Rick Nowels

Last updated

Rick Nowels
Birth nameRichard Wright Nowels Jr.
Born Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
Years active1986–present
Associated acts
Website ricknowels.com

Richard Wright Nowels Jr. is an American songwriter, record producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist. [1] He co-wrote and produced over 60 hit singles. His songs have appeared on over 200 albums.

Contents

Nowels's songs have been recorded by: Lana Del Rey, Adele, Stevie Nicks, Dua Lipa, Miguel, Madonna, Dido, Jamie xx, FKA Twigs, Lykke Li, Alessia Cara, Sia, Florence Welch, Joan Jett, Tom Odell, Alec Benjamin, New Radicals, [2] The Weeknd, ASAP Rocky, Jewel, CeeLo Green, Marina and the Diamonds, Brandon Flowers, Colbie Caillat, *NSYNC, Celine Dion, Belinda Carlisle, John Legend, André 3000, Santana, and Tupac. [3]

Nowels co-wrote the title track for Celine Dion's album Falling into You , which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1997. [4] In 1998, Nowels' co-written song “The Power of Good-Bye” was released on Madonna's Grammy Award winning studio album, Ray of Light . Nowels co-wrote “The Game of Love” performed by Santana and Michelle Branch, which won ASCAP Song of the Year in 2003. He also co-wrote the track "White Flag" for Dido, which won the 2004 Ivor Novello Award for International Hit of the Year. [5] Nowels co-wrote and co-produced songs on six albums for Lana Del Rey's Born to Die , Paradise , Ultraviolence , Honeymoon , Lust for Life and Norman Fucking Rockwell . Nowels and Del Rey's song "Young and Beautiful" featured on The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film soundtrack, was nominated for a Grammy Award, Critics' Choice Awards, and won Best Original Song at the 18th Satellite Awards.

In 2020, Nowels was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. [6]

Early life

Nowels was born in Palo Alto, California. [7]

Career

Early success

In 1985, Stevie Nicks recorded Nowels’ song “I Can't Wait” in Los Angeles, giving Rick his first major songwriting and production credit. [8] He was later asked to co-produce Nicks’ album Rock a Little alongside Jimmy Iovine. The album was released in 1986 and featured 5 songs produced by Nowels. [9] [10] “I Can't Wait” peaked at number 16 for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is one of only four of Nicks' singles to enter the Dance Club Songs chart. [11]

In 1987, Nowels produced Belinda Carlisle's album Heaven on Earth . The album also featured four songs written by Nowels, including “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”, “I Get Weak" and "Circle in the Sand" which went to number one, number two and number six respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. [12] [13]

Madonna

While Nowels was in New York for the Grammy Awards in 1997, he met Madonna during a shopping expedition at Barneys. She later booked two weeks’ worth of writing time with Rick in his Hollywood Hills studio. [14] Together they wrote “The Power of Good-Bye,” [15] Little Star,” and “To Have and Not to Hold”, all featured on Madonna's seventh studio album, Ray of Light . [16] [17]

Ray of Light won Best Pop Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards, where Madonna thanked Nowels from the stage during her acceptance speech. The album also won Best Recording Package, Best Dance Recording, and Best Short Form Music Video. [18]

In 2014, Nowels and Madonna collaborated again on a song, “Beautiful Scars,” for her thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart .

Dido

Nowels met Dido in 1999 where she was making her debut album No Angel under Cheeky Records, an independent label in London. Rick co-produced three songs on her first album including "Here With Me," "Hunter," and "All You Want," all which were released as singles to promote the album. [19] "Here With Me" became Dido's debut single as an artist, peaking at number four in the UK Singles Chart. [20] The album No Angel went on to sell 15 million copies worldwide and made Dido an international superstar. [21]

In 2002, Rick and Dido collaborated again to produce her second album Life For Rent . Nowels wrote five songs featured on the album, including singles "White Flag" [22] and "Sand in My Shoes." The album became the seventh best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK, was nominated for a Grammy, won the award for "Best Single" at the 2004 Brit Awards, won "International Hit of the Year" at the 2004 Ivor Novello Awards, and other accolades. [23]

The pair went on to collaborate on Dido's Safe Trip Home album in 2008, her Girl Who Got Away album in 2013, and her 2019 album Still on My Mind .

