How many times in the day do you sing along to your favorite songs without giving a second thought to who wrote them? Songwriters are a huge part of what makes the music industry go ’round, but rarely are they given the credit they deserve for their work behind the scenes. It’s the nature of the beast: songs are written for celebrities, who in turn, make them their own—which is kind of the point. You’re not supposed to be thinking about Frank Ocean when Beyoncé belts out their 2011 deep cut “I Miss You.” But, thank God he wrote it, right?
Today, one of the most coveted songwriters in the industry goes by the name of The-Dream. With over a decade dedicated to the game, he’s got some pretty famous works under his belt, including Beyoncé “Single Ladies” and “6 Inch,” Rihanna “Umbrella,” and Justin Bieber “Baby.” But, his list of songwriting credits is far more extensive than that. Amidst putting out his own albums, The-Dream has also written for the likes of Kelly Rowland, Usher, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, and even Kim Kardashian when she randomly decided she wanted to be the next pop princess—in braids, mind you. But we digress.
To celebrate Terius’ 40th birthday, we put together a list of all the songs you didn’t know (or forgot) he had a hand in writing. Funny thing is, you probably know every word to every one of these, except of course that Kim K. song. Here we go:
1. “Bed” – J. Holiday
Back in the summer of 2007, “Bed” was one of the hottest R&B tracks out. It peaked at number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and helped put newcomer J. Holiday on the map. The-Dream co-wrote this song along with Los Da Mystro, who also produced it.
2. “Trading Places” – Usher
“Trading Places” was another hot R&B hit penned by The-Dream and Los Da Mystro. A fan favorite, the song peaked at number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart back in 2008.The fifth single from Usher’s fifth studio album, Here I Stand, you can still catch it playing on your favorite late night radio show up until this day.
3. “Obsessed” – Mariah Carey
Not only was this a hit song that inspired an amazing remix featuring East Atlanta Santa Gucci Mane, it was so insane, it reignited the beef between Mariah Carey and Eminem. Written and produced by Carey, The-Dream, and Tricky Stewart, it was the lead (and most successful) single on Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.
4. “Dance For You” – Beyoncé
Although “Dance For You” was never released as an official single, it’s been one of our favorite Beyoncé songs for years. The popular deep cut featuring a sensual Bey in lap dance mode was penned by The-Dream, Bey, and Tricky Stewart as a part of her 2011 album, 4.
5. “Dirty Laundry” – Kelly Rowland
Six years ago, Kelly Rowland opened up about a very dark time in her life. With the help of The-Dream, she told the world the story of how she handled an abusive relationship, just as Beyoncé skyrocketed to fame. “Dirty Laundry,” co-written and produced by The-Dream, was a moment in Kelly’s career we’ll never forget.
6. “Flawless” – Beyoncé
Yet another Beyoncé hit that The-Dream had a hand in. One of the most talked about singles on Bey’s self-titled fifth studio album, “Flawless” became an overnight anthem for women everywhere back in 2013. The fan-favorite, which inspired an equally popular video, was written by Bey, The-Dream, Chauncey Hollis, and Rey Reel.
7. “Jam” – Kim Kardashian
Kim K. tapped the best of the best for her sudden foray into the music industry—but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Watch her video for “Jam” just above.
8.” No Church in the Wild” – Jay Z, Frank Ocean
When Jay Z and Kanye West got together for a joint album, it was a music history moment to remember. Not only did The-Dream help write the 2011 Watch The Throne single “No Church In The Wild,” he provided additional vocals.
9. “Hard” – Rihanna
After penning Rihanna’s 2007 single “Umbrella,” a hit fit for a pop princess, The-Dream teamed up with RiRi for the more gangster 2009 cut “Hard.” Featuring Jeezy, the song went on to become Rihanna’s thirteenth top ten single on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The list goes on… Happy Birthday, Dream!
Amy Winehouse: 14 Lesser-Known Facts About Her Life Through Photos
1. A baby-faced Amy Winehouse in 2003.Source:Getty 1 of 14
2. Amy Winehouse at the shortlist announcement for the BRIT Awards 2004.Source:Getty 2 of 14
3. Amy at the 'Nationwide Mercury Music Prize' 2004.Source:Getty 3 of 14
4. Amy Winehouse and Russell Brand at the Q Awards 2006.Source:Getty 4 of 14
5. Amy performs at Joe's Pub in NYC in 2006.Source:Getty 5 of 14
6. Amy after receiving the Pop Award for 'Back to Black' at the South Bank Show Awards 2007.Source:Getty 6 of 14
7. Amy performs on stage at the BRIT Awards 2007.Source:Getty 7 of 14
8. Amy and Blake Fielder-Civil at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007.Source:Getty 8 of 14
9. Amy performs for the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony via video link in 2008.Source:Getty 9 of 14
10. Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson perform at the BRIT Awards 2008.Source:Getty 10 of 14
11. Amy Winehouse with her father Mitch Winehouse in 2008.Source:Getty 11 of 14
12. Amy having a night out in Camden in 2009.Source:Getty 12 of 14
13. Amy makes a surprise appearance with Mark Ronson in 2010.Source:Getty 13 of 14
14. Amy's last performance in 2011.Source:Getty 14 of 14
The Industry Pen: 9 Songs You Never Knew (Or Forgot) The-Dream Wrote was originally published on globalgrind.com