The 50 Greatest Producers of the 21st Century: Staff List

If there's been one consistent in popular music across the first 20-plus years of the 21st century, it's been the prominence of the producer at the forefront.

7/22/2021 2:01:00 AM

If there's been one consistent in popular music across the first 20-plus years of the 21st century, it's been the prominence of the producer at the forefront.

If there's been one consistent in popular music across the first 20-plus years of the 21st century, it's been the prominence of the producer at the forefront.

Click to copyIf there's been one consistent in popular music across the first 20-plus years of the 21st century, it's been the prominence of the producer, leading pop's vanguard as much as any of its biggest recording artists. While super-producers have certainly existed since the days of Phil Spector and Joe Meek over half a century ago, in past decades, such behind-the-scenes hitmakers might've just as often slunk into the culture's background -- simply a name in the credits on the back cover. But in the '00s and beyond, producers have consistently become household names in their own right, defining entire eras of popular music, and frequently becoming recording stars themselves.

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As part of our digital cover package this week celebrating the producer, we're counting down our staff's picks for the 50 greatest studio mavens of this century: the most innovative, impactful and important knob-twiddlers since 2000. To keep the focus mostly behind the scenes, we tried not to include artists largely known just for producing their own work, and we tried not to weigh any superproducers' work as a lead artist too heavily in anyone's ranking. We also gave priority to producers whose peak falls squarely in the 21st century over recognizing the legends whose dominance simply continued through Y2K -- though a couple 20th century icons have remained a little too towering to leave off entirely -- and to those who've been working for most of this century over those who we've only recently been introduced to.

Jack Antonoff on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective ProducersIt was tough enough to to keep the list down to 50, and some names responsible for incredible bodies of 21st century work didn't make the cut -- including (but certainly not limited to) Bangladesh, T-Bone Burnett, Scott Storch, Jeff Bhasker, Patrick Berger, Mike Elizondo, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Dave Sitek, Markus Dravs, Jon Brion, Jake Sinclair, Danger Mouse, Calvin Harris, Butch Walker, Hit-Boy, No I.D., Skrillex, Lex Luger, Will Yip, J Dilla, Salaam Remi, Catherine Marks, Ryan Tedder, Finneas, David Guetta, Polow da Don and Omer Fedi. And while we tried to make our list as inclusive and wide-ranging as possible, we have to acknowledge that women in particular are still woefully underrepresented -- while men who've been accused of abusing their power are unfortunately overrepresented -- a sad reflection of a corner of the industry that, despite some great strides in recent years, remains overwhelmingly male-dominated, particularly at its highest levels. headtopics.com

Still, the producers who have made the cut all have bodies of work that speak for themselves, shaping the sound of popular music domestically and abroad. Many of them continue to push the envelope every time their fingers grace their studio consoles -- and a special few of them have been doing so consistently since the ball dropped on 2000. Here are our choices for the 50 greatest.

50. RedOne: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki MinajSignature Sound: Steamrolling club beats and whooshing synthesizers that sound like they’re beaming you up into a glittery, alien disco. Read more: billboard »

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There's more written about Dr. Luke's allegations than there is about his work. At that point just leave him off the list and stop giving the man any credit. Yass sophie Where is bts? You are disgusting for putting Dr Luke on this list. i don't see bts love the sophie inclusivity Delete this. It’s so bad Where is Avicii?

WTF? Are your staff morons or dont know who actually are top producers You’re doing anything at this point to be “correct”

Bucks' 50-year wait ends with a title behind 50 from GiannisGiannis Antetokounmpo capped one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points as the Milwaukee Bucks won their first championship in 50 years you mean 65,000 who really didn't give a crap, erupts in the streets, to party? Guess there is no Covid in Milwaukee. Oh! Here comes the ‘spread’ of the virus that is!

Sophie ☠️ Check out my new beat! Rest in power my sweet angel SOPHIEMSMSMSM big facts *lil b voice* ended lil fg x We love to see MissyElliott on this list 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 Kinda weird how you have a RAPIST on this list. GOAT 'What makes Max Martin's songs so popular? Three-quarters of the songs are in major and one quarter in minor. The most popular tonality is G Major. 50% of Martin's songs have 4 chords, 22.7% have 3 chords, 13.6% have 5 chords and 13.6% have 6 chords...' More in my book

Milwaukee Bucks Win First NBA Championship in 50 YearsGiannis Antetokounmpo ended one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points — and a championship Milwaukee waited 50 years to win again. Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked… Congrats redlettermedia Ole boy went off for 50 points And, LeBron watches from the sidelines, with his bottle of liquor.

Facts , I don't think there's ever been a time in history where producers were acknowledged like they are now .

Bucks' 50-year wait ends with a title behind 50 from GiannisMILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo ended one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points — and a championship Milwaukee waited 50 years to win again. Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday night to win the series 4-2. Giannis immediately made himself a legend tonight. People still watch that crap?

Giannis Antetokounmpo Scores 50 Points To Lead Milwaukee Bucks To First NBA Championship In 50 YearsGiannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points on Tuesday night to lead the Milwaukee Bucks their first NBA Championship in 50 years. Only six other players have scored 50 points or more in the NBA Finals.… Stick to movies and entertainment

Hollywood crews could be forced to vaccinate under new deal with unionsUnions and producers have agreed new terms for cast and crews returning to work in Hollywood. Did COVID write this headline “Forced” and “Vaccinate” should never be used in the same sentence. “Morons”, Science Deniers”, “Selfish Bastards” and “Tucker Carlson Groupies” are all acceptable. COVIDIOT antivaxxers GetVaccinated DICTATURE

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