Martin also co-wrote, co-produced nine of the songs on 1989, including Shake it Off, Blank Space, Style, Bad Blood, Wildest Dreams, How You Get the Girl, New Romantics, Wonderland. He is the executive producer of the album.
Martin was awarded Songwriter of the Year at the 2015 annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards for the most performed songs, Bang Bang (Ariana Grande, Jesse J, Nicki Minaj), Dark Horse, Roar, (Katy Perry), Problem (Ariana Grande) and Shake It Off (Taylor Swift). Martin received his first GRAMMY for the Non-Classical Producer of the Year award earlier in the year, having produced some of the top pop songs of 2014, including Bang Bang, Blank Space, Break Free, Dark Horse, Problem, Shake It Off and Unconditionally. Congrats to Max Martin for his dedication to the pop music industry!
We all have heard his genius work. He has written, co-written and produced many of pop's best selling songs. He writes and produces songs that propels artists to the top of the charts, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Keisha, Justin Bieber, to name a few. You may be like many who don't know that some of the quintessential mega-hit songs performed by Britney Spears, N'SYNC, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Adam Lambert (Whataya Want From Me), Jesse J, Kelly Clarkson, Robyn, Pink, Usher, Leona Lewis, Taio Cruz, Will I. Am and many others all have one person in common with their success, Martin Karl Sandburg, known professionally by his name, Max Martin.
The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory
List of #1 Songs by Max Martin
Here is the list of 21 #1 songs written/co-written, produced/co-produced by Max Martin which made it to the top of Billboard charts!
..Baby One More Time / Britney Spears
It's Gonna Be Me / 'N SYNC
I Kissed a Girl / Pink
So What / Pink
My Life Would Suck Without You / Kelly Clarkson
3 / Britney Spears
Raise Your Glass /Pink
California Gurls / Katy Perry
Teenage Dream / Katy Perry
Hold It Against Me" / Britney Spears
E.T. / Katy Perry
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) / Katy Perry
Part Of Me / Katy Perry
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together / Taylor Swift
One More Night / Maroon 5
Roar / Katy Perry
Dark Horse / Katy Perry
Shake It Off/ Taylor Swift
Blank Space/ Taylor Swift
Bad Blood/ Taylor Swift
Can't Feel My Face/The Weeknd
Max Martin Billboard Top 100 Hits 1995-2014
The Man Behind Pop's Biggest Hits
Max Martin, Denniz PoP and Cheiron Records
Born February 26, 1971 in Stockholm, Sweden, Martin has been pumping out some of our favorite club songs since the mid- nineties. He had his own band, It's Alive, (see video below of Sing This Blues) playing glam-metal during the late-eighties/early nineties. The band was signed to Cheiron Records, an affiliate of BMG, by Denniz PoP. While their second album didn't make the sales they expected, PoP saw Martin's talent for songwriting and brought him into the studio to start learning the basics of producing music. Leaving It's Alive in 1995, he started collaborating with PoP. They both worked on the second album by Ace of Base, Bridges, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
It's easy to say that since those early days of working with Denniz PoP, the road was paved, by hard work, for Max Martin to rise to the top with his songwriting skills, and his ability to know the magic formula to make a song a hit. In the mid 90's they were working with the Backstreet Boys, who made it big in Europe before returning to the United States with some of their biggest hits, including, I Want It That Way. Denniz PoP died of cancer in 1998 and Martin took over as head of Cheiron Studios and started working with the writer/producer, Rami Yacoub.
Let's take a look at some of his work since 1998-99, which were big years for him, working with the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. So, turn up the speakers or grab your headphones and listen to all that's going on in these songs. (If the videos don't play in your country, I have included different video links of the same songs in the comment section. )
If you've got Max Martin as your writer, you have a better chance of having a worldwide hit than with anyone else.
— Simon Cowell
'Oh baby, baby, how was I supposed to know, that something wasn't right...'
... Baby One More Time- Britney Spears
- released Oct. 1998
- written by Max Martin, originally for TLC, who rejected it, then presented to Back Street Boys, who also said, nay
- a song about breaking up with someone and regretting the decision
- Spears most successful single, it entered the US charts at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100
- won 1999 Teen Choice Awards Single of the Year
- MTV Europe Music Awards Best Song
- sold over 26 million copies worldwide- one of the best-selling singles of all time
'Tell me why, I never want to hear you say, I want it that way...'
