The-Dream: I Banked $15 Million for "Umbrella"

The-Dream: I Banked $15 Million for "Umbrella"

The-Dream says he made millions for penning Rihanna’s hit smash.

Published January 4, 2012

As one of the most successful songwriters in the music industry, The-Dream is in a pretty comfortable position whenever he sits down at the bargaining table. In an interview with the UK radio host Tim Westwood, the singer, who also produces, said one of his biggest hits netted him a cool $15 million.

Asked about his fee for Rihanna's international smash "Umbrella," The-Dream confessed the $15 million payday for a song he originally wrote for R&B superstar Mary J. Blige.

"That one, I'd say was maybe about 15," he said after Westwood pressed him on the issue. Dream said he charges a fairly high percentage for all of the songs he writes, but is open to negotiation. When it came to penning Justin Bieber's breakthrough smash "Baby" (which he also produced), the singer/songwriter said he only asked Def Jam to pay for his hotel room.

"I said [to the Def Jam A&R], 'Okay. You pay for my hotel room — I was in New York and I stay at the Plaza — and I'll write you a record.' And he said, 'No, we're not going to pay for your hotel room,' and I said, 'Okay, well I'm not gonna write you a record.' So, I guess everybody thought about it, and was like, 'Let's pay for it,'" he said.

At the end of the day, The-Dream claimed he's only trying to keep his bills paid.

"I've got every kinda bill, man," he said. "I've got child support bills, old wives' bills, new wife's bill ... I gotta keep writin'." is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.



(Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Written by Reggie Ugwu


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