Lukasz Gottwald—his given name—has co-written or co-produced more than thirty Top Ten singles since 2004, a run to rank with the greatest hitmakers in pop-music history: Phil Spector, the Beatles, Michael Jackson. At forty, he’s still going strong: last week’s No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” and the previous No. 1, Katy Perry’s “Roar,” are both Dr. Luke songs. Many of his hits—like “Roar”—are written with Max Martin, Gottwald’s Swedish mentor and frequent collaborator. If Luke is the Skywalker of pop songcraft, Max is the Obi-Wan: the reclusive master.
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