I Want It That Way- Backstreet Boys
- released April, 1999
- co-written by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson, co-produced by Max Martin and Kristian Lundin
- hit #1 in 25 countries
- set a record for most weeks at #1 on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream
- #10 on MTV/Rolling Stone List of 100 Greatest Pop Songs of All Time in 2000
- the album Millennium, on which it appears, sold over 1.1 million copies it's debut week.
- Martin co-wrote and co-produced 7 out of 12 songs on Millennium which has sold over 12,168,000 albums
Max Martin and Maratone- Mega Success
Martin started up a new production company in Jan. of 2001 with his partner Tom Talomaa. Cheiron Studios was closed and a new beginning was necessary to continue expanding and experimenting with new sounds. The production company, Maratone, is located in Stockholm, Sweden. He spends time with the artists, getting a feel for what they're like, what music they listen to, in order to capture the chemistry needed to make it their song. Martin has stated; "I want the input because that makes the chemistry of the song." Every song should get people moving, anyone, every kind of person, the woman at the cash register, the truck driver, the couple on the dance floor. It's impossible not to move when you hear his music!
Maratone is a team of talented professional, award- winning songwriters and producers including Martin, Shellback, (Moves Like Jagger/Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera) and Alexandra. There are two studios fully equipped with state of the art tools necessary to produce hit making songs. I have included a link to Maratone in the Reference section below which includes a complete listing of all production equipment used in the studios.
Martin quietly moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and continues to work with his A- list production team including Shellback and a young songwriter, Ilya Salmanzadeh. He purchased a famous Hollywood compound which he has transformed into a recording studio. He works closely with Savan Kotecha who calls him the 'master of his craft'.
'How can I put it, you put me on, I even fell for your stupid love song...'
Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
- released Dec. 2004
- written and produced by Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald
- a song about feeling alive again after a failed relationship
- EuroPop funk beat hit #1 for 2 weeks
- remained in the top 10 for 20 weeks in the US
- Clarkson won a GRAMMY Award in 2006 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
- Clarkson's biggest hit
'SO what, I'm still a rock star, I got my rock moves and I don't need you, so guess what...'
So What- Pink
- released Aug. 2008
- written by Max Martin, Pink, Shellback; produced by Martin
- Pink's first #1 in US
- reached #1 in 25 countries
- #1 Adult Top 40 & Hot Dance Airplay in US
- 4X Platinum worldwide selling over 8,500,00 digital downloads/singles
'Dance, dance like it's the last, last night of your life...'
DJ Got Us Fallin In Love- Usher
- released June 2010
- written by Max Martin, Shellback, Kotecha, Pitbull; produced by Martin, Shellback
- synthpop, europop club song; 120 beats per minute/metronome (highly danceable!)
- reached Top Ten on 19 charts worldwide
- one of Usher's most successful singles
- #4 Billboard Hot 10
Max Martin Net Worth
It's estimated that Max Martin has a net worth of +250 million. Having started out as a musician/ songwriter, his move to songwriter/producer has proven to be one of the most successful career moves in music history!
Max Martin Quotes
"I record every part separately until the artist and I are happy with it."
"I can only speak for myself when I say writing the melody first gives me more freedom than doing it the other way around."
" Let me put it this way – songwriting and producing is 99% about confidence."
I don't consider myself a poet, I just write what I feel, sounds good."
"If they hear it once on the radio, I want them to like it immediately... it's the piano and 'oh, baby, baby'...that's what grabs you."
"Pop Music is always about NOW."
"I've never seen my daughter excited about someone I've worked with, and that's really saying something." (speaking about Ariana Grande)
Martin and Pop Music- #1 Hitmaker
Rani Hancock of RCA Records said, "He has an amazing sense of lyric and melody and he always comes up with these brilliant lyric concepts that are not only hits, but are very identifiable."
Louis Walsh is quoted as saying, "his songs are worldwide pop monsters". And they are. Few people realize how much of today's pop music is written and produced by this Swedish hitmaker. We identify this music with the artists who perform it so well, but behind these mega hits is a genius who wants every part of the song perfect.
"I'm excited to be co-executive producing with Max Martin, the person who kind of invented Britney..." Dr. Luke
Listen with a new ear if this is your first introduction to Max Martin, the pop music hitmaker. Turn up the speakers to get full effect! Personally I like to listen with a great set of headphones to hear 'everything.' The production is so clean. Pure pop bliss.
Max Martin fans, thanks for reading!
I didn't even know what a producer did, I spent two years day and night in that studio trying to learn what the hell was going on.
— Max Martin - 03/19/2001
Max Martin's Awards
- Swedish Grammis Award - 1998
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1999- Martin was the first non-American citizen to win this prestigious award.
