It now takes an average of 4.84 songwriters to pen a hit single

The figure has increased from 2016 as the co-writing trend continues to soar.

Co-writing on songs has been a long-standing tradition in music, and according to a new report, the average number of songwriters credited on a hit single has continued to grow in recent years.

Research by Music Week revealed that the average of 4.84 people were credited as writers on 2017's Official Top 100 biggest songs. The figure is up from 4.53 in 2016. 

Of that list, the most songwriters listed on a track is 15 - for Liam Payne's Strip That Down ft. Quavo, which counts Shaggy among its credits as the song interpolates his 2000 hit It Wasn’t Me. Meanwhile, ten writers are listed on Camila Cabello's Havana.

Only one person in the Top 100 claimed a single credit, Ed Sheeran, who is the sole writer of his songs Perfect and How Would Feel (Paean). Ed is also listed as a co-writer on Strip That Down.

The increase adds to the ongoing debate across the music industry about how songs are credited and how fees and royalties are split. 

Universal Music Publishing Group's UK MD Mike McCormack told the publication of the trend: "I don't think it's something we're particularly happy about, but it's the way things are now.

"There are so many people that specialise in so many different areas. Particularly in America, where they're almost like songwriting factories; you've got people who specialise in bridges or beats or basslines." 

Others argue that multiple co-writers on a song is often a faster route to a hit. PRS For Music's head of writer relations Simon Aldridge insisted "it can only be a good thing", adding: "On a global scale, more writers a collaboration and there's a larger talent pool.

"More and more people get involved with a song throughout its life now, it's not just people in a [writing] session. That whole creative process has changed and the songs we listen to are indicative of that."

Check out the latest Official Singles Chart Top 100 in full.

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I think it's disgraceful that now it takes a number of writers to write a song and a lot of the time it's for a song that has such meaningless lyrics, and even minimalistic ones where the artist often goes "whoa-oa-oh-oh-oh" or they take one word and stretch it to give it more syllables, and even sometimes ends up sampling someone else's song because they can't even write their own tune, meaning they will have to credit the artist they have sampled from. It just cheapens music and it makes me sad that there's a lack of great songwriters out there. I say get rid of the samples, minimalistic lyrics and autotune and go back to the very beginning and start again, with musical instruments and a pad of paper and write something original. Freddie Mercury was one man, Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards - 2 men each, Bob Dylan - 1 man, Smokey Robinson - 1 man, Bacarach/David - 2 men, Goffin/King - husband and wife writers, Bee Gees - 3 men. Even Stevie Wonder and Prince - one men songwriters who could also play every instrument. Where has all the real talent gone??? It certainly ain't in the singles charts that's for sure.