How Much Do Songwriters Make In Royalties?

    Inspired by The-Dream’s recent boast that he made $15 million off of writing Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Rolling Stone decided to dive into figuring out how much money songwriters actually make when a pop hit takes off, and the results might be a bit disappointing to those of us who thought it was reasonable for The-Dream to clear $15 million on “Umbrella.”

    Apparently, around $600,000 is the more likely sum that Dream cleared on “Umbrella,” but that’s pretty high compared to the writers of some other mega hits. RS has a list of ten big recent songs, and how much the songwriters likely made on them, and it’s over here to look at. Did you know the dude that wrote “Closing Time” also helped write “Someone Like You”? You do now. And also, the fact that Will.i.am made so much money on “Boom Boom Pow” is the worst. Ever.


    Dan Wilson, Co-Writer, Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’

    TRACK SALES: 3.9 million

    ALBUM SALES: 5.8 million

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $882,700

     

    Lady Gaga, Co-Writer, ‘Poker Face’

    TRACK SALES: 6.5 million

    ALBUM SALES: 1.5 million

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $728,000 

     

    The-Dream, Co-Author, Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’

    TRACK SALES: 4 million

    ALBUM SALES: 2.72 million

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $611,520  

     

    Mark Foster, writer, Foster the People’s ‘Pumped Up Kicks’

    TRACK SALES: 3.8 million

    ALBUM SALES: 671,000

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $406,861  


    Cee Lo Green, Co-Writer, ‘Fuck You!’

    TRACK SALES: 5.4 million

    ALBUM SALES: 458,000

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $533,078  

     

    Taylor Swift, Writer, ‘Speak Now’

    TRACK SALES: 485,000

    ALBUM SALES: 3.9 million

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $399,035  

     

    Will.i.am, Co-Writer, ‘Boom Boom Pow’

    TRACK SALES: 6.3 million

    ALBUM SALES: 3.15 million

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $859,950

     

    Benny Blanco, co-writer, ‘Moves Like Jagger’

    TRACK SALES: 4.1 million

    ALBUM SALES: 928,000

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $457,548

     

    Eminem, Co-Writer, ‘Love the Way You Lie’

    TRACK SALES: 5.3 million

    ALBUM SALES: 4.2 million

    TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $864,500