We all know about the power of music.
Many of us listen to music to experience a full range of emotions. Music has been known to evoke everything about the human emotional landscape, from nostalgia to rage or calmness and joy.
Beyond the soulful tunes and melodies lie plenty of fascinating facts about musicians and the concept of music.
For example, there’s a certain Swedish producer who’s behind some of the biggest hits from artistes like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, and The Backstreet Boys in the 90’s. These hits include “…Baby One More Time,” “Bad Blood,” and “I Want It That Way.”
His name is…
1. Max Martin
The Swedish writer and producer, Max Martin — real name Martin Sandberg — is behind some of the biggest hits the pop universe has ever seen. He has written or co-written 22 Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits and has worked with artistes like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Adele, Usher, and Justin Bieber. He has an estimated net worth of $250 million.
Some of his quotes include:
(1) “It's music. It's supposed to be fun and inspirational. You have to be inspired. If I did it because it was my ‘job,' and I only did it to make money, I don't think I'd still be doing it.”
(2) “You can hear songs that are technically great, songs that tick all the boxes. But for a song to be felt, you need something else.”
2. Musicians with the Most Number-One Hits
Can you guess which five musicians have had the most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 throughout their careers?
- MADONNA has had 12 number-one hits. She was born in Michigan and has had a huge influence on music, fashion and film.
- MICHAEL JACKSON had 13 number-one hits. His classics like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” held the number one spot on music charts for a grand total of 32 weeks.
- RIHANNA doesn’t have a long career history in music. Nonetheless she's had 14 number-one hits so far. Hailing from Barbados, she successfully auditioned in 2005 for Jay-Z with Def Jam Records.
- MARIAH CAREY's 18 number-one songs have stayed on the pop charts for a record of 79 weeks.
- THE BEATLES’s 20 number-one hits make them the best-selling band in history so far. The Beatles sold 1.6 billion singles and 177 million albums.
3. The Top 50 Iconic Songs of All Time…According to a Computer
How do you decide which are the most iconic songs in history?
Dr Mick Grierson, a computer scientist at the University of London, used analytical software to try and determine the formula behind iconic tunes. The study was commissioned by Fiat, who sought to select a song to use for promoting the FIAT 500.
According to the results, some of the most iconic tunes include:
- Nirvana’s “Smell Like Teen Spirit”
- Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”
- Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
- Rolling Stones’s “I Can't Get No Satisfaction”
What's unusual is a condition which leaves some individuals with very different feelings about iconic songs, because…
4. Some People Have No Feelings About Music
Anhedonia is defined as the inability to feel pleasure.
It might be mind-boggling to realize that there are some people who live with musical anhedonia.
In a study conducted by psychologists at the University of Barcelona, people who said they derived no pleasure from music displayed no physical response. In contrast, music lovers did. The music lovers reported chills when in the presence of music, while the anhedonic group had no real response to the same tunes.
5. The “Happy Birthday” Song has Estimated Earnings of $50 Million
Meanwhile, in 1893, the Hill sisters wanted a birthday song for their kindergarten class. “Happy Birthday” remains the most profitable song of all time. Over the past century, the song’s ownership has changed hands numerous times.
In 1990, Warner Chappell bought the rights for $15 million and the song brings in $2 million each year in royalties. Additionally, the song costs $25,000 to feature in a movie or TV show.
6. Brainy Musicians
And this fun fact shows us that there are a number of rock musicians who are much more intellectual than they may appear to be when they're in their creative, musical element.
The Offspring’s first drummer James Lilja left the band to become a gynecologist, while the band's lyricist and frontman Dexter Holland earned his PhD in molecular biology in 2017.
Queen’s guitarist Brian May completed his PhD in astronomy in 2007.
Bad Religion’s vocalist Greg Graffin has taught evolutionary biology at several universities. He earned a PhD in zoology from Cornell University and returned to his alma mater to teach courses on the subject.
Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine, studied political science at Harvard. He graduated with a social science bachelor’s degree. He had a brief career as a male stripper under the name of ‘Meat Swinger’, before working in the office of California Democratic Senator Alan Cranston. The brief experience in the political world led Morello to conclude music as being the safer career path.
Looks can be deceiving. The wild long-haired punk rocker you saw on TV could just be a renowned professor several years from now in their next career.
7. Music Affects How We Perceive the World
According to researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, music affects not just our mood but is able to affect our perception of the world.
Test subjects were asked to identify happy and sad smileys as they were listening to happy or sad music. Smileys that matched the music were more accurately identified. Even if the absence of a smiley, the subjects often associated a happy smiley when listening to happy music and an unhappy one when listening to sad music.
Researcher Jolij says that the research results “suggest that the brain builds up expectations not just on the basis of experience but on your mood as well.”
So the next time you feel frazzled or downcast, put on some relaxing or uplifting music. It potentially has the power to change your mood and positively influence your outlook of the world for the better.