development of her songs is rather small. She denies that, but most of the rumors have a true core.

Then there are stars like Rihanna who didn't write themselves from the start, but increasingly contribute more to their songs. There have been many legal disputes about how big the contribution to a song is. Ultimately, word stands against word. That is why most disputes end with a settlement. Singers like James Brown or Lauryn Hill can tell you a thing or two about it.

Singers who are good singer-songwriters

Pharrell Williams

When you think of Pharrell Williams, the hit "Happy" comes to mind. But Williams cannot be reduced to a hit that started as a movie song, even if it was nominated for an Oscar. To call him a real all-rounder is no exaggeration in his case. He sings, raps, writes and produces. And that is often rewarded with an award, as the Grammy Award 2014 for the best producer proves. By the way, Pharrell Williams also writes hits for colleagues like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dog, Madonna and many more.


There is no doubt that Adele has a voice that gets under your skin. In addition to pop, the range of her songs also includes soul, jazz and R&B. Awards such as several Grammys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe are downright thrown after her. With over 100 million records sold, she is one of the top singers in the music business. What a great songwriter she is almost goes under. Again and again she writes empathetically about failed relationships and, even when she works with a co-author, always remains the driving force behind her emotional songs.

Ed Sheeran

The singer undoubtedly looks older than he is. That may be because he outlines personal issues very clearly in his songs. Unlike many of his colleagues, he's not about wanting to please. It is more important to him to be true to himself in his songs. A circumstance that his fans appreciate and that earned him some prizes. In 2012 he wrote “Everything Has Changed” with Taylor Swift and sang it as a recording with her in a duet.

Taylor Swift

It's no secret that her lyrics are often about liaisons that have passed. So it won't surprise you to learn that Taylor Swift writes all of her own songs. With melancholy poetry, she creates a private memorial to her former friends, who include illustrious names such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles and Joe Jonas. A recipe for success that makes her one of the most successful women in music history.


In the R&B sector in particular, few singers write their own songs. The label either employs songwriters or buys them. This is exactly why Ne-Yo stands out. Since his youth he has been writing songs for himself and other singers, including: as well-known as Marques Houston's “That Girl”. His success brought him attention and made such famous colleagues as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jennifer Hudson take an interest in his talent.


Sia Furler's “Chandelier” has been a regular guest on radio stations since 2014. The singer never wanted to be in the limelight. The Australian has made a name for herself as a songwriter even more than as a singer. And not just recently, because it has been doing well since the 1990s. Pop stars like Madonna, Rita Ora, Rihanna, Shakira, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears just love their songs.

These are the most successful songwriters:

You might be interested in who some of the people who wrote the many great hits and catchy tunes that you hear on the radio every day are. It is the songwriters who know the current trends and who have developed a feeling for which song could make which singer big or consolidate his career. Many of the songwriters already have a certain star in mind when writing a new song to match. But even the top stars and their management sometimes go wrong and reject a song with which another singer lands a hit. Simply because they didn't see the piece's potential. For example, Britney Spears Team "Telephone" was offered, with which instead of Britney Lady Gaga came out big. Or an older example: Tina Turner had the hit “What's Love Got To Do With It?”. The writers Terry Britten and Graham Lyle first offered it to Donna Summer. She later reported that the song had been in her drawer for years, but was never recorded.

One of the most successful songwriters at the moment is Chantal Kreviazuk. If the name doesn't mean anything to you, you're not alone. She has also released her own album, but is primarily responsible for many songs by Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne. Or Dianne Warren? The Grammy winner has written for Mary S. Blidge, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Or Sean Garrett, who wrote big hits for Beyoncé or Fergie?

The unfair royalty distribution, in Garrett's opinion, is the price a newbie in the business has to pay to keep getting business. Even Ne-Yo, who has made a name for himself, complains about the attitude of singers. They think they are doing the songwriter a favor by recording their song, especially when it becomes a hit. No songwriter envies the success of the stars. They only care about dealing fairly with their texts. They also recognize artistic vocal arrangements from brilliant singers like Beyoncé. All of the named songwriters are now so established that they can reject demands on them. Newcomers in the hard music industry don't have this opportunity. Resisting common practice would be the end of her life before she even started her career. No matter how complicated the attribution of the author's rights may be, one thing is undisputed: Songwriters are the engines that keep the music industry running.