You might know Ryan Tedder as the frontman of the pop rock band OneRepublic. You know, that band who sings the song “Apologize“? What you might not know is that Ryan Tedder is one of the biggest pop songwriters and producers in the industry today, writing and producing hits for Beyoncé, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson.
Tedder was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and began learning to play piano at the age of three. He’s a self-taught vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, who spent much of his early life performing in church, school, and in bands. A move to Nashville saw Tedder get his start in the music industry, producing and singing on demos for around $300-400 per song. He was offered a publishing deal early on, but preferred to pursue a career as a solo artist.
Ryan Tedder was the winner of an MTV singing competition hosted by Lance Bass. The prize was a record and publishing deal with Lance Bass’ now-folded Free Lance Entertainment, neither of which materialized. Tedder’s appearance on MTV didn’t yield any direct benefits, but it led to interest from Timbaland, which would secure his career indefinitely.
After seeing Ryan Tedder sing on MTV, Timbaland invited him to come and produce artists under his wing, and develop himself as an artist between 2002 and 2004. Soon after, he secured a record deal for his band OneRepublic, and a publishing deal for any other unrelated output.
OneRepublic broke through with the smash hit “Apologize” (which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100), which saw his career as both an artist and a producer blossom. As a producer, he co-wrote and produced the Leona Lewis hit “Bleeding Love.” The success of this song opened many doors in the music industry for Tedder — suddenly, his songs were in incredibly high demand. Tedder even wrote a song that was so good, both Beyoncé AND Kelly Clarkson recorded versions of it. If you listen to “Halo,” the progression is identical to Clarkson’s song “Already Gone.” The similarity between the two songs put Tedder in hot water with Clarkson, since her single came out several months after Beyoncé’s, but it hasn’t hindered his career in the slightest. He continues to write music for OneRepublic, and has works with artists like Adele and B.o.B. in 2012.
Ryan Tedder has the ability to craft an expert pop ballad that clings to your head and your heart for days. Let’s get sentimental, and check out some of his best work to date on this edition of Friday Mixtape.