Tricky Stewart

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Tricky Stewart
Stewart in 2020
Stewart in 2020
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Alan Stewart
Also known asTricky
Born (1974-01-04) January 4, 1974 (age 48)
Markham, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1992–present

Christopher Alan "Tricky" Stewart (born January 4, 1974) is an American record producer, record executive, songwriter, and music publisher. In a career spanning over 30 years, Stewart has won 5 Grammys and is responsible for over 50 million records sold.[1] He is noted for producing many hip hop, R&B and pop chart topping singles, often with The-Dream. Some of Stewart's record breaking singles are: Mýa's "Case of the Ex" (2000), Britney Spears' "Me Against the Music" (2003), Rihanna's "Umbrella" (2007), Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine" (2007), Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" (2008), Karina Pasian's "16 @ War" (2008), Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" (2008) and "Obsessed" (2009), Justin Bieber's "One Time" (2009) and "Baby" (2010), Ciara's "Ride" (2010), and Nicole Scherzinger's "Your Love" (2014).

In 2012, he was included in Billboard's 40 Under 40, a list of music executives "who are propelling our industry with their artistic and business vision."[2]

In 2020, Stewart signed a publishing deal with Spirit Music Group.[3] The deal covers his future works, as Stewart sold his catalog to Hipgnosis Songs in 2018.[4] Stewart is founder of the record label RedZone Entertainment, which has signed artists such as Frank Ocean.

Early life[edit]

Stewart was born in Markham, Illinois. Raised in a musical family, he was playing guitar, playing keyboards and writing songs by the age of 12. His older brother, record producer Laney Stewart, introduced him to one of his first music business mentors, the late Louis Silas, Jr. Silas fostered Stewart's music career by giving him the opportunity to contribute to the projects of several major artists. Before graduating high school, Stewart had placements with artists such as Aaron Hall, rhythm and blues trio IMx, and Chanté Moore. He credits working with Moore opened many doors for his burgeoning music career.[5]



In 1994, Stewart produced "Treat U Right" for Blackgirl. He also met Record Producer and Songwriter L.A. Reid, who offered him a deal to move his first production company to Atlanta. In 1995, with the support of Reid, in partnership with his brother Mark Stewart, and his sister-in-law Judi Stewart-RedZone Entertainment and Triangle Sound Studios were created. RedZone Entertainment is based in Atlanta, but also has a recording studio in Los Angeles.

Stewart's career and reputation continued to soar, with a major breakthrough in 1999 when he co-wrote the single "Who Dat" for JT Money. "Who Dat" was a No. 1 rap single, ASCAP's "Song of the Year", and reached No. 5 on the Billboard pop chart.[6] In addition to producing and writing, he scouted new talent and managed, Stewart jump-started the careers of artists such as Solé and Blu Cantrell.

In 2000, Tricky co-wrote and produced Interscope artist Mýa's breakthrough single "Case of the Ex", It peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2000, and stayed in the Top 10 for three months.[7] While Mya's song was still on top, Stewart discovered and signed Blu Cantrell, and went on to executive produce her debut album So Blu on Arista Records. It peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 album chart and spawned the No. 2 hit "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)".

In 2002, Stewart co-produced and co-wrote B2K's debut single, "Uh Huh".[8] It was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks.[9] In 2003, Blu Cantrell's second album, Bittersweet, was released; it features three songs produced by Stewart, "Unhappy", "Holding on to Love" and "Let Her Go". He also co-wrote and produced a number of songs for Britney Spears's fourth album, In the Zone (2003), including two of its singles, "Me Against the Music" and "Outrageous", as well as "Early Mornin'" and "The Hook Up".


2007 was a breakthrough year for Stewart and RedZone Entertainment. Rihanna's single "Umbrella", co-written with The-Dream, garnered two Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and a Grammy for "Best Rap/Song Collaboration. In an interview with MTV, Stewart said

When she recorded the 'ellas' you knew it was about to be the jump-off, and your life was about to change if you had anything to do with that record.

Released in March 2007, "Umbrella" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart by May, rising 40 spots in one week to land and stay seven straight weeks at number one. The song also broke the iTunes music store's record for biggest debut ever. The success brought Rihanna to a new level of fame, co-writer The-Dream went on to debut his own hit record "Love Hate" (executive produced by Stewart), which included the hit single "Shawty is a 10" peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. He also co-wrote and produced Dream's, "Falsetto" and "I Luv Your Girl". In late 2007, Stewart was working with notable artists as Janet Jackson, Celine Dion (Skies of L.A. off her new album "Taking Chances"), and Usher ("Moving Mountains" and "This Ain't Sex" of his new album Here I Stand).

It's crazy, just being a part of that, I've seen a lot of things in my time in the music business, but to see a record take off like that, it's just amazing.

