A monster pop hitmaker since the mid-1990s
Has cited ABBA, Kiss, Prince and Swedish composer/lyricist/singer Lasse Holm as inspirations
Swedish songwriter, record producer and singer Max Martin has been on a monster pop hitmaking roll since the mid-1990s, thanks to songs he wrote solely or co-wrote—and often produced--that have been made famous by the likes of Britney Spears ("...Baby One More Time," "3," "Hold It Against Me"), The Backstreet Boys ("I Want It That Way"), Bon Jovi ("It's My Life"), Kelly Clarkson ("Since U Been Gone," "My Life Would Suck Without You"), Katy Perry ("I Kissed a Girl," "California Gurls,"E.T.," "Last Friday Night," "Part of Me," "Roar," "Dark Horse," "Teenage Dream"), Maroon 5 ("One More Night"), Taylor Swift ("Blank Space," "We Are Never Getting Back Together," "Shake It Off," "Bad Blood"), Justin Timberlake ("Can't Stop the Feeling!") and The Weeknd ("Can't Feel My Face"). He's been so successful that since 1999 he's had a hand in writing 22 Billboard Hot 100 chart-toppers and is behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon with the most No. 1 singles on the chart.
Martin was born Karl Martin Sandberg in Stockholm in 1971. He has cited ABBA, Kiss, Prince and Swedish composer/lyricist/singer Lasse Holm as inspirations, but also credits his country's music-education program. As a teenager he sang in various bands before fronting the glam-metal band It's Alive in 1985, and eventually dropped out of high school to concentrate on a music career. His group scored a record deal with producer Denniz PoP's Cheiron Records label and he began collaborating with PoP, who renamed him Max Martin. Hired by Cheiron in 1993, Martin spent two years in the studio learning record production and working on recordings by artists including Rednex, Ace of Base, 3T, Army of Lovers and Leila K. He worked on Backstreet Boys self-titled 1996 debut album and co-wrote its hit "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," wrote its single "As Long As You Love Me" himself, and co-wrote it's hit "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." Also in 1996 he co-wrote and co-produced Robyn's hits "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)."
In the late '90s Martin began working with writer-producer Rami Yacoub and wrote songs with Bryan Adams. He has since found songwriting success with—besides the aforementioned artists—Westlife ("I Need You," "You Make Me Feel," "When You're Looking Like That"), Celine Dion ("That's the Way It Is"), Marion Raven ("Break You," "End of Me"), the Veronicas ("4ever," "Everything I'm Not"), Pink ("So What," "Who Knew," "Please Don't Leave Me," "I Don't Believe You," "Raise Your Glass"), Usher ("DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," "Scream"), Avril Lavigne ("What the Hell,", "Smile," "Wish You Were Here"), Jessie J ("Domino," "Bang Bang"), Christina Aguilera ("Your Body," "Let There Be Love") and Ariana Grande ("Problem," "Bang Bang," "Dangerous Womna," "Into You," "Side to Side").
In 2016, Martin won the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year award for the sixth straight year and the ninth time overall. Also that year, he received Sweden's prestigious Polar Music Prize for his contributions to popular music.