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Rihanna Man Down (Courtesy Universal)

Manufacturing The Song Of The Summer

Jul 8, 2011

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On today's show, we tell the story of a secret battle that's been going on for more than a year: The fight to create the song of the summer, the music industry's holy grail.

Our case study is Rihanna's "Man Down." The story starts in the spring of 2010, when Rihanna's label flies in songwriters and producers from around the company for a "writing camp" — a pop-up version of the old hit factories that churned out pop tunes.

Writing camp is expensive. But the real money doesn't start flowing until after the song is done.

For more, see our post "How Much Does It Cost To Make A Hit Song?"

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Music: Rihanna's "Pon de Replay" and "Umbrella," The Black Eyed Peas's "I Gotta Feeling," Katy Perry's "California Gurls," R. Kelly's "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time," Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real," and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

*Correction: An earlier version of this podcast used the incorrect version of Jennifer Lopez's, "I'm Real."

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