Sia's songwriting talent has been called into service by Her Royal Majesty Queen Bey. The Australian artist has a writing credit on a trio of Beyonce cuts (including "Standing on the Sun" and the Blue Ivy ode "God Made You Beautiful"), but the highest profile track of the three was originally intended for another artist. According to Sia, "Pretty Hurts" was essentially in recording purgatory until it was secured by the empire of Bey. "I wrote it on the sofa three years ago for Katy Perry, sent it to Katy Perry she never heard it," revealed the blonde hitmaker in an interview with Nightline. "Then I sent to Beyonce's people and Rihanna's people and Rihanna heard it and she had it on hold for eight months and her management forgot to secure it by paying for the track and Beyonce just slid into home base and threw the money down and it was a really awkward situation." Let this be a reminder to always be vigilant when quality pop songcraft comes your way.
RiRi scored a mega-selling #1 smash thanks to a track co-penned by Sia, Benny Blanco and StarGate. The three parties formed a songwriting Megazord that gave Rihanna (and the world) the international chart-topper "Diamonds". Clearly not billing her services by the hour, Sia wrote her portion in 14 minutes. RiRi recorded "Diamonds" using Sia's demo vocals as a blueprint, electing to keep all the elements of the singing that the songwriter laid down. Sia later revealed to the New York Times Magazine that the Barbadian superstar's approach was so similar that she confused the singing on the completed track for her own. "We listened to it on his iPod, sitting on a sofa at ABC Carpet and Home in New York," Sia told writer Steve Knopper. "I literally punched him in the arm. I thought Benny was playing a trick on me. She could>ve done it her own way, but I think she really genuinely liked the way it was."
Katy Perry assembled a Murderers' Row of songcrafting talents to lend a hand on her 2013 album 'Prism'. In addition to co-writing assists from Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut and many more, Katy pulled in the services of Sia to help mould the album cut "Double Rainbow". Legend (and Billboard interview) has it that the melody, verse and title for the track made their way into the recording studio following a yoga session. The finished product was a combo effort from Katy, Sia and the perpetually in-demand Greg Kurstin.
Celine Dion's last studio album came equipped with a bombastic Sia-penned power ballad leading the charge. "Loved Me Back To Life" served as the lead single for the 2013 Celine album of the same name and earned warm reviews from critics. Celine's work with Sia also impressed the adult contemporary megastar's son Rene-Charles. "He's into Eminem and Rihanna, cool people," explained Celine during a talk show appearance. "I'm a mother, I'm not cool. So... when Sia wrote me 'Loved Me Back To Life' and sent it to me, he said, 'Sia? The real Sia? The Sia who writes for Rihanna?' He's like, 'That can't be real, they must have made a mistake with the address or something'. So I'm like, 'Now you think I'm cool, huh?'"
You can find Sia's fingerprints all over fellow Aussie Kylie Minogue's 2014 album 'Kiss Me Once'. Sia served as an executive producer on the full-length and also helped supply the title track and the steamy dubstep-infused cut "Sexercize". "We worked together a couple of times - with her as a writer and me looking at some tracks she had already written, and also doing some writing together," explained Kylie in a chat with Idolator. "I got on with her so well. Around about what turned out to be the halfway mark of making this album - I didn>t know how long it would take, so I didn>t realize that at the time - I asked her if she would executive-produce. I was hoping she would say yes. I didn>t know if it was something she had done or was interested in, or if maybe she just preferred writing and doing her own music. Anyway, she said yes immediately and I was thrilled, because I really admire her. On top of that, we really got on."
Do you have the new Maroon 5 album? There's a cut co-penned by Sia lurking about as the final item on the tracklist. The pop-rock outfit's duet with Gwen Stefani (cuz The Voice synergy) titled "My Heart Is Open" merged the songwriting talents of Sia, Benny Blanco, Andre Lindal, Rodney Jenkins and Adam Levine. "Living here in Los Angeles we>ve known Sia for a long time, back from when she was just an artist, before her second act as, like, the most brilliant pop songwriter of all time, so it was really cool just to work with her," shared guitarist James Valentine in an interview with Billboard.
One of the most gushed-over tracks on Shakira's latest album is, um, well, not exactly on the album. The Sia and Greg Kurstin co-written cut "Chasing Shadows" doesn't appear on the regular edition of the Colombian pop sensation's 2014 self-titled full-length, but you can find it on the deluxe edition of the record. Critics raved over the quality of the offering and were puzzled why it wasn't part-and-parcel of the standard version.
If you're in the mood to go Bionic, give Sia a call. Christina Aguilera's 2012 album features a handful of tracks co-penned by the Australian songwriter for the stars. The most recognizable of that bunch? We figure that title goes to the big ballad "You Lost Me". Sia and Xtina also aligned forces for the Burlesque tune "Bound to You" and the Lotus cut "Blank Page". "Sia and I have always done amazing collaborations together," shared Christina in a Vevo interview. "She worked with me on the movie soundtrack 'Burlesque', which we got a Golden Globe nomination for, we also did a lot of work on my 'Bionic' record, that was so sentimental, intimate and vulnerable feeling, and that's what I love about working with her."
Speaking of celebrated Mouseketeers, Britney Spears gave Sia a ring when she was putting together her 2013 album. The pairing helped spawn the cuts "Perfume", "Passenger" and "Brightest Morning Star" off 'Britney Jean', although Sia's work with Britney ignited a bit of controversy a year later. It's been alleged that Britney lip-synced to Sia's "Perfume" vocals during one of her Las Vegas residency shows. Billboard's theory on that incident is that Britney used Sia's vocals as an in-monitor guide and that the guide version was accidentally played to the crowd in the house mix.
Lea Michele's first solo foray into the world of pop fizzled with buyers and critics alike, but we're not pinning that on Sia. That said, you can find a healthy assortment of the Australian songwriter's contributions on Lea's debut record 'Louder'. "Cannonball", "Battlefield", "You're Mine" and "If You Say So" all were co-writes. Lea told Billboard that working with Sia on "If You Say So" (a song about her late boyfriend Cory Monteith) was an important piece of musical therapy. "I'm grateful that Sia collaborated on that song with me and it's a moment in my life," said the actress/singer. "Music has just been so important and so helpful to me this whole year."