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Top 10 Pop Music Producers of 2011


The producer plays a crucial role in the development of a pop music recording. These are the 10 most accomplished pop producers of 2011.

1. Dr. Luke

Dr. Luke
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

With #1 hits from Katy Perry and Britney Spears, it seemed difficult to get away from the sound of Dr. Luke's dance-oriented pop in 2011. In November Sony announced that he will receive his own recording label Kemosabe Records in exchange for a five year exclusive contract for production work with Sony.

Top Productions in 2011

  • Katy Perry - "E.T." - #1
  • Katy Perry - "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - #1
  • Britney Spears - "Hold It Against Me" - #1
  • Britney Spears - "Till the World Ends" - #3
  • Katy Perry - "The One That Got Away" - #4
  • Flo Rida - "Good Feeling" - #5
  • Ke$ha - "Blow" - #7

2. Smeezingtons

Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

The production trio of Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine lost the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, but that didn't stop their momentum. "Lighters" by Bad Meets Evil saw them venturing into rap territory. At the end of the year the Smeezingtons were back near the top of the pop singles chart with Bruno Mars' Twilight hit "It Will Rain."

Top Productions in 2011

  • Cee Lo Green - "F**k You" - #2
  • Bruno Mars - "It Will Rain" - #3
  • Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars - "Lighters" - #4
  • Bruno Mars - "The Lazy Song" - #4
  • Far East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder - "Rocketeer" - #7

3. Fernando Garibay

Fernando Garibay
Courtesy Fernando Garibay

As Lady Gaga's music director, Mexican born Fernando Garibay shepherded the Born This Way, project, a landmark pop effort. His production of the individual songs "Born This Way," "The Edge Of Glory," and "Marry the Night" are towering achievements.

Top Productions in 2011

  • Lady Gaga - "Born This Way" - #1
  • Lady Gaga - "The Edge Of Glory" - #3

4. Max Martin

Max Martin
Photo by Kia Naddermier, courtesy Maratone

The upbeat pop sound of Sweden's Max Martin continued to roll across pop radio in 2011. In addition to his major hits for Katy Perry and Britney Spears, he ventured into new territory producing the original song "Loser Like Me" for Glee. Max Martin also gave Avril Lavigne the radio hit "What the Hell." The unmistakable pop of Max Martin and frequent collaborator Dr. Luke was nearing #1 once again at the end of the year with Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away."

Top Productions in 2011

  • Katy Perry - "E.T." - #1
  • Katy Perry - "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - #1
  • Britney Spears - "Hold It Against Me" - #1
  • Pink - "F**kin' Perfect" - #2
  • Britney Spears - "Till the World Ends" - #3
  • Katy Perry - "The One That Got Away" - #4
  • Glee Cast - "Loser Like Me" - #6
  • Britney Spears - "I Wanna Go" - #7
  • Ke$ha - "Blow" - #7

5. Benny Blanco

Benny Blanco
Photo courtesy Dese'Rae L. Stage

Benny Blanco continued to establish his own independent production sound in 2011. The result was the massive hit singles "Moves Like Jagger" and "Stereo Hearts." At the young age of 23, Benny Blanco is one of the hottest of pop producers.

Top Productions in 2011

  • Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera - "Moves Like Jagger" - #1
  • Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine - "Stereo Hearts" - #4
  • Wiz Khalifa - "No Sleep" - #6
  • Ke$ha - "Blow" - #7

6. Paul Epworth

Paul Epworth
Courtesy Paul Epworth

Paul Epworth is a key architect of the sound of Adele's huge hit "Rolling In the Deep." Late in the year Florence and the Machine's second album Ceremonials demonstrated just how powerful his production work can be. He is one of the hottest of young production talents in the music business.

Top Productions in 2011

  • Adele - "Rolling In the Deep" - #1

7. David Guetta

David Guetta
David Guetta

David Guetta propelled himself into the pop mainstream in 2011 with his album Nothing But the Beat featuring a who's who of pop talent on vocals. The biggest of the songs is the top 5 pop smash "Without You" featuring Usher. David Guetta also stayed in the pop production spotlight through his work with other artists including Kelly Rowland.

Top Productions in 2011

  • David Guetta featuring Usher - "Without You" - #4

8. Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris
Photo by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

Scotland's Calvin Harris is a successful recording artist as well as producer. He took a major step into the US pop market this year working with Rihanna and the result was the monster hit "We Found Love" with Calvin Harris' sonic fingerprints all over it.

Top Productions in 2011

  • Rihanna - "We Found Love" - #1

9. Ryan Tedder

Ryan Tedder
Photo by Cindy Ord / Getty Images

2011 was a good year for OneRepublic leader Ryan Tedder. His band made their way into the top 10 with "Good Life." Ryan Tedder helped provide the stomping beat behind Adele's popular album track "Rumour Has It" off 21. He co-wrote and produced Colbie Caillat's top 5 adult pop hit "Brighter Than the Sun," and co-wrote and produced the title song from Jennifer Hudson's I Remember Me album.

Top Productions in 2011

  • OneRepublic - "Good Life" - #8

10. Stargate

Photo by Stephen Shugerman / Getty Images

StarGate moved in some different directions in 2011. Their rap production with newcomer Wiz Khalifa was a #1 smash helped along by the presence of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. The Norwegian pair put together the controversial hit "S&M" for Rihanna and late in the year were collaborating with British pop star Marina and the Diamonds.

Top Productions in 2011

  • Rihanna - "S&M" - #1
  • Wiz Khalifa - "Black and Yellow" - #1
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