Most Successful Songwriters: 1890-2008 and 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s

Most successful Billboard songwriters from 1890-2008

The Whitburn Project is an informal group that collects data about all songs in the Billboard chart, and has amassed a huge amount of information from 1890 onwards. The data is a little inconsistent (due to the nature of mass collaboration) and isn’t 100% complete, but it still allows for some interesting analysis.

Here we present the most successful songwriters of all time and per decade (from the 60s onwards), according to this data. Note that inconsistencies may result in some songwriters having their data split across multiple spellings of their name, e.g. Timbaland may appear as both Tim Mosley and T.V. Mosley in the 2000s chart.

Most successful Billboard songwriters from the 1960s

Most successful Billboard songwriters from the 1970s

Most successful Billboard songwriters from the 1980s

Most successful Billboard songwriters from the 1990s

Most successful Billboard songwriters from the 2000s (to 2008)

Source Data

Song Writer Writing Credits
Babyface 94
Gerry Goffin 96
Eddie Holland Jr. 97


Brian Holland 102
Lamont Dozier 105
Burt Bacharach 105
Hal David 111
John Lennon 127
Paul McCartney 141
William “Smokey” Robinson 61
Carole King 67
Eddie Holland Jr. 73
Lamont Dozier 74
Brian Holland 74
Burt Bacharach 76
Gerry Goffin 76
Hal David 79
John Lennon 86
Paul McCartney 86
Brian Holland 28
Neil Diamond 28
Robin Gibb 28
James Brown 31
Lamont Dozier 31
Carole King 32
Norman Whitfield 34
John Lennon 38
Barry Gibb 39
Kenny Gamble 47
Leon Huff 48
Paul McCartney 52
B.Springsteen 14
B.Taupin 15
H.Knight 15
J.Vallance 15
D.Child 17
Babyface 18
D.Warren 19
*Prince Symbol* 20
D.Foster 22
J.Harris III 26
T.Lewis 27
Madonna 21
L.A.Reid 21
R.Kelly 21
D.Simmons 25
T.Riley 26
*Prince Symbol* 26
J.Harris III 45
T.Lewis 45
D.Warren 47
Babyface 69
A.Thiam 17
Jermaine Dupri 17
Marshall Mathers 17
S.Smith 19
T.E.Hermansen 19
J.Dupri 20
T.V.Mosley 25
S.Garrett 26
Tim Mosley 28
Pharrell Williams 28
Chad Hugo 35
R. Kelly 37

Dan Zambonini

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Dan Zambonini is a co-founder at Eighty-Five Technologies Inc. Their most recent project is Docoh - SEC EDGAR Filings Search. He wrote A Practical Guide to Web App Success, the leading web application book. You can usually find him twittering on about something on Twitter at @zambonini.


  1. @Emmet No worries! It’s a valid issue; unfortunately we just used very basic methods for aggregating the data into individuals (exact matches of their name). If you put his stats together, he certainly wipes the floor with any other songwriter of the 2000s – in terms of quantity, not quality 🙂

  2. Fascinating stuff: and unless there are some hidden in the initials, looks like Carole King and Madonna are the only 2 women. Makes you appreciate Carole King’s achievement I think.

  3. D. Warren is Diane, writer of hits for Celine Dion & Meatloaf (I think) among others. Not to be confused with Dianne Warren, writer of short story collections Bad Luck Dog and Reckless Moon. I think had a novel out recently too.

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