Shelly Peiken

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Shelly Peiken
Selfie in the studio.jpg
Background information
GenresPop, rock
Occupation(s)Songwriter, author
Instrument(s)Piano, guitar, vocals
Years active1986–present

Shelly Meg Peiken is an American songwriter who is best known for co-writing the US No. 1 hits "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby" by Christina Aguilera[1] the US No. 2 hit "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks,[2] "Almost Doesn't Count" by Brandy,[3] and "Who You Are" by Jessie J. She has also written for or with Britney Spears, The Pretenders, Natasha Bedingfield, Keith Urban, Rebecca realize, Celine Dion, Cher, Reba McEntire, Jessie J, Miley Cyrus, Ed Sheeran, Aaliyah, Selena Gomez, Idina Menzel and Demi Lovato and has had hundreds of songs licensed for TV and film.


Shelly Peiken grew up in Freeport, Long Island where she became interested in music at an early age.[citation needed]

Later, she attended the University of Maryland where she studied fashion design only to come to New York City afterwards where she spent many years developing her true passion as a singer-songwriter.[4]

She signed her first publishing deal with boutique company, Hit & Run Music, and went on to write songs for Brandy, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, The Pretenders, Britney Spears, Jessie J, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, INXS, Backstreet Boys, Keith Urban and many others.[5]

In 1998, Peiken and Meredith Brooks earned a Best Rock Song Grammy nomination for "Bitch".[2]

Further success followed with two No. 1's for Christina Aguilera, "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby,"[1] "I Wanna Be With You" for Mandy Moore,[6] "Hook Me Up" (a No. 1 in Australia, written with Greg Wells and The Veronicas),[7] "Who You Are" (written with Toby Gad and Jessie J),[8] "Human on the Inside" for the Pretenders (written with Mark McEntee),[9] and "Almost Doesn't Count" for Brandy (written with Guy Roche).[3]

She has blogged for notable sites such as Huffington Post,[10] and Yamaha Music[11] where she writes of her experiences as a songwriter, creativity, the challenges of the current music business, and the balancing of career and parenthood. She has a personal website and blog as well.

Peiken's first book, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter,[12] was published by Backbeat Books, on March 1, 2016 and was nominated for Best Spoken Word Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[13]

She resides in Los Angeles with husband, film composer Adam Gorgoni and her daughter, Layla.[4]

Artist recordings[edit]

In 2020, Peiken began releasing singles from her debut album 2.0, etc….[14] Peiken called the album "a celebration of songwriting... I included songs from my career that either catapulted me in a commercial way but also songs I was very connected to and were never released commercially before. If I don't put them out there, nobody is ever going to hear them."[15] The album includes previously unreleased songs "Just Wanna Be Your Girl,"[15] "George & John,"[14] and "Notebook,"[16] as well as her own recording of "What A Girl Wants" in celebration of its 20th anniversary as the first number 1 song of the century.[15]


Complete discography[edit]

