Music News

Ryan Tedder made (more than) $2.5 million last year

That's the big takeaway from Billboard's current cover story on Colorado-bred Ryan Tedder: He made $2.5 million in 2013 on royalties alone. The lion's share of it came from songwriting credits on songs performed by Beyonce, Ellie Goulding, Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, The Fray (hey!) and his own band, OneRepublic.

It's worth a read, but not because that sort of success says anything about the health of the music industry or that being from Colorado changes your chances at also making millions of dollars writing songs. Tedder's less an anomaly than he is (very talented) lottery winner. But the feature does offer interesting insight into the motivations and daily life of our resident pop kingmaker, as well as a preview of things to come.

So yes: It is possible to make $2.5 million on such prosaic things as the actual sale of music in 2013. Which is certainly encouraging. Other things we learned about Ryan Tedder from the Billboard story:

-The bands currently somewhere in the process of recording songs he has written include U2, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Mikky Ekko, Elton John, Cassius and any number of others he's not allowed to talk about.

-The bands he'd like to write songs for include Lorde, Of Monsters and Men and Hozier.

-He is friends with Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake, and he is at the very least on a first-name basis with Benny Blanco.

-He is remarkable as a songwriter at least party because his versatility, in that he can write hits for both Beyonce and Adele and also in that many of his hits span multiple genres.

-He isn't much for life's little details. He claims to have not scrutinized his revenue in any way for over six years, and he does not know whether his record label (a subsidiary of Interscope called Patriot Records) still exists (it does).

-He thinks he could start a solo project that would "surprise the hell out of even Pitchfork," and he almost certainly could. He does not know if he'll ever care enough to do that, though he does care enough to tell Billboard about it.

-He has a very impressive haircut. I'm serious. Look at that thing.

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky