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How 10 Major Songwriters Make Big Money

Calculating song royalties is a tricky business, but it's clear that these rights holders are raking it in
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Katy Perry
Joe Scarnici/FilmMagic

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Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Bonnie McKee, Co-Writers, Katy Perry's 'California Gurls'

TRACK SALES: 5.1 million
ALBUM SALES: 2 million
TOTAL SONGWRITING ROYALTIES: $646,100

The all-star songwriting-and-production team behind Perry's "California Gurls," "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" and "Teenage Dream," and Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" is the gold standard for pop megahits these days. Martin (the Swedish producer who wrote what seemed like every teen-pop hit in the late '90s and early 2000s) and Dr. Luke (the former "Saturday Night Live" guitarist who is pretty much everywhere these days) joined struggling singer-songwriter McKee in 2010 and turned her into the missing link. On this track, the trio has to share royalties with Perry and guest rapper Snoop Dogg.

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