The Hanson brothers – Isaac, Taylor and Zac – came up with the infectious chorus for their world number one “MMMBop” when they were just 13, 11 and 9 years old respectively.
Taylor Swift was just 14 and in her freshman year of high school when she co-wrote the song “Tim McGraw,” which appeared on her self-titled debut album, reaching No. 6 on the country charts and becoming her first-ever hit in Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 (she’s had a few more since).
Paul McCartney wrote the music for ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ – from the Beatles’ seminal album sergeant. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — when he was only 16.
Fiona Apple was 15 when she wrote “Never Is a Promise”, a moving and remarkable track from her debut album, Tide.
Daniel Johns and Ben Gillies of Silverchair were just 14 in 1994 when they wrote ‘Tomorrow’, which they then entered into a national band competition in their native Australia – and beat over 800 other bands to to win ! The song became a phenomenon, reaching number one in Australia and then becoming the most played song on modern rock radio in the United States the following year.
Lorde was just 15 when she wrote the lyrics to her number one hit ‘Royals’ in just half an hour. She then co-composed the music with musician Joel Little shortly thereafter.
In 1953, 15-year-old Maurice Williams tried unsuccessfully to get his date to stay with him after his parents’ 10 p.m. curfew. The next day, he was inspired to write the timeless number one hit “Stay.”
Adele wrote her very first song aged 16 after her mother wanted her to leave London to attend Liverpool University. The song – her future debut single, “Hometown Glory” – was a sort of protest song about why she wanted to stay in her hometown of London.
Eddie Vedder was in his twenties when he joined Pearl Jam, but long before that a teenaged Vedder wrote one of their most famous songs, “Better Man”, as he sat on his bed after a day out. in high school.
Olivia Rodrigo was just 16 and starring in Disney+ High School Musical: The Musical: The Series when she wrote “All I Want” from the perspective of her character Nini for the show.
Stevie Wonder was only 15 when he co-wrote “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”. He had arrived at a songwriting session with songwriters Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby having already dreamed up the “It’s All Right, Tense” hook and uptempo riff inspired by his tour with the Rolling Stones. Together, the three completed the rest of the Grammy-nominated classic.
Long before writing ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’, 13-year-old Kate Bush composed ‘The Man With the Child in His Eyes’, which caught the attention of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who helped land her a recording contract. The song became a top 10 UK hit when its debut album was released three years later in 1978.
Black Francis (born Charles Thompson) wrote “Here Comes Your Man” – the biggest hit of the Pixies’ career – when he was just 14 or 15 years old. The band were initially reluctant to record the poppy-sounding song, as their style was alternative/punk, and Black Francis had not yet discovered punk music when he wrote it seven years earlier.
1980s icon Debbie Gibson released her triple-platinum debut album, From nowhere, at the age of 16, and soon after became the youngest female artist to ever write, perform and produce a number one hit (“Foolish Beat”). But what’s even more impressive is that Gibson penned another massive hit from the album – “Only in My Dreams” – when she was just 14 years old.
Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the MG’s co-wrote “Green Onions” – arguably the most famous instrumental song of the 20th century – when he was 17.