Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass"? Not only did Dean write it, she's featured in the chorus. Selena Gomez's "Come and Get It"? Also Dean. Usher, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Sean Kingston, Kelly Rowland, Gucci Mane, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Ludacris, and Cradle of Filth (probably) -- all of these artists have at least one Ester Dean-penned hit in their repertoire.
"We'll have you poppin' and lockin' right before we lock you in a coffin."
Her specialty, being a pop songwriter, is the "hook," the catchy-as-hell musical phrase that burrows into the listeners' skulls instantaneously and requires a lobotomy to remove. Katy Perry's "Firework," perhaps the most famous song by one of the most famous women on the planet? Dean hooked the shit out of that track, which made its rapid rise to the top of the charts almost a mere formality.
At around the same time, a more R-rated Dean concocted the Rihanna smash "S&M" -- a moving ode to bondage. Dean's demo of the song, by the way, makes us think Rihanna owes more to her than a quick thank-you note for introducing her to the finer points of whips and chains.