Year Title Artist Album
1988 "Ready for This Love" Samantha Fox I Wanna Have Some Fun
"Carry Your Heart" Taylor Dayne Tell It to My Heart
1989 "Up All Night" Can't Fight Fate
"I Can't Cry" Natalie Cole Good to Be Back
1990 "He'll Never Know" Sweet Sensation Love Child
1991 "Guess It Wasn't Mine" Curtis Stigers Curtis Stigers
"You're All That Matters To Me"
1992 "If I Were You" Celine Dion Celine Dion
"I Think I'm In Trouble" Exposé Exposé
1993 "Take A Piece of My Heart" Lulu I'm Back for More
1994 "Take A Piece of My Heart" Jennifer Brown Giving You The Best
1995 "Romeo's Twin" Niamh Kavanagh Flying Bird
1996 "Have Mercy" Viktor Lazlo Back To Front
"Human on the Inside" Divinyls Underworld
1997 "Bitch" Meredith Brooks Blurring the Edges
"I Need"
"Wash my Hands"
"Stuck On You" Victoria Shaw Victoria Shaw
"Peace and Love" Blessid Union of Souls Blessid Union of Souls
1998 "Almost Doesn't Count" Brandy Never Say Never
"When I Remember When" Five Five
"Hey Now Now" Swirl 360 Ask Anybody
"Even If It Breaks My Heart" Cliff Richard Real as I Wanna Be
"Woman and a Man"
"Under My Tree" NSYNC Home for Christmas
"Guess It's Christmas Time"
"It's Not Goodbye" Laura Pausini La mia risposta
1999 "These Days" Brian Kennedy & Ronan Keating Now That I Know What I Want
"What a Girl Wants" Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera
"Come On Over Baby"
"Don't Make Me Love You"
"Too Beautiful For Words" What a Girl Wants - B-side
"Everytime You Cry" John Farnham & Human Nature Live at the Regent Theatre - 1st July 1999
"Turn The Page" Aaliyah Music of the Heart - Soundtrack
"Bored with Myself" Meredith Brooks Deconstruction
"Human" The Pretenders Viva el Amor
"I'm Not Your Girl" Reba McEntire So Good Together
"Last Night" Gloria Gaynor Last Night - Single
"That's What Love Will Do" i5 i5
"First Kiss"
"Rain Rain" Innosense So Together
"So Together"
"Don't Mess With My Love" M2M Shades of Purple
"I Wanna Be With You" Mandy Moore Center Stage - Soundtrack
"Almost Doesn't Count" Mark Wills Permanently
"Better Love Next Time" Gladys Knight So Together
"That's Why They Call It Love"
"As Long As You're Loving Me" Vitamin C More
"Rain Rain" Cher Living Proof
"When I Get There" Dream It Was All a Dream
"While You Were Gone" Jennifer Paige Positively Somewhere
"17" Mandy Moore Mandy Moore
"You Get Me" Michelle Branch The Spirit Room
"Por Qué?" Myra Milagros
"As If" Myra
"Sleep Tonight" Jacob Young S-Curve
"As If" Blaque Blaque Out
"Super Love" Celine Dion A New Day Has Come
"Stand In Your Way" Jennifer Love Hewitt BareNaked
"It's Only Love" Joe Cocker Respect Yourself
"Leave A Light on"
"This Is Your Life"
"Trouble With Goodbye" LeAnn Rimes Twisted Angel
"Shine" Meredith Brooks Shine
"Shut Up and Kiss Me or Just Shut Up" Michelle Wright Shut Up and Kiss Me
"First Kiss" Nina Heaven
"Whenever I Run" Keith Urban Golden Road
"Forget Me Not" Celine Dion One Heart
"Done" Lucy Woodward While You Can
"Is This Hollywood"
"The Trouble With Me"
"Decadent Wish" Meat Loaf "Testify" single
"Sweetest Pain" Haylie Duff Raising Helen - Soundtrack
"Coulda Been" Kimberley Locke One Love
"Something I Never Had" Lindsay Lohan Speak
"Fools Like Me" Lisa Loeb The Way It Really Is
"What's Real" Raven-Symoné This Is My Time
"Better To Be Lonely" Tammin Whatever Will Be
"Perfect Strangers" INXS Switch
"Bad Habit" Sarah Hudson Naked Truth
"Unlove You"
"Lose It All" Backstreet Boys Never Gone
"I'm Better" Ashley Parker Angel Soundtrack to Your Life
"Dream in Color" Bianca Ryan Bianca Ryan
"Map To My Heart" Celine Dion Taking Chances
"Clear" Miley Cyrus Hannah Montana 2 / Meet Miley Cyrus
"As I Am"
"We'll Be Together" Ashley Tisdale Headstrong
"Unlove You"
"Love Me For Me"
"Girl Like Me" Skye Sweetnam Sound Soldier
"Hook Me Up" The Veronicas Hook Me Up
"Aquí Estoy (You're Not Alone)" Kudai Nadha
"Out From Under" Britney Spears Circus
"One Love" Jordan Pruitt Permission to Fly
"You Belong" Hercules and Love Affair Hercules and Love Affair
"Masquerade" Ashley Tisdale Guilty Pleasure
"The Way I Loved You" Selena Gomez and the Scene Kiss & Tell
"Pieces" Allison Iraheta Just Like You
"Trouble Is"
"Freeze" Mêlée The Masquerade
"Spotlight" Selena Gomez and the Scene A Year Without Rain
"Ghost Of You"
"Elevator" David Archuleta The Other Side of Down
"Who I Am"
"Good Place"
"Pretending" Glee Cast Glee: The Music, Volume 6
"Extraordinary Merry Christmas" Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2
"A Christmas Eve With You"
"Who You Are" Jessie J Who You Are
"Louder" Charice Louder/Lost The Best Thing
"Mistake" Demi Lovato Unbroken
"Echo" Javier Colon Come Through For You
"As A Blonde" Fefe Dobson Sunday Love
"Yeah, Yeah, Yeah"
"Perfect Planet" Smash Mouth Magic
"Out Of Love"
"Better With Time"
"Future X-Wife"
"Justin Bieber"
"The Game"
"Take It Hard" J. Dash Tabloid Truth
"Shake Santa Shake" Zendaya Disney Channel Holiday Playlist
"Had Me @ Hello" Olivia Holt Make Your Mark Playlist
"Had Me @ Hello" Luke Benward
"Like Me Or Not" Ryan Beatty Because of You EP
"Lemonade" Rachel Crow Rachel Crow
"All or Nothing" Glee Cast All or Nothing (Glee Cast Version)
"Outcast" Outcast (Glee Cast Version)
"Who I Am" Ross Lynch Austin & Ally: Turn It Up
"Dancin' By Myself" China McClain Disney Channel Play It Loud
"Lifeline" Anastacia Resurrection
"House On Fire" Ryan Cabrera Wake Up Beautiful
"Rotten To The Core" Descendants Descendants
"Evil" Dove Cameron Wicked World
"If I Knew" Anouk Queen For A Day
"Handwritten" Martina Stoessel Tini
"Cake" Idina Menzel idina.
2017 "The Only High" The Veronicas The Only High - Single
2018 "I'm A Mess" Bebe Rexha Expectations
2019 "Watergirl" Cashmere Cat Princess Catgirl
"Just Wanna Be Your Girl" Shelly Peiken 2.0 etc...
"What A Girl Wants" Shelly Peiken 2.0 etc...
"George & John" Shelly Peiken 2.0 etc...
"Notebook" Shelly Peiken 2.0 etc...
2021 "Stronger Than a Man" Bonnie Tyler The Best Is Yet to Come


