Jess Cates

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Jess Cates (born July 27, 1976 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a Los Angeles based songwriter who has co-written multi-platinum selling songs such as Nick Lachey's "What’s Left Of Me", and the Backstreet Boys hit of 2006 "Incomplete". In recent years, Cates has worked in a commercially successful songwriting team with Lindy Robbins and Emanuel Kiriakou. In its 2008 "Roundup," ASCAP characterized the trio as "award-winning, multi-platinum selling songwriters."[1]

Other artists who have recorded his songs include Kevin Paige,[2] Jordin Sparks, Britt Nicole, The Jonas Brothers, LeAnn Rimes, Clay Aiken,[3] Kimberley Locke, The Afters, Bo Bice, JC Chasez, Taylor Hicks, plus international artists including Australian Idols Shannon Noll and Dean Geyer, Canadian Idols Melissa O’Neil and Ryan Malcolm, Germany’s Stanfour and Tobias Regner, and Latin superstar David Bisbal.

While in Nashville, Cates earned recognition for cuts with platinum and gold artists Bebo Norman, Plus One, Avalon, and Rebecca St. James. Three of those songs garnered a #1 slot on the CCM Radio chart.

Cates wrote five songs for Nick Lachey’s gold album “What’s Left Of Me,” including the first two singles, the title track and “I Can’t Hate You Anymore”. In April 2007, Cates received an ASCAP Award for “What’s Left Of Me” being among the most performed songs of 2006. In 2002, Cates was recognized by ASCAP for cowriting "I Don't Want To Go," one of the year's most frequently performed Christian songs.[4]

In 2008 he co-wrote David Archuleta's debut single, "Crush".[5] Ben Ratliff of The New York Times wrote that it was one of the "few dollops of good writing" on Archuleta's debut album.[6]


David Archuleta:
"Falling Stars"

Elliott Yamin:
“You Say”

Martina McBride
“I Just Call You Mine”

Ashley Tisdale
“Tell Me Lies”

Tyrone Wells
“In Between The Lines”

Nick Lachey:
“What’s Left Of Me”
“I Can’t Hate You Anymore”
“Run To Me”
“Outside Looking In”

Jordin Sparks:
“Next To You”
“Worth The Wait”

Jonas Brothers:
“Take A Breath”
"Fall(from the JONAS L.A. soundtrack)"

Backstreet Boys:
“Any Other Way”
“Everything But Mine”
“One In A Million”
“You Can Let Go”
“In Pieces” "Dont Turn Out The Lights

Kimberley Locke:

LeAnn Rimes:
“For The First Time”
“Break Me Down”

JC Chasez:
“You Ruined Me”

Ty Herdon:
“In The Arms Of The One Who Loves Me”

The Afters:
“Falling Into Place”

“On Your Side”
“Hard Enough To Miss You”

Bo Bice:
“Hold On To Me”

Clay Aiken:
“I Will Carry You”
“I Survived You”

Taylor Hicks:
“Just To Feel That Way”[8]

“I Will Be” “Lonely Life”

Bebo Norman:

See also[edit]

Songs written or co-written by Jess Cates


  1. ^
  2. ^ Donahue, Michael (December 4, 2003). "There's no place like 'Home' at the Apollo", The Commercial Appeal, p. E3.
  3. ^ Hay, Carla (February 28, 2004). "Spotlight on Aiken's Platinum Partners", Billboard 116 (9): 28–9.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Getlen, Larry (November 2, 2008). "Making Daves: After their one-two finish on 'Idol', Cook and Archuleta set out to reinvent themselves for the real world", New York Post, p. 46.
  6. ^ Ratliff, Ben (November 10, 2008). "Critics' Choice: New CDs: David Archuleta", The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
  7. ^ Menze, Jill (October 20, 2007). "The Boys are back in town", Billboard 119 (42): 36–8.
  8. ^ Bonfiglio, Jeremy (July 25, 2007). "Ex-'Idol' Hicks delivers soulful set", South Bend Tribune, p. 1.