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15 Great Songs You Didn’t Know Sia Wrote

Revisit anthems the Australian pop genius composed for Rihanna, Katy Perry and others

Sia; 15 great Sia-Penned Sons

Tonya Brewer

On January 29th, Sia will release her seventh studio album, This Is Acting. The LP has an unusual premise in that the majority of the songs were originally intended for other artists — some of today's biggest pop stars ranging from Beyoncé to Adele, who opted not to use Sia's compositions on their own albums. Instead of shelving the unwanted tunes, Sia chose to release her own versions. "I feel like they're hits, but nobody wanted them," the songwriter told us of the tracks on the new LP. "So I thought, 'Let's see, as an experiment, if I'm right.'"

This latest batch of rejects aside, Sia has been more than successful as a pop composer, having worked with everyone from Shakira to Katy Perry to help craft huge hits or deep-cut gems. Here we look back at 15 standout moments in Sia's songwriting career. 

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Shakira, “Chasing Shadows” (2014)

"Chasing Shadows" was one of several songs that Sia wrote for Shakira, but it was the only one to make the Colombian singer-songwriter's self-titled album. The bonus track showcases the poppier side of the artist whose album focused more on guitar-driven, rock-tinged ballads with a few Latin-pop bangers like "Empire" and "Dare." Sia had told RS that at least one of the songs on her 2016 album This Is Acting had been a Shakira reject. "You'll know that it was a Shakira reject because I sound like Shakira," she said.

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Pitbull Featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudie Leitte, “We Are One (Ole Ola)” (2014)

Sia co-wrote the soundtrack for one of the the world's biggest sporting events when she helped create "We Are One" for the FIFA World Cup. Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudie Leitte rapped and sang, respectively, on the uplifting, catchy and fun Latin-house single that became an international hit.

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Jessie J, “Flashlight” (2015)

Songs by both Sia and Jessie J had been huge plot points in the original Pitch Perfect, so it was no coincidence that the pair linked up for the sequel's most important track, "Flashlight." Sia co-wrote the song with a pre-fame Sam Smith, though it was not the song she originally intended for the film. "The truth is that we wrote 'Bird Set Free' for Pitch Perfect 2," she told RS. "They rejected it and took 'Flashlight.' That become a big thing through the movie, but I could not believe they rejected 'Bird Set Free' because to me it was such a big, anthemic, fun, sing-along-in-the-car song."

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Kelly Clarkson, “Invincible” (2015)

When Sia and Kelly Clarkson teamed for Clarkson's 2015 electropop LP, Piece by Piece, the results were as explosive as expected. Both artists are well known for their anthemic ballads and reflections on female maturity, and on "Invincible," they brought together their songwriting clout to create one of the most powerful statements on Clarkson's Eighties-inspired LP.

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Carly Rae Jepsen, “Making the Most of the Night” (2015)

Back in 2013, Sia praised Carly Rae Jepsen on Twitter, dubbing the "Call Me Maybe" singer an "epic songwriter." Fittingly, Sia co-wrote two of the standout tracks on Jepsen's 2015 LP, Emotion — one of last year's finest pop albums — including "Making the Most of the Night," the LP's most driving and exciting song. Fueled by urgent synths, the track sounds like an emotional car chase and perfectly complements Sia and Jepsen's other collaboration from the LP, the bubbly and impeccable "Boy Problems." 

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