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Who Wrote It? – The Messengers and Justin Bieber, ‘Never Say Never’

Justin Bieber

Photo | Our-Style

‘Who Wrote It?’ is a Hungry Cliff column dedicated to seeking out and giving credit to the original creators of our favorite content.

Justin Bieber’s track ‘Never Say Never’ is such a textbook pop hit. I still believe that it could have (and should have) been as big of a hit as ‘Baby‘ or ‘One Time‘, but I’ll let bygones be bygones. Did you know that it was originally performed by another artist? No? Well, sit back and relax while I explain the creative process behind yet another hit!

The Messengers, a group of songwriters based out of L.A., wrote a track called ‘Sexy Together‘ a few years ago. Up-and-coming artist Travis Garland demoed the single. Justin’s producer had been working with The Messengers in the recording process of ‘My World 2.0‘, heard the track ‘Sexy Together’, bought it, tweaked the lyrics to be a little more age appropriate and ‘Never Say Never’ was officially birthed.

Wow, I wish this story was more complex, but in reality a good majority of hit singles are created this way. There are teams of songwriters all around the country that dedicate their lives to writing “hits” and selling them to artists and producers looking for “that song”. Check out Travis’ and Justin’s versions below!

Videos after the break.

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Who Wrote It? – Chris Sligh and Rascal Flatts, “Here Comes Goodbye”

Chris Sligh and Rascal Flatts

Photo | GospelMusicUpdate

In season 6 of American Idol, a guy named Chris Sligh became a top ten finalist before he was eliminated. His choice of songs during the competition always stuck out to me as being so insanely unique. Covers of dc Talk, MuteMath and Ray LaMontagne? Who else has the guts to sing dc Talk on American Idol!? To this day, no other American Idol contestant has stuck in my head as much as this guy.

Chris Sligh covers dc Talk‘s ‘Wanna Be Loved’

[youtube width=”560″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MRMWo4bMis[/youtube]

Shortly after his stint with American Idol, Chris signed a solo deal with an independent record label based out of Atlanta. He released the album ‘Running Back to You‘ in 2008 which managed to reach #6 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs Charts. For the next year, he toured around the country with over 115 shows!

This is where it gets interesting. In April 2009, Chris sat down with songwriter Clint Lagersberg and wrote the track “Here Comes Goodbye”. The country band Rascal Flatts heard the song, put it “on hold” and chose to record it for their upcoming album. Twelve weeks after their album’s release, “Here Comes Goodbye” went #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Charts!

I love this success story so much because it proves that you don’t have to buy into the hype of American Idol to achieve your dreams. He sang what he wanted, he wasn’t ashamed of his faith and he never gave up. I would attempt to explain Chris’ entire songwriting process for “Here Comes Goodbye”, but his blog explains it perfectly. I remember sitting in my friend’s house in 2007 watching the American Idol auditions and saying “This dude is gonna win!”. Well, I wasn’t quite right BUT, if he would’ve won would he ever have been able to write such an incredible track like “Here Comes Goodbye”? OR would he have been so caught up in contract fine print that he would’ve just put out another rushed and overproduced American Idol winner album? We’ll never know. Does it even matter? This guy proved that you don’t need huge record labels and teams of songwriters and producers to pump out a hit. Instead, he relied on his faith and his talent.

Chris Sligh “Here Comes Goodbye”
[youtube width=”560″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVt7QulnR3k[/youtube]

 

Rascal Flatts “Here Comes Goodbye”

[youtube width=”560″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17VudJ6lr4k[/youtube]