Q: How many songwriters does it take to write a hit? A: A lot.

If you take a scroll through the Wikipedia pages for any album released by today’s top pop and hip-hop artists, you’ll notice that a lot of space is taken up by the number of people credit with writing each song. Some required so much help that you could field a starting lineup for an NFL game with that number.

The BBC got curious, so they looked into the situation.

“Rudimental’s uplifting dance track These Days has been named the most-performed song of 2018 at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards.

“A major international hit, it topped charts across Europe, and became the UK’s fifth best-selling single of 2018.

“But their prize had to be shared between nine writers – a phenomenon that’s become increasingly common.

“According to research by Music Week, it took an average of 5.34 people to write last year’s Top 100 biggest singles.

“That’s up from 4.84 in 2017, and 4.53 the year before. So what’s going on?”

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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