Stewart was also nominated in 2007 for a Grammy for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" on Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"; that same year, Stewart also co-wrote and produced on the album Growing Pains, as well as the vocals were produced by his production team. The team, composed of Tricky, The-Dream, and Kuk Harrell, proved to be a winning combination. Tricky won his first Grammy for his work on Growing Painsin 2009.

The single "Touch My Body" off Mariah Carey's album in 2008 E=MC², produced by Stewart and Carey was described as "...a No. 1 just waiting to pounce the Billboard Hot 100" by Chuck Taylor of Billboard Magazine. On April 2, 2008 it was announced that "Touch My Body" became Carey's 18th No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, pushing her to second place among artists with the most No. 1 singles in the rock era and first place as a solo artist in the same category, surpassing Elvis Presley. The achievement was attributed to a record-breaking digital sales debut, as 286,000 copies were sold in its first week of availability.

Additionally, in 2008 he produced the songs, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" for Beyoncé as well as the ballad "Smash into You". "Single Ladies" would later become a pop culture phenomenon due to its female empowerment lyrics, catchy melody and much parodied music video. The song would also win multiple Grammy and MTV Video Music Awards, and remain's Stewart's best-selling single.

He produced a High Price featuring Ludacris for Ciara's 2009 album, Fantasy Ride. He also worked with Japanese-American singer-songwriter Utada on her third English studio album This Is The One which he produced four songs from the record.

Tricky and The-Dream almost exclusively co-wrote (with Mariah) and produced the entirety of Mariah Carey's 2009 album, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel".

Tricky and The-Dream executive-produced Ciara's fourth studio album titled Basic Instinct, which was released on December 10, 2010. The lead single from the album titled "Ride", was produced by the duo, the single was released in April 2010 and went on to become Ciara's twelfth top ten hit on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[10]

Stewart contributed to the Christina Aguilera album Bionic, released in June 2010, and produced the score for her debut film, Burlesque, released in November 2010.

Stewart produced the Katy Perry second studio album, named Teenage Dream and was released in 2010.[11] The second promotional single, "Circle the Drain", produced by Tricky was released on iTunes on August 10, 2010.

Stewart was confirmed to be taking part in Jennifer Lopez's eighth studio album "Love?" which was looking at a Summer 2010 releasing alongside The-Dream and Tricky Stewart making it her debut release with Def Jam Records after completing her 10-year contract with Epic Records in February 2010.

Stewart and The Dream teamed up to work on Jessica Simpson's holiday album Happy Christmas.


Produced singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Artist Album
1999 "Who Dat" (featuring Solé) 5 2 1 JT Money Pimpin' on Wax
"4, 5, 6" (featuring JT Money and Kandi) 27 9 1 Solé Skin Deep
2000 "It Wasn't Me" (featuring Ginuwine) 44
"If You Don't Wanna Love Me" 89 30 Tamar Braxton Tamar
"Case of the Ex" 2 10 3 14 1 Mýa Fear of Flying
2003 "Me Against the Music" (featuring Madonna) 35 2 2 1 Britney Spears In the Zone
2007 "Umbrella" (featuring Jay-Z) 1 4 1 1 1 1 Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad
"Just Fine" 22 3 42 16 84 Mary J. Blige Growing Pains
"Ridin'" 58 Mýa Liberation
"Suffocate" 18 2 55 J. Holiday Back of My Lac'
"Falsetto" 30 3 94 The-Dream Love/Hate
"I Luv Your Girl" (featuring Young Jeezy) 20 3 58
2008 "Touch My Body" 1 2 1 5 2 17 Mariah Carey E=MC²
"Leavin'" 10 1 48 16 49 Jesse McCartney Departure
"Moving Mountains" 67 18 25 36 Usher Here I Stand
"Cookie Jar" (featuring The-Dream) 59 55 6 91 41 Gym Class Heroes The Quilt
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" 1 1 2 7 2 5 Beyoncé I Am... Sasha Fierce
"Just Like Me" (featuring T.I.) 49 8 91 Jamie Foxx Intuition
2009 "Hands on Me" 56 Bobby Valentino The Rebirth
"Throw It in the Bag" (featuring The-Dream) 14 4 2 Fabolous Loso's Way
"All I Really Want" (featuring The-Dream) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap
"Like a Surgeon" 59 Ciara Fantasy Ride
"Obsessed" 7 12 52 15 13 Mariah Carey Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
"One Time" 17 14 11 12 35 Justin Bieber My World
"I Look to You" 70 16 115 68 Whitney Houston I Look to You
"Gangsta Luv" (featuring The-Dream) 35 24 5 Snoop Dogg Malice n Wonderland
"Louboutins" Jennifer Lopez Love?
"Hard" (featuring Young Jeezy) 8 14 9 42 15 75 Rihanna Rated R
2010 "Baby" (featuring Ludacris) 5 96 3 3 18 Justin Bieber My World 2.0
"Up Out My Face" (remix) (featuring Nicki Minaj) 100 39 Mariah Carey Angels Advocate (Unreleased)
"Ride" (featuring Ludacris) 42 3 75 75 Ciara Basic Instinct
"Speechless" 74
"Gimmie Dat" 63 111
2011 "Novacane" 82 17 Frank Ocean Nostalgia, Ultra