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2000
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2001
- STIM Platinum Award - 2010
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year (tie with Dr. Luke) - 2011
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2012
- HM the King's Medal (Sweden) - 2012 (outstanding work as a music producer and composer)
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year- 2013
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year - 2014
- GRAMMY Producer of the Year- 2014
- ASCAP Songwriter of the Year= 2015
Martin is the first songwriter to receive this prestigious award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers three years in a row.
My advice to upcoming talent in this business is "work harder than everyone else." Max Martin
References and Additional Max Martin Mania
Britney Spears Interview- Making My First Album (includes Max Martin) This is a great (old) interview series with Spears which includes Martin discussing the making of her first album.
Pop Songwriter Purchases Oddball West Hollywood Compound Max Martin bought the famous compound once housed by Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe to transform into a recording studio.
Max Martin Speaks at the Backstreet Boys Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony 2013
List of Britney Spears Songs Written and Produced by Max Martin
All of these songs were written/ co-written by Martin. All were produced/ co-produced by Martin. Complete discography can be found at the Maratone link which I have included above in the Reference section. Four of her biggest hits have debuted on the charts at #1. Three of them have Martin's distinctive signature, (asterisks*). This makes Britney Spears the second artist in a 52 year history of having multiple debuts at the #1 spot!
- ...Baby One More Time- 1999 *
- (you drive me) Crazy- 1999
- I Will Be There- 1999
- Stronger- 1999
- OOPS- I Did It Again- 2000
- Can't Make You Love Me- 2000
- Don't Go Knocking On My Door- 2000
- Lucky- 2000
- Where Are You Now- 2000
- Bombastic Love- 2001
- Overprotected- 2001
- Cinderella- 2001
- I'm A Girl, Not Yet A Woman- 2001
- If U Seek Amy- 2008
- 3- 2009 *
- Hold It Against Me- 2011*
- Till The World Ends- 2011
- Inside Out- 2011
- I Wanna Go- 2011
- Criminal- 2011
- Up n' Down- 2011
- Seal It With A Kiss- 2011
It's Alive - Sing This Blues - (Max Martin)
Thank You For Reading Max Martin - Who Is This Swedish Hitmaker Behind Pop's Biggest Songs!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on January 02, 2015:
Stargrrl, There is only a small percentage of people who know his name and his influence behind some of the biggest hits. He's received 7 ASCAP Songwriter of the Year awards, but has yet been able to receive a GRAMMY. I think this may be his year, certainly he broke records with Taylor Swift's #1's. He deserves the recognition for being the man behind these massive hits.
Stargrrl on January 02, 2015:
Interesting that this guy was behind all of these songs. Some of them I like.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on August 06, 2014:
Hey, thanks Howard. That would have been nice to see collaboration with Michael Jackson. His talent has definitely changed his life and the lives of the artists he has helped to propel to the top of the charts. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Howard Allen on August 05, 2014:
Nice overview of Max Martin's work. I've liked his songs for a long time.
I wish he had written a song with, or for, Michael Jackson.
Christine Gille from New Fairfield, Connecticut on May 29, 2014:
I don't think anybody would know if you had all of his work here. There's too many songs to keep track of! I've also been looking into the other Swedish producers he used to work with like Rami Yacoub and Kristian Lundin. I love when he goes back and works with them again today.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 28, 2014:
Hey Christine, Thanks! There's no way I have all of his work here, but I try to stay current with his songs on the Hot 100. I read recently that his interest in Ariana Grande was in large part from his daughter who is a fan of her! Lucky for Ariana G! I'm also a fan of Max. His dedication and love for his craft is inspiring. I also respect that he's not a media hog, clamoring for the recognition. I appreciate the comment and stay in touch. I try to update weekly!
Christine Gille from New Fairfield, Connecticut on May 28, 2014:
Love this article. I'm a HUGE Max Martin fan and this clearly took a lot of work. Simply compiling all of his songs would take hours and hours! Thanks for doing this so people who don't already know of his genius can read this!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 24, 2013:
Thanks Glenn. When I first discovered that he was involved in so many top pop hits, I thought it would be interesting to find out more about him. I remember when the Back Street Boys left for Europe (as they were discovered in Florida, so I had heard about them) and nobody knew who these Swedish songwriters were. It has been a lot of fun getting to know more about him, his music, his influence on the business. I'm also active and try to keep in touch with the swedishsongs.de forum where news seems to pop up about him. He hardly does any interviews and tries to stay somewhat private, so it's nice to find one page where people can discover more about him. Yeah, I love that video at the end. I play it often, usually on repeat. He also does a lot of background vocals on many of the songs he's written/produced. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting and enjoying the page!
