Meet the 28 Year Old Female Songwriter Masterminding Every Bump and Grind Hit You Love

By on May 26, 2014 in ArticlesEntertainment

If you like your pop songs to be of the extra super sexy variety, then there is a good chance you like listening to Ester Dean.  Who is Ester Dean, you might ask? She's most widely recognized for her co-starring role in the sleeper hit, "Pitch Perfect", but she's been one of Hollywood's "It Girls" for more than a decade.  Just not in the way of most starlets. Ester Dean is an incredibly successful songwriter.  At just 28, she has written a staggering number of hit songs for everyone from Keyshia Cole, to T.I, to Rihanna, to Mary J. Blige, to Selena Gomez, and the list goes on.  She is known for writing grown-up, bump and grind anthems, and has been quietly amassing a major career since she was in her late teens.  Just how good is her work?  Read on for a quick rundown of why this 20-something is the go-to girl for artists who need a few "grown and funky" tracks.

Ester Dean

Ester Dean

Ester Dean was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on April 15, 1986, and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She grew up in a family of musicians, but she wanted to be a chef.  Her family kept pushing her to sing and perform, however, and she eventually capitulated, saying, "Okay, well I'll sing and get the money and set-up a restaurant."  Her mother was a successful performer in gospel plays, and took her family with her on tour. Ester Dean grew up watching the shows, and eventually performing in them.  After graduating from high school, she relocated to Los Angeles to launch her own singing career.  Though everyone agreed she had an awesome voice, it was her songwriting skills that began to attract attention.  After being introduced to Polow da Don, she was signed to Interscope Records, and began writing for everyone.  Here is just a short list of the many songs she has crafted for other artists since 2006, along with just how much those tracks pulled in.

*Numbers are based on digital downloads only.

"Rude Boy"

Rihanna

Chart Position: #1 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 31 other countries

Units Sold: 3 million

Approx. Profit:  $4 million

"Not Myself Tonight"

Christina Aguilera

Chart Position:  #23 US Billboard Hot 100

Units Sold: 2 million

Approx. Profit: $2.6 million

"Letting Go (Dutty Love)"

Sean Kingston

Chart Position: #36 US Billboard Hot 100

Units Sold: 1 million

Approx. Profit: $1.3 million

"Super Bass"

Nicki Minaj

Chart Position: #3 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 7 other countries

Units Sold: 5.3 mllion

Approx. Profit:  $7 million

"Firework"

Katy Perry

Chart Position: # US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 24 other countries

Units Sold: 9 million

Approx. Profit: $12 million

"What's My Name?"

Rihanna

Chart Position: #1 US Billboard Hot 100

Units Sold: 4.5 million

Approx. Profit:  $6 million

"S&M"

Rihanna

Chart Position: #1 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 29 other countries

Units Sold: 4.5 million

Approx. Profit: $6 million

"Mr. Know It All"

Kelly Clarkson

Chart Position:  #18 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 7 other countries

Units Sold: 2.5 million

Approx. Profit: $3.5 million

"Turn Me On"

David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj

Chart Position: #4 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 16 other countries

Units Sold: 3.1 million

Approx. Profit:  $4 million

"I Love You This Big"

Scotty McCreary

Chart Position: #11 US Billboard Hot 100

Units Sold: 1 million

Approx. Profit: $1.3 million

"You da One"

Rihanna

Chart Position: #14 US Billboard Hot 100

Units Sold: 2 million

Approx. Profit: $2.6 million

"Where Have You Been"

Rihanna

Chart Position: #5 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 23 other countries

Units Sold: 2.5 million

Approx. Profit:  $3.5 million

"Come & Get It"

Selena Gomez

Chart Position: #6 US Billboard Hot 100, Top 10 in 13 other countries

Units Sold: 3.2 million

Approx. Profits:  $4 million

Other popular tracks written by Ester Dean include Mya's "Ridin'"; T.I.'s "Remember Me"; Mary J. Blige's "The One",  "I Am", and "Stronger"; Ciara's "Never Ever"; Keri Hilson's "Change Me", "Make Love", and "Lose Control/Let Me Down"; Monica's "Here I Am"; Katy Perry's "Peacock"; Kelly Rowland's "Lay It On Me";  Trey Songz's "Already Taken", as well as tracks for 50 Cent, Pia Toscano, Karmin, Keke Palmer, Britney Spears, Jennifer Hudson, Ginuwine, Tinie Tempah, Kelly Rowland, Jesse McCartney, Nelly, Ludracris, Esmee Denters, and the list goes on.

As a solo artist, her sound has been compared to a cross between Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, and her first solo single, "Drop It Low" reached #32 on the US Pop charts when it was released in 2009.  It has since been sampled by multiple artists.  She was slated to release her first studio album under Interscope Records in 2013, but the album has not yet materialized.  She reportedly ended her relationship with Interscope in early Mary 2014, and will now be producing her work independently.  With her track record, going out on her own seems only logical.

Articles Written by Paula Wilson
Paula Wilson is a writer, director, production manager, and former professional dancer, originally from North America, who has worked as a performer or director in ten countries and sixteen states. When not writing for CNW, she serves as the Artistic Director of The International Partner Dance Intensive (www.tipdi.com). Follow her on Google+.
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