Lana Del Rey

Nowels met Lana Del Rey in the spring of 2011. [24]

In a three-day writing session they composed, “Summertime Sadness,” “Dark Paradise,” “Lucky Ones,” and “TV in Black & White.” The three songs were released on Del Rey's 2012 Born To Die album, peaking at number one in the UK in 2012. The album sold 77,000 copies in the US within the first week and peaked at number two on the Billboard Top 200, just behind Adele’s album, 21. It received gold certification in 2013 and became the fifth best-selling album of 2012, selling 3.4 million copies. [25] [26] [27] [28]

In November 2012, Del Rey released, The Paradise Edition , of the Born To Die album with three songs written and produced by Nowels and Del Rey. “Body Electric," “American,” and “Cola.” [29] [30]

In 2013, Nowels and Del Rey's song, “Young and Beautiful,” was featured in Baz Luhrmann’s film, The Great Gatsby . The song was featured throughout the film and incorporated into the score by Craig Armstrong. “Young and Beautiful,” was released in April 2013. By June 2013 it rose to number three on the charts and has sold over a million copies since its release. [31] [32]

In 2015, Del Rey released her fourth studio album, Honeymoon . The entire album was co-written by Del Rey and Nowels with the exception of the cover, “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Del Rey and Nowels’ singles include, “High by the Beach,” as well as, “Music To Watch Boys To.” Honeymoon, debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and reached number one in Australia, Greece, Ireland, and number two in the UK. [33] [34] [35]

In 2017, Del Rey released her fifth studio album, Lust For Life . Del Rey and Nowels co-wrote 14 of the songs for the album including the 3 singles, “Love,” “Lust for Life,” ft. the Weeknd and “White Mustang.” The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, as well as the UK Albums Chart. [36] [37] [38]

Discography

Notable works

Personal life

Nowels married singer-songwriter, Maria Vidal, in 1990. Vidal attended New York University and is known for writing the hit dance song, "Body Rock," charting on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. [39] The couple have a son, Tommy, born in 1993. Nowles is a supporter of TreePeople Los Angeles, The Sierra Club , and the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).

Awards and nominations

YearNominated workCategoryResultNotes
2014Young and Beautiful by Lana Del ReySatellite Award for Best Original SongWonCo-writer
2004White FlagIvor Novello Award for International Hit of the YearWonCo-writer

ASCAP Pop Music Awards

YearNominated workCategoryResultNotes
2014The Game of Love by Santana ft. Michelle BranchSong of the YearWonCo-writer

Grammy Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResultRef.
2013 "Young And Beautiful" Best Song Written for Visual Media Nominated [40]
2003 "Love One Another" Best Dance Recording Nominated
1997 Falling into You Album of the Year Won
1994 "Body and Soul" Best R&B Song Nominated

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<i>Lust for Life</i> (Lana Del Rey album) 2017 studio album by Lana Del Rey

Lust for Life is the fifth studio album by American singer Lana Del Rey, released on July 21, 2017, through Polydor Records and Interscope Records. Marking a return to the "hip-hop inspired" sound of her major-label debut Born to Die, the album features production from past collaborators Rick Nowels, Kieron Menzies and Emile Haynie, while also working for the first time with producers Boi-1da, Max Martin, Benny Blanco and Metro Boomin. It also features guest appearances from ASAP Rocky, Stevie Nicks, Sean Lennon, and Playboi Carti. The album and its title were announced on March 29, 2017, through a trailer on Del Rey's official Vevo channel on YouTube.

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"Beautiful People Beautiful Problems" is a song by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey from her fifth studio album, Lust for Life (2017). With an early demo recorded in 2014, the song was reworked to a form a new version featuring Stevie Nicks. The song was written by Del Rey, Nicks, Rick Nowels, and Justin Parker, while Nowels, Del Rey, Parker, Kieron Menzies, and Dean Reid handled production for the song.

Summer Bummer Lana Del Rey song

"Summer Bummer" is a song by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey featuring American rappers ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti featured on her fifth studio album Lust For Life. The song was released for digital download on July 12, 2017, alongside "Groupie Love" featuring ASAP Rocky, as a promotional single with the pre-order of the album. It was later sent to UK contemporary hit radio on July 28 as the album's third single. The song was written by Del Rey, Matthew Samuels, Rakim Mayers, Playboi Carti, Tyler Williams, Jahaan Sweet, and Andrew Joseph Gradwohl, Jr, with the production being handled by Boi-1da, Sweet, and Rick Nowels.

"Groupie Love" is a song by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey featuring American rapper ASAP Rocky featured on her fifth studio album Lust for Life. The song was released for digital download on July 12, 2017, alongside "Summer Bummer" featuring ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti, as a promotional single with the pre-order of the album. The song was later sent to Italian radio on July 28, 2017 as the album's fourth single. The song was written by Del Rey, Rick Nowels and Rakim Mayers with the production being handled by Del Rey, Emile Haynie, Rick Nowels, Kieron Menzies, Hector Delgado and Dean Reid.

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