This year’s Grammys had a few surprises like Beck winning album of the year, and Kanye being less than thrilled. But perhaps the biggest shocker was this: Max Martin just won his first Grammy.
By sheer number of hits, the Swedish producer and songwriter is arguably the most accomplished pop music songwriter in modern history. His 54 top-10 singles -- for the likes of Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Backstreet Boys and many other teen-friendly pop acts -- clobber the Beatles’ tally by 20, and easily bests closest competitor Madonna’s record of 38.
With 19 songwriting number ones, he’s behind only Lennon and McCartney’s combined Beatles and solo careers (and looks poised to overtake the Beatles’ 20 top-10s as a songwriting team). Only George Martin beats him for production number ones as well.
And on Sunday, he unbelievably won just his first Grammy.
His nod came for producer of the year, non-classical, and it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t deserved on the merits. With hits including Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” and Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” Martin dug his heels into the upper reaches of the pop charts.
His accomplishments are an open secret in pop - Martin rarely gives interviews and largely shuns media attention, but the sheer volume and quality of his hits have been widely documented for years. But it seems incomprehensible that the man responsible for moving more units than any other individual in contemporary pop music could just now be getting his Grammy dues.
“My first one,” Martin said as he accepted his award on Sunday, to the surprise of many in attendance. So don’t feel quite so bad, Kanye -- the Grammys miss what’s right in front of their noses all the time.
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