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