The Female Hitmaker Who Writes Justin Bieber’s Best Love Songs

What do “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez, and “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld have in common? In addition to their instant chart-topping status (and inclusion in my Spotify most-played), they’re also all co-written by Julia Michaels.

You probably learned the 24-year-old musician’s name last year, when she released her first single, “Issues,” a vulnerable and relatable pop ballad about a fight with her boyfriend that everyone who’s had a fight with their boyfriend still sings in the shower. But for the better part of a decade — which makes it easy to forget how young Michaels is — she’s been building her career behind the scenes, writing songs that have shaped the landscape contemporary pop. She was a teen when she worked on Gomez’s first solo album and Demi Lovato’s “Fire Starter,” and she’s since co-written three of Bieber’s love songs.

Michaels, who grew up in Santa Clarita, Calif.

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