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Max Martin

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1) The millennial heir to Sweden’s tradition of frothy, incessantly catchy pop, Max Martin wasn’t an international star like ABBA, Roxette, or Ace of Base. But as a songwriter and producer, Martin spearheaded the late-’90s revival by crafting a ubiquitous string of worldwide hits for Britney Spears, *NSYNC, and The Backstreet Boys, among many others. Martin was born Martin Sandberg on February 26, 1971, and grew up in the suburbs of Stockholm; as a teenager, he sang in several bands before forming a -style band called It’s Alive with his friends. Performing under the name Martin White, he subsequently dropped out of high school to pursue music, a decision that paid off when It’s Alive landed a record deal with producer Denniz Pop’s Cheiron label. They recorded an album and toured Europe in the early ’90s, but the real importance of the deal turned out to be that Martin began to indulge his secret love of pop music by collaborating on songs with Pop, who became his mentor. In 1992, Martin was hired as a house writer/producer at Cheiron, and spent a couple of years learning the ropes; meanwhile, Denniz Pop found international success producing Ace of Base’s blockbuster “The Sign”. Pop also renamed his protege Max Martin, which he thought sounded “poppier” than Martin White.

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