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Top 10 Pop Music Producers of 2010

The Talent In the Boot


The producer's role in pop music is almost equal parts coach, supervisor, and recording designer. The producer is indispensable for turning out a memorable pop hit. These are 10 of the most successful pop music producers of the year 2010.

1. Smeezingtons

Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

This year the production trio of Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine burst into the pop mainstream with an identifiable style and approach that owes a great deal to classic pop music. Their songs appeal to a wide cross-section of music fans with songs that hit an emotional core while being simple and straightforward enough for an easy singalong.

Top Productions in 2010

  • B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars - "Nothin' On You" - #1
  • Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars - "Billionaire" - #4
  • Bruno Mars - "Just the Way You Are" - #1
  • Bruno Mars - "Grenade" - #5
  • Cee Lo Green - "F**k You!" - #9

2. Dr. Luke

Dr. Luke
Photo courtesy Dr. Luke

The sound of Dr. Luke's melody-focused uptempo dance-pop production work was ubiquitous on pop radio all year long. Whether he was collaborating with other producers or working as the sole man in the booth, Dr. Luke knows how to craft a hit.

Top Productions in 2010

  • Ke$ha - "Your Love Is My Drug" - #4
  • Ke$ha - "Take It Off" - #4
  • Ke$ha - "We R Who We R" - #1
  • 3OH!3 - "My First Kiss" - #9
  • Katy Perry - "California Gurls" - #1
  • Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream" - #1
  • Taio Cruz - "Dynamite" - #2

3. Alex Da Kid

Alex Da Kid
Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

With two major hits, "Airplanes" "Love the Way You Lie," British producer Alex Da Kid ushered in a new, dramatically emotional, fusion of hip hop and pop. It was one of the most exciting new sounds in the pop mainstream of the year.

Top Productions in 2010

  • B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams and Eminem - "Airplanes" - #2
  • Eminem featuring Rihanna - "Love the Way You Lie" - #1

4. Max Martin

Max Martin
Photo by Kia Naddermier, courtesy Maratone

Sweden's Max Martin has been one of the world's top pop producers for the past 15 years. An argument can be made that he is a primary architect for the sound of mainstream pop music today. In 2010 he showed no signs of slowing down co-producing three #1 pop smashes and a total of six top 10 hits.

Top Productions in 2010

  • Adam Lambert - "Whataya Want From Me" - #10
  • Katy Perry - "California Gurls" - #1
  • Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream" - #1
  • Taio Cruz - "Dynamite" - #2
  • Usher featuring Pitball - "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - #4
  • Pink - "Raise Your Glass" - #1

5. StarGate

Photo by Stephen Shugerman / Getty Images

StarGate, a pair of Norwegian studio talents, are among the foremost of producers in merging R&B with pop music. They helped Rihanna top the pop singles chart with three solo hits this year and worked with Katy Perry on her third consecutive #1 smash "Firework."

Top Productions in 2010

  • Rihanna - "Rude Boy" - #1
  • Rihanna - "Only Girl (In the World) - #1
  • Rihanna - "What's My Name?" - #1
  • Katy Perry - "Firework" - #1

6. Benny Blanco

Benny Blanco
Photo courtesy Dese'Rae L. Stage

22 year old Benny Blanco emerged initially assisting Dr. Luke on production projects, but this year he stepped into his own on Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah," Mike Posner's "Please Don't Go," and the Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston duet "Eeenie Meenie."

Top Productions in 2010

  • Ke$ha - "Blah Blah Blah" - #7
  • Ke$ha - "Your Love Is My Drug" - #4
  • Ke$ha - "We R Who We R" - #1
  • Taio Cruz - "Dynamite" - #2
  • Katy Perry - "California Gurls" - #1
  • Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream" - #1
  • 3OH!3 - "My First Kiss" - #9

7. J.R. Rotem

J.R. Rotem
Photo by David Livingston / Getty Images

J.R. Rotem continued to introduce us to new pop stars in 2010. Auburn became the female voice of the Beluga Heights label. J.R. Rotem helped The Ready Set into the pop top 40 for the first time with "Love Like Woe."

Top Productions in 2010

  • Jason Derulo - "In My Head" - #5
  • Jason Derulo - "Ridin' Solo" - #9
  • Iyaz - "Replay" - #2

8. Boi-1da

Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Canadian hip hop producer Boi-1da first made a major splash in the pop spotlight producing Drake's "Best I Ever Had" in 2009. This year he helped Eminem debut at #1 producing the inspirational "Not Afraid." He was also the man in the booth for Drake's "Over" and "Miss Me."

Top Productions in 2010

  • Eminem - "Not Afraid" - #1

9. Steve Mac

Steve Mac
Photo courtesy David Howells Rokstone Productions

British producer Steve Mac has been creating major UK hit songs for the past 20 years. This year was no different with him producing #1 hits by both JLS and the Wanted. However, some of his biggest success has been working in the studio with Susan Boyle on her two #1 hit albums.

Top Productions in 2010

  • JLS - "The Club Is Alive" - #1 UK
  • The Wanted - "All Time Low" - #1 UK
  • Susan Boyle - The Gift - #1 Album

10. will.i.am

Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

will.i.am is not only a major architect of the massive hits by his group the Black Eyed Peas, but he also stepped forward this year creating hits by Nicki Minaj and Usher who hit #1 with the massive smash "OMG."

Top Productions in 2010

  • Black Eyed Peas - "Imma Be" - #1
  • Black Eyed Peas - "Rock That Body" - #9
  • Black Eyed Peas - "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - #4
  • Usher - "OMG" - #1
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