Adele Windfall: This is How the ‘25’ Songwriters & Producers Split Up Over $13 Million - BILLBOARD

Adele’s 25 is a gift that keeps on giving to the music business, spreading wealth beyond her labels (XL and Columbia/Sony) and publisher (Universal) to retailers, ­performing rights organizations and, not least, the 16 songwriters and producers who collaborated with her on the album.

The chart reflects how much each of them has earned from songwriting and producing so far, using the appropriate standard statutory rates and formulas for sales and interactive and noninteractive streaming, and an estimated hit-song rate of $2.50 per spin for radio airplay. Those rates were applied to U.S. sales of 8 million, such U.S. digital radio noninteractive streaming as ­iHeartRadio simulcasts (excluding Pandora, which does not report its playlists to Nielsen Music), such U.S. ­interactive streaming as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube (only for the single “Hello”) and U.S. radio airplay. All airplay and sales data were supplied by Nielsen Music through the week ending Jan. 28.

Billboard estimates that Adele – who ­co-wrote each song on the album – and other songwriters have reaped almost $9.6 million in royalties; the songwriters’ publishers combined have taken in nearly $1.9 million. The album’s 13 producers and co-producers (many of whom are also songwriters) shared $3.1 million.

And with the Grammy Awards just days away, expect those numbers to grow ­significantly.



  • Philip Lawrence: $229,400
  • Bruno Mars: $211,340
  • Christopher Brody Brown: $86,300
  • Ari Levine: $82,680 

NY Snowstorm 213 by Steven Siegel

42nd Street.


The former One Direction member launches on top with his first solo single. 

Zayn blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100(dated Feb. 20) at No. 1 with “Pillowtalk,” his first solo single after departing One Direction. The pop singer/songwriter (full name: Zayn Malik) makes his first trip to the top of the Hot 100 after peaking as high as No. 2 with 1D (with the group’s 2013 single “Best Song Ever”). He also earns an honor not achieved since a former Beatle more than 45 years ago (read on).

“Pillowtalk,” released Jan. 29 on SYCO/RCA Records, is just the 25th song ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It’s the first since Adele’s “Hello” arrived at the summit on the Nov. 14 chart.

“Pillowtalk” also opens atop the Digital Songs and Streaming Songs charts, with 267,000 first-week U.S. downloads sold and 22.3 million U.S. streams (the fourth-largest streaming start ever) in the week ending Feb. 4, according to Nielsen Music. It also bows at No. 1 on the subscription services-basedOn-Demand Songs chart (12.7 million on-demand streams), while also boasting 17 million in radio audience.

The sultry “Pillowtalk” is from Zayn’s debut album Mind of Mine, due March 25, the one-year anniversary of his departure from One Direction.

Ten more key facts regarding the Hot 100’s new leader (the 1,051st No. 1 overall dating to the chart’s 1958 launch):

  • Zayn, born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, is the first U.K. artist to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with a first charted single. He’s thethird U.K. act to start at the summit overall, following Adele (“Hello,” 2015) and Elton John (“Candle in the Wind 1997”/“Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” 1997).
  • Pillowtalk” marks the first No. 1 debut for an artist’s first Hot 100 hit since Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” (March 2, 2013).
  • Zayn goes where One Direction hasn’t: to No. 1 on the Hot 100. Before he left the boy band, 1D tallied four top 10s, rising as high as No. 2 with “Best Song Ever” in August 2013. (Without Zayn, the group has landed two more top 10s: “Drag Me Down” and “Perfect,” which reached Nos. 3 and 10, respectively, last year.)
  • Zayn Go-Go’s where One Direction hasn’t: by reaching No. 2 with 1D and No. 1 as a soloist, he is the first artist in 28 years to peak as high as No. 2 with a group (excluding one-time-only charity acts) and then command the Hot 100 as a solo artist: the Go-Go’s reached a high of No. 2 with “We Got the Beat” in 1982; lead singer Belinda Carlisle then led in 1987 with her own “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”
  • While the definition of “boy band” leaves room for interpretation, Zayn’s coronation of the Hot 100 places him in elite company. If we consider the Beatles a founding pop music boy band, Zayn is the first one-time member of a Hot 100-charting boy band to score a No. 1 with a debut single on the survey since George Harrison. The Quiet Beatle launched with the four-week No. 1 “My Sweet Lord”/“Isn’t It a Pity” in 1970, following the Fab Four’s split earlier that year.
  • Other prominent one-time boy band members have crowned the Hot 100 solo, but not with their debut Hot 100 hits. On the list: Bobby Brown (apart from New Edition), Michael Jackson (Jackson 5), Ricky Martin (Menudo), Donny Osmond (the Osmonds), Justin Timberlake (*NSYNC) and, the other three Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
  • Zayn scores his first Hot 100 No. 1 not just as an artist, but also as a writer. He co-wrote “Pillowtalk” with Anthony and Michael Hannides and Levi Lennox.
  • The SYCO imprint, founded in 2003 by Simon Cowell, scores its second Hot 100 No. 1; its first entry, Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” led for four weeks in 2008. The RCA label notches its first leader since Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” (featuring Bruno Mars), which reigned for 14 weeks and became the year-end Hot 100 No. 1 for 2015(and a highlight, among many, of last night’s Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show).
  • Despite their ubiquity in daily (or rather, nightly) life, pillows have never been central to hit songs. “Pillowtalk” brings the word pillow to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the first time, besting the previous No. 3 peak of Sylvia’s “Pillow Talk,” which reached No. 3 in 1973. Of course, pillows are associated with sleep … aka, getting some zzz’s. Speaking of the letter z…
  • Zayn is the first artist whose first name starts with a Z ever to top the Hot 100. (Zayn is actually a reworking of his birth name, Zain.) And, with Adele having recently reigned, Billboard editors, please feel free to pencil in (and, ahem, thank me for) this future year-end headline: The Year in Music 2016: From A(dele) to Z(ayn).


It amazes me how Michigan’s state government is still telling its citizens to purchase water filters that have already proven not to work. People are quite literally being poisoned as we speak, and nothing is being done about it. Where is Attorney General Lynch? Why are people still being poisoned after all this time has passed?