The well-known faces behind some of the biggest songs in music
Alexandra Pollard, Gaby Whitehill

17:18 11th August 2015

It's no secret that many artists don't write their own songs. But there are some artists out there whose songwriting talents are so prolific, that they write for other musicians too. 

BBC 1Xtra claims up to 40% of rap lyrics aren't self-written - but that's not the only genre guilty of it. We've compiled a list of some of the most famous faces behind the biggest hits - find out which other rapper actually wrote 'Still Dre', as well as the UK singer behind a very patriotic Miley Cyrus hit. 

  • Cee Lo Green, 'Fuck You!' - written by Bruno Mars: Green's cheerful, sweary middle finger at an ex partner was a smash in the summer of 2010. Diminutive singer Bruno Mars co-wrote the track, and is actually responsible for the main hook.

  • Sugarhill Gang, 'Rapper's Delight' - written by Grandmaster Caz: EVERYONE knows the words to this 1979 track which is widely credited with popularising hip hop. However, it's emerged that the iconic first verse was written by MC Grandmaster Caz, and it's alleged the Sugarhill Gang "stole" the lyrics from Caz and never gave him any profits from the song or credits.

  • Beyonce, 'Irreplaceable' - written by Ne-Yo: This sassy 2006 track has become one of Beyonce's trademark songs, and it's a staple in her live sets. However, it was actually originally written from a male's point of view - R&B singer Ne-Yo's, who originally penned the song before handing it over to Bey.

  • Chaka Khan, 'I Feel For You' - written by Prince: This euphoric track was a massive smash for R&B singer Chaka Khan in 1984, but it was actually written and originally recorded by Prince in 1979.

  • Rita Ora, 'RIP' - written by Drake: The UK's very own version of Rihanna (yawn) released her debut track, RIP, in 2012, and it was a massive smash…probably because it was originally written for Rihanna - by Drake.

  • Beastie Boys, 'Paul Revere' - written by Run DMC: Run DMC wrote a large chunk of Beastie Boys' 1986 debut, Licensed To Ill, specifically this track, which was the record's third single. Rev Run, Darryl McDaniels and Rick Rubin co-wrote the track alongside Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz.

  • Will Smith, 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' - written by Nas: It's a little known fact the actor/rapper's feel-good 90s hit was actually written by a slightly more credible rapper - Nas. He also helped pen Smith's 'Miami'.

  • Michael Jackson, 'You Are Not Alone' - written by R Kelly: It's no surprise R Kelly penned this 1995 R&B ballad recorded by the late, legendary singer - it sounds almost identical to his own smash, 'I Believe I Can Fly'.

  • Miley Cyrus, 'Party In the USA' - written by Jessie J: When her antics were still more PG than an 18, Cyrus released this singalong patriotic track in 2009 and it was a massive smash. Most people don't know that Jessie J co-wrote the track before she found fame herself.

  • Dr Dre, 'Still DRE' - written by Jay Z: Considering the name of this iconic hip hop track, released in 1999, it seems ironic that it was actually written by someone other than Dr Dre - Jay Z. Jay also co-wrote 'The Message' by Dre.

  • Aretha Franklin, 'RESPECT' - written by Otis Redding: This classic is the track Franklin is best known for - her signature tune. However, it was actually written by fellow blues legend Otis Redding, who intended to record it himself. Franklin did add the iconic "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" refrain herself, however.

  • Britney Spears, 'Til The World Ends' - written by Ke$ha: Before finding fame herself, Ke$ha was earning a living penning hits for other popstars - such as this 2011 single from Britney, which Ke$ha co-wrote with her longtime collaborator Dr Luke.

Photo: Artwork