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These 20 Hit Songs That Were Written By Other Artists Will Seriously Shock You

How many times have you been listening to a song, thinking it was written by that singer, then your world gets rocked when you learn it was written by some entirely different artist? Well, spoiler alert: A lot of singers don't write their own songs. Shocking, I know. It's almost as if songwriting is a completely separate skill from singing! There are some truly shocking hit songs that were written by other artists when you take a look through songwriting history, though.

For example, did you know Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" isn't an original Whitney Houston song? I feel like this one is pretty well known at this point, but there are still those who don't know that Houston's arguably most iconic song is actually a cover of a song of the same name by Dolly Parton. Yup, "I Will Always Love You" was originally a country love song.

Singers not writing their own music (especially in the pop genre) is actually really common. And frequently enough, songwriters end up becoming famous singers in their own right once they get to a point where they no longer want to simply sell the songs they write. But it is one hell of a lucrative line of work once you start making money off selling your tracks to big-name artists.

Here are 20 hugely popular songs that were written by other famous artists:

1. "Party In The U.S.A." — Miley Cyrus

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Songwriter: Jessie J

Before she rose to fame as a solo artist, Jessie J wrote one of Miley Cyrus' biggest hits, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She told Glamour U.K. in 2014 that she had originally written the song for herself with Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly, but ended up not recording it. She said the song ended up paying her rent for three years.

2. "Love Yourself" — Justin Bieber

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Songwriter: Ed Sheeran

Sheeran penned "Love Yourself" from Bieber's Purpose album, then he had Bieber on his own No. 6 Collaborations Project on the track "I Don't Care."

3. "Make It Right" — BTS

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Songwriter: Ed Sheeran

Sheeran also contributed to K-Pop sensation BTS' 2019 album, Map Of The Soul: Persona, with the song "Make It Right."

4. "Sorry" — Justin Bieber

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Songwriter: Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels is a fairly new solo name on the music scene, but she's been writing hits for other artists for a minute. She penned Justin Bieber's "Sorry" for his Purpose album, arguably the album's biggest hit.

5. "Baby" — Justin Bieber

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Songwriter: Christina Milian

Try not to let this blow your mind, but Christina Milian is responsible for Justin Bieber's first hit. Yes, it's true. She wrote "Baby." She did that. Bieber has Usher to thank for discovering him, but he owes a heck of a lot to Milian!!

6. "Irreplaceable" — Beyoncé

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Songwriter: Ne-Yo

Beyoncé doesn't write a lot of her own songs. Lots of mainstream artists don't, honestly. But Ne-Yo does! The "So Sick" singer wrote Queen Bey's early classic "Irreplaceable," and reportedly regretted selling it afterwards. I would too! That song's iconic.

7. "Diamonds" — Rihanna

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Songwriter: Sia

Shine bright like... all the money Sia has in the bank thanks to writing Rihanna's "Diamonds." The devil works hard, but Sia works harder.

8. "Hollaback Girl" — Gwen Stefani

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Songwriter: Pharrell Williams

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Pharrell Williams is behind just about every iconic song you could think of. The list gets even more overwhelming when you factor in the songs he produced. Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" is one of countless hit songs he penned.

9. "Pretty Hurts" — Beyoncé

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Songwriter: Sia

Pharrell Williams and Sia have a lot in common, in that they've made a sh*t ton of money writing a sh*t ton of songs for big-name artists. Sia wrote "Pretty Hurts," the opening song to Beyoncé's 2013 self-titled album.

10. "Breakaway" — Kelly Clarkson

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Songwriter: Avril Lavigne

I'll spread my wings and I'll... buy a song from Avril Lavigne! Clarkson's 2004 hit was actually written by emo queen Avril Lavigne. And then it was featured in The Princess Diaries 2. Yes, I remember that. No, I feel no shame.

11. "American Boy" — Estelle, Kanye West

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Songwriter: John Legend

John Legend wrote this classic hit with will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas.

12. "Better Man" — Little Big Town

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Songwriter: Taylor Swift

Swift returned to her country music roots to pen Little Big Town's "Better Man" in 2016.

13. "Forget You" — Ceelo Green

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Songwriter: Bruno Mars

Before he was a solo artist with an Album of the Year win under his belt, Bruno Mars penned Ceelo Green's stupidly catchy "Forget You."

14. "Get Me Bodied" — Beyoncé

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Songwriter: Solange

Bey likes to keep it in the family. Solange Knowles actually wrote a lot of songs on Beyoncé's past albums! She wrote "Get Me Bodied" (and was featured in the music video), "Upgrade U," and "Why Don't You Love Me" for her older sister.

15. "Till The World Ends" — Britney Spears

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Songwriter: Kesha

Kesha is a pop star in her own right, but she wrote "Till The World Ends" for the Princess of Pop herself.

16. "I'm A Slave 4 U" — Britney Spears

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Songwriter: Pharrell Williams

Who freaking knew that Pharrell wrote "I'm A Slave For U?!" He also wrote Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot," Nelly's "Hot In Herre," and Kelis' "Milkshake." The talent this man has. The power this man has. The cultural impact this man has made.

17. "Little Things" — One Direction

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Songwriter: Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is behind a lot of your favorite One Direction songs, "Little Things" being one of the not-so-little hits. Sheeran also wrote "18," "Moment," and "Over Again" for the group.

18. "Strip That Down" — Liam Payne

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Songwriter: Ed Sheeran

Sheeran continued his One Direction legacy by writing Liam Payne's debut solo single, "Strip That Down."

19. "Rock Your Body" — Justin Timberlake

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Songwriter: Pharrell Williams

Did you think we were done with the Pharrell credits? Think again, b*tches! Pharrell blessed Justin Timberlake by writing "Rock Your Body" and "Señorita" for Timberlake's debut solo album, Justified.

20. "Bad Liar" — Selena Gomez

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Songwriter: Julia Michaels

Michaels wrote the bop that is "Bad Liar," Selena Gomez's 2017 single. She also wrote Gomez's "Hands To Myself." Now that she's a successful solo artist, I guess Michaels could stop writing hits for other artists. I mean, she could, but why would she want to?