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on November 24, 2013:
I spent a lot of enjoyable time reviewing everything in your hub, and listening to the videos. You made this very complete and rewarding. I also appreciate how you had been keeping it up to date, adding new material as you discover it.
I didn't even realize Max Martin sang. How did I miss that? I thought he only wrote for other artists. That video of Max himself you added at the end was a nice touch.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 18, 2013:
I love it when I find new stuff about Max Martin. I've added a few new updates, plus an old video of him singing when he was the frontman for his band, It's Alive. I was surprised by the quality of the music, and his voice. It sounds a little like early Bon Jovi. I'm sure at this point, he had no idea that his life would soon change, to ultimately becoming one of the top songwriters/producers in pop music history.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on October 13, 2012:
Hi Alecia, nice to see a fellow hubber visit my Max Martin page. Most of my visitors come in from searches. He does have a huge influence on Pop music and has written/produced some of the best pop songs. I know he has his critics, but after I started really listening to some of these songs, you can hear the production genius he seems to possess. He's busy now with some of the top pop artists. We'll be hearing more from him, for sure. This hub is updated weekly with his current work on the Hot 100. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on October 13, 2012:
I am very familiar with Max Martin and didn't know how much he's influencing current music. I have to say he's made some of the greatest pop songs of the past fifteen years with Britney and Backstreet being chief among them. But I also loved the stuff he did with P!nk and Kelly Clarkson- this is a cool hub that finally gives a face to a name we've been hearing for years.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on July 08, 2012:
Have you heard Beauty and a Beat by Justin Bieber? I'm not a huge JB fan, but hearing this song produced by Max Martin, I was pleasantly surprised. It has a nice, solid, pop beat and his voice sounds great. You can listen below.
lillyy on April 08, 2012:
Max Martin, you, beethoven of pop
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 05, 2011:
I've updated with a couple of good links in the (above) References and Additional Max Martin Mania section. The Cheiron Songwriters Forum and the Shellback/Martin article published in the Swedish magazine, Style. It is an English translation. Martin/Shellback fans - enjoy!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on October 26, 2011:
livelonger, you're right, most people would not know he's behind all of these songs. He has two more songs that debuted this week on the charts, Criminal/Britney Spears and The One That Got Away/Katy Perry. We'll see how they move up the charts!
Thanks! Always great to see you!
Jason Menayan from San Francisco on October 26, 2011:
Very informative! I doubt very many people would recognize his name, although just about everyone has heard the music he's penned. I just read on Wikipedia that his real name is Martin Karl Sandberg. Kudos on getting a link from his official Facebook page!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on September 04, 2011:
Joel, thanks for the spelling note! Appreciated. ;)
That's great to hear about your musical career having been impacted by Denniz and Martin. Their music is dynamic and fun. The sheer volume of work is more than impressive, Martin is very worthy of more recognition. I share this article in hopes it can be a resource for Martin fans and followers of some of pop's biggest hits. Thanks for reading.
Joel Kalsi on September 04, 2011:
Cheiron and Tom Talomaa mispelled by the way :)
Joel Kalsi on September 04, 2011:
I've been a fan of his work since around 1997-98 when I was training to get on my own musical career. Both Denniz and Max made a great impact on me back then, and still do.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on September 03, 2011:
I am so happy to see Max Martin's Facebook page shared this hub on his wall. Thanks! http://www.facebook.com/maxmartinfanpage
Katie McMurray from Ohio on February 10, 2011:
WOW what an amazing body of work Max Martin has accomplished and working with so many great entertainers. WOW :) Katie
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on February 08, 2011:
Hey Brent, thanks for reading. It's the same with other prolific songwriters also. Diane Warren has written so many of the greatest love songs and hardly anyone knows her name, or one thing about her.
It was work finding the info I did for Martin, because he's not a 'media hog' like some songwriters/producers. Currently Dr. Luke is getting a lot of recognition and he has been inspired and mentored by Martin. Martin taught him the power of tension and build up to those incredible choruses in their songs. ['Since U Been Gone' is a great song to hear that tension and build up.] He's up for Producer of the Year for a lot of songs that have been co-written and co-produced by Martin. I hope MM receives some much due recognition in the upcoming GRAMMY's. I know Sweden is very proud of him. I think a lot of people don't understand pop music, but the production behind it is complex and time consuming and takes a lot of talent, which is one reason why Martin can keep writing monster hits. I appreciate your comment. Thanks.
