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Players Behind Pop Charts: Jon Bellion


For pop music followers, the month of September has blessed listeners with many notable new music drops and announcements. Specifically, Camila Cabello’s double release “Liar” on September 4 and “Shameless” on September 5; Halsey’s single “Graveyard” on September 13; and most recently Maroon 5’s single “Memories” on September 20. Spotify featured all of these new releases on their “Today’s Top Hits” playlist. These singles have something in common besides their respective artists being no strangers to pop charts and radio: artist, composer, producer, singer, and songwriter Jon Bellion has contributed to all four songs.

You might recognize Bellion from his double-platinum-certified single “All Time Low.” At its peak, the song reached 16 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and earned a place in NPR’s Top 100 songs of 2016. Bellion’s pop credentials didn’t end there. He also contributed to Rihanna’s catchy hook for Eminem’s “The Monster,” for which Bellion was awarded a Grammy in 2015. Bellion has successfully pinned down the pop music formula through collaborating with iconic pop artists to crank out hits.

Bellion has been able to generate enough money through his successes to maintain full creative authority on his projects. His verse in 2018’s “Let’s Begin” says “‘Mr. Bellion, sir, Beyoncé’s on the line she’s tryna reach you on your cellular’ she wanted “Fall in Line” but we gave it to Aguilera.” The line references Christina Aguilera’s 2018 duet with Demi Lovato, co-written and produced by Bellion. 

Despite not releasing anything between the release of his debut album “The Human Condition” in 2016 and his sophomore album “Glory Sound Prep” in 2018, Bellion garnered lots of anticipation among his fans. In fact, they showed so much support that Bellion was able to run an entire North American tour this past summer with little to no excessive promotion work.

Yet, “Glory Sound Prep” is by no means composed of the standard pop hits he often has a hand in. Instead, it consists of social commentary on fame, family, and other personal values through hard-hitting, five-minute-long rap tracks, and an eight-minute elegant instrumental ballad as the album’s closer. This album was not made with the intention of radio play, but instead for Bellion’s own expression.

There is something important to note about an artist’s voice and style. In the swells of Rihanna’s hook for “The Monster” and in the relentless trumpets backing Cabello’s vocals for “Liar,” you can hear Bellion’s musical mark that is present in his own art. His goal isn’t for his name and talent to reign supreme on the charts. Another bar from “Let’s Begin” states, “I never wanna be famous, stop calling me underrated / I’m making certain decisions, I’m flying under the radar / I really love my life and this music thing is a great job.” 

Although they don’t perform live shows or subject to public scandals like many musicians, producers, composers, writers, and behind-the-scenes talent undoubtedly deserve acknowledgement and respect for the songs with the most streams and airplay.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Jon Bellion’s Instagram.

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    TGK DreOct 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Slight correction: the last Bellion quote wasn’t from Let’s Begin, it was from Adult Swim, the third section of the song. Apart from that, great article!

  • AnonymousSep 26, 2019 at 2:38 pm


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Players Behind Pop Charts: Jon Bellion