  1. ^ a b Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2002-11-30. p. 52. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "40th Annual Grammy Awards: Final Nominations". Billboard. 17 January 1998. p. 78. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Almost Doesn't Count — Brandy |".
  4. ^ a b "Songwriter Shelly Peiken Creates Hits for Others in Uncertain Profession | News |". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  5. ^ "HIT & RUN MUSIC" (PDF). 20 January 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  6. ^ "I Wanna Be With You - Kindle edition by Keith Thomas, Mandy Moore, Shelly Peiken, Tiffany Arbuckle. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks @". Amazon. Archived from the original on 2014-08-10. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Girl Rock Nation - Artists - The Veronicas". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Song: Who You Are written by Jessie J,Shelly Peiken,Toby Gad | SecondHandSongs". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Song: Human on the Inside written by Mark McEntee,Shelly Peiken | SecondHandSongs". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Shelly Peiken blog". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Shelly Peiken". Yamaha Music. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  12. ^ Peiken, Shelly (2016). Confessions of a Serial Songwriter. Backbeat Books. ISBN 9781495049255.
  13. ^ "Songwriter's Pie Anyone? | Shelly Peiken". 19 June 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  14. ^ a b Whitmore, Laura B. (2020-03-19). "Hit Songwriter Shelly Peiken Brings Us a Brilliant Beatles-Inspired Love Song With 'George & John'". Parade. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  15. ^ a b c Wiser, Carl. "Shelly Peiken : Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  16. ^ Weiss, Suzannah (2020-05-07). "Shelly Peiken Spreads Mother's Day Love With "Notebook" Video". Audiofemme. Retrieved 2020-06-11.