Brent on February 08, 2011:
Because America is all about the packaging and not the content people like Max Martin are never given their just reward. People like him should be awed for their ability and not the people singing his songs. Those singers are a dime a dozen if not thousands but there very few people in the world like Max Martin, maybe one in 50 million.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on January 21, 2011:
sometimes it's just nice to put on the headphones and listen to the magic. I never get tired of these songs. That has to be some kind of something... :]
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on January 11, 2011:
Britney's Hold It Against Me was released a day early and it hit the airwaves and internet with explosive energy. It's a high energy, techno, club beat with classic Britney vocals that is sure to go straight to the top. I downloaded it a few minutes before midnight and it sounds amazing. Martin/Dr. Luke have done it again!
It's great to see Britney back.
De Greek from UK on December 16, 2010:
Good way to learn for old wrecks like me who have no idea of the modern music scene :-))
WestOcean from Great Britain on December 13, 2010:
RebekahELLE, thanks for another amazing hub. I wish I had the song-writing skills of Max Martin! Creative talent and global popularity ... sounds just like Hubpages :-)
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 11, 2010:
lol, that's for sure. she's got that down perfect. she was so young at the time. I think this song is my new favorite pop song. I'm thrilled this hub introduced you to the pop monster, Max Martin. and thanks so much for stopping by. I need to visit my friend on the west coast. :]
Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on December 11, 2010:
Hey Rebekah, very nicely done and thanks for introducing me to Max Martin. He does have a way with composition and beat. It was a good thing Britney got a chance with her song--can you imagine anyone else singing "Oh baby baby" the way she does. =:)
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 11, 2010:
thanks cookingdiva. happy to have found you also! :]
I think there are many who don't know of him, so I wanted to write about him, as his work is still very much alive and well worldwide. Britney Spear's new cd is set for a March release date and they worked together once again. I'm looking forward to hearing it.
cookingdiva on December 10, 2010:
I knew these songs but I did not know much about Max martin, so thanks for the knowledge! I love all these songs and they are great. Thanks for visiting my hub!
I am happy to have found you.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 09, 2010:
yes, he was the singer/frontman for It's Alive, a Swedish band from the late 80's/90's. He went by the name of Martin White in the band. Earthquake Visions is the name of their second album which was released from the Cherion Studio label in 1993. He then began working for the Cherion with Denniz Pop. Now he produces all of the above artists and many more. Thanks for stopping by, always nice to see you.
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on December 09, 2010:
My friend, I never knew about Max Martin. But after read this hub, I thought he is very famous singer and very talented too. Thanks for share about him. I'll search more about his album. Thank you very much. Take care!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 09, 2010:
thanks Pamela for reading and leaving a comment. I chose those particular videos because they're the official music video for the song. Martin does the writing/producing of the actual song. He has nothing to do with the video production. Happy you enjoyed the hub!
@kozmic, I think you're right. If you do a bit of googling Swedish producers, there's a lot going on over there. ABBA did write a number of great songs.
thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.
kozmicbluej on December 09, 2010:
Must be something about being Swedish and being able to write pop songs, ABBA seemed to manage a couple...!
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 09, 2010:
Great hub. It is always nice to read about success. You did a great job with the videos and information as the hub looked great. Thanks for the information.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 08, 2010:
twilight, I'm inserting more links in the same order as above, hoping these may work for you and others.
let me know is these work for you.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 08, 2010:
Thanks for reading therepublicoflife. I think musicians and songwriters can easily see his talent and the sense of energy in his songs. I think there are a lot of closet pop music lovers, not ready to admit that this is decent music, but it is. good luck with your music! I have two musician sons, so music is very much a part of our lives. I can't imagine life without music.
Twilight, I was hoping the copyright limitation wouldn't happen outside of the US! I may have to find some alternative videos. I picked these particular songs to show some of his best hits, and yet all with a different twist. But I think within these songs, they're easily identifiable as his work. His work with melody and different sounds, layering the vocals are all part of what makes his music so popular. thanks for reading!
Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on December 08, 2010:
I have just read the hub and was impressed by the way it was written and the information presented so clearly. Not being into pop music at all, I was nonetheless inspired to click on each available like to YouTube. Horrors! Because of copyright limitations, I am not permitted to watch even one. But you hub has encouraged me to "improve my education". Thanks.
TheRepublicofLife from Earth on December 08, 2010:
Great article. I'm a musician myself, so its always good to read of the success of guys like this. I first started hearing his name a couple years ago with N*Sync and Britney.