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Jose Feliciano Cited by Billboard Magazine

In this month's Billboard Magazine, Jose Feliciano has been recognized as a writer of one of only (25) Top 10 Hot -100 Hits This Century, Penned Without Co-Writers.

Excerpted Article by Andrew Unterberger 01/25/2022

On Monday (Jan. 24), an L.A. Times interview with Damon Albarn caused quite a stir in the music world, with the Blur and Gorillaz frontman dismissing Taylor Swift as a songwriter — first by claiming she doesn’t write her songs, then (once corrected) amending to say that her co-writing many of her hit songs “doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different than writing.” (He later went on to praise “Billie Eilish and her brother [Finneas],” who of course have co-written most of the former’s hit songs.)

Albarn’s comments received heavy backlash, including from Swift herself, who called herself “such a big fan of yours until I saw this,” and asserted, “I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f–ked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.” (Albarn subsequently apologized to Swift “unreservedly and unconditionally,” claiming “i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait.”)

Putting aside the fact that Taylor Swift did, in fact, pen her entire third album, 2010’s Speak Now, without any co-writers — something Albarn cannot claim for any Blur or Gorillaz LP — the controversy generated also much public discussion about the nature of songwriting, and how remarkably few hit songs these days are written solo. When Billboard crunched the numbers in 2020, we found that the percentage of Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits that were penned by a lone songwriter had decreased every decade since the ’70s.

Indeed, since the beginning of the 21st century, a mere 13 of the 283 songs to top the chart have just one credited writer. Of the 25 solo-penned Hot 100 top 10 hits of the past decade, J. Cole has the most with four, but tied second on the list with three each are Tyler Joseph of twenty one pilots, and none other than Taylor Swift herself.

The complete breakdown:

Artist, title (writer, Hot 100 peak, date of peak) Tyga, “Rack City” (Tyga, No. 7, 2/18/12) Taylor Swift, “Begin Again” (Taylor Swift, No. 7, 10/13/12) Taylor Swift, “Red” (Taylor Swift, No. 6, 10/20/12) OneRepublic, “Counting Stars” (Ryan Tedder, No. 2, 1/18/14) Pharrell Williams, “Happy” (Pharrell Williams, No. 1, 3/8/14) Bastille, “Pompeii” (Dan Smith, No. 4, 3/15/14) Soko, “We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow” (Soko, No. 9, 3/29/14) Calvin Harris, “Summer” (Calvin Harris, No. 7, 7/19/14) Bobby Shmurda, “Hot Boy” (Bobby Shmurda, No. 6, 11/22/14) Hozier, “Take Me to Church” (Hozier, No. 2, 12/20/14) twenty one pilots, “Stressed Out” (Tyler Joseph, No. 2, 2/27/16) Mike Posner, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” (Mike Posner, No. 4, 5/21/16) twenty one pilots, “Ride” (Tyler Joseph, No. 5, 9/10/16) twenty one pilots, “Heathens” (Tyler Joseph, No. 2, 9/24/16) J. Cole, “Deja Vu” (J. Cole, No. 7, 12/31/16) Lil Uzi Vert, “XO TOUR Llif3” (Lil Uzi Vert, No. 7, 6/24/17) Ed Sheeran, “Perfect” (Ed Sheeran, No. 1, 12/23/17) J. Cole, “KOD” (J. Cole, No. 10, 5/5/18) J. Cole, “Middle Child” (J. Cole, No. 4, 2/9/19) Taylor Swift, “Lover” (Taylor Swift, No. 10, 9/7/19) Brenda Lee, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (Johnny Marks, No. 2, 12/28/19) Burl Ives, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (Johnny Marks, No. 4, 1/4/20) Tones and I, “Dance Monkey” (Tones and I, 2/29/20) Jose Feliciano, “Feliz Navidad” (Jose Feliciano, No. 6, 1/2/21) J. Cole, “interlude” (J. Cole, No. 8, 5/22/21) Wham!, “Last Christmas” (George Michael, No. 7, 1/1/22) Glass Animals, “Heat Waves” (Dave Bayley, No. 3, 1/15/22) Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto Cast, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, 1/29/22 No. 2) Jessica Darrow, “Surface Pressure” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, No. 10, 1/29/22)

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