I was listening to an interview of Ryan Tedder today. Tedder has his own band, and writes songs for many of the current pop stars like Beyonce Knowles. I respect him for the fact that he actually plays in a band and worked his way up to being a producer, writer, and star. When I did a bit of research on Beyonce Knowles, I found that I can’t say the same thing. I can’t seem to find a single Knowles song that she wrote on her own.
When Knowles is credited for being a writer on any of her songs, there is at least one other person also credited. Most times there are four or five “writers” listed for her songs. The more I read into this, the less that I feel she actually writes anything. She is wise to take songwriting credit, as that’s the best way to get paid. As for the hit songs she’s credited for, not a single one is actually written exclusively by her. Still, I'm not there when the sausage is being made, so I can't say that she doesn't contribute to the melody, lyrics, arrangement, etc. She often says that she's "inspired" by others when it comes to creating music. In fact, there was a bit of controversy related to her video “All the Single Ladies.” Some say it was a Bob Fosse rip off. She eventually claimed that it was a tribute to the late choreographer. Chalk that up to "inspiration."
I’m not saying that you have to be a singer songwriter in order to be respected. She can certainly sing, and she can certainly dance. Can she actually write, and arrange a song on her own? The world may never know.
As for Kelly Clarkson, I found one site that claims that she wrote the lyrics and melody for the song Because of You. After a bit more research, I see that she had help with that song. In fact, all of the songs that charted for Clarkson were co-written by a number of other people. I feel the need to find at least one current pop start that writes their own songs.
Lady Gaga Writes Her Own Songs
Lady Gaga writes her own songs. It was a relief to find that she actually did the hard work of creating her own songs, rather than work the talent show angles and hope that someone would write for her. In her early days, she fronted a group called the SGBand. She wrote her own songs while in that group. In fact, she was also a contracted writer for Sony/ATV.
You don’t have to like her music, but at the very least you have to respect an artist that can actually write, compose, and perform their own music. The pop music world is full of casting call "you fit the Johnny Bravo suit" artists. Give credit where credit is due.