Year Album/song Artist Credit
2022 "Break My Soul"[12] Beyoncé Producer
2021 Bodies[13] Muni Long Producer, Composer
2020 Eden / I Spoiled You[14] Matt B Producer
2016 Lilac / "Purple"[15] ThiDaniel aka Saucito Producer
2011 Novacane Frank Ocean Writer/Producer
2010 No Mercy / "No Mercy" T.I. Producer
Love King / "Panties to the Side" The-Dream
Basic Instinct / "Gimmie Dat" Ciara
Basic Instinct / "Ride" Ciara / Ludacris
Untitled Yet Celine Dion
Love? / "Run the World" Jennifer Lopez
Burlesque soundtrack / "Express", "Show Me How You Burlesque" Christina Aguilera/ Cher
Bionic / "Desnudate", "Glam", "Prima Donna" Christina Aguilera Producer, composer
Teenage Dream/ "Circle the Drain", "Who Am I Living For?", "Hummingbird Heartbeat", "Dressin'Up" Katy Perry
2009 D.N.A./ Starlight Mario Producer
D.N.A./ Don't Walk Away
Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel Mariah Carey Writer/producer
Fantasy Ride/ High Price Ciara/ Ludacris Producer
Fantasy Ride/ Ciara to the Stage Ciara
Fantasy Ride/ Like a Surgeon
Fantasy Ride/ Keep Dancin' On Me
This Is The One Utada
Loso's Way / Throw It in the Bag Fabolous / The-Dream
Hatin on the Club Rihanna / The-Dream
2008 Intuition Jamie Foxx Producer, composer
Call and Response: The Remix Album/"This Love (C. "Tricky" Stewart Remix)" Maroon 5 Producer
I Am... Sasha Fierce/"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and "Smash into You" Beyoncé Composer, producer
The Quilt/"Cookie Jar" Gym Class Heroes Producer
"Hurt That Body" Donnie Klang Composer, producer
Here I Stand/"This Ain't Sex" Usher
Here I Stand/"Moving Mountains"
E=MC² Mariah Carey
E=MC²(deluxe edition)
E=MC²/"Touch My Body"
Departure Jesse McCartney
Discipline Janet Jackson Producer
Discipline "Greatest X" Producer, composer
Discipline (CD/DVD Japan deluxe edition) Producer
Discipline (CD/DVD)
2007 Back of My Lac' (CD/DVD) J. Holiday Producer, composer
Love/Hate The-Dream Composer, producer, director
Love/Hate (clean)
Love/Hate/"Falsetto" Composer, producer
Love/Hate/"I Luv Your Girl"
Good Girl Gone Bad Rihanna Composer, producer, keyboards, drum programming
Good Girl Gone Bad (bonus CD)
Good Girl Gone Bad/"Umbrella" Composer, producer
Ananda (CD/DVD) Paulina Rubio Producer
Ananda (standard)
Growing Pains Mary J. Blige Composer, producer, keyboards, drum programming, mix supervision
Growing Pains/"Just Fine" Composer, producer
Back of My Lac' (CD/DVD Clean) J. Holiday Producer
Back of My Lac' (clean)
Back of My Lac'/"Bed" Composer, producer
Back of My Lac'/"Suffocate"
Taking Chances/"Skies of L.A." Celine Dion Producer, keyboards, drum programming
Taking Chances (CD/DVD)
2006 Alter Ego/"Light's On" Tyrese Producer
The Best of Sisqo 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection Sisqo
Ananda (Target bonus track) Paulina Rubio
Ananda (Walmart bonus track)
Point of No Return / "You Ain't Ready" 3LW Writer, producer
Point of No Return / "How U Gonna Act" 3LW / Penelope Magnet
Director Avant Producer
Director(Circuit City Exclusive)
2005 Back for More Shawn Desman Arranger, programming, instrumentation
Back for More (bonus CD)
Girlfight (Australia) Brooke Valentine Producer
In The Zone (DualDisc) Britney Spears Programming, instrumentation
Queen of Hip-Pop/"I Love You" Namie Amuro Composer, producer, multi-instrumentation
2004 Been Around The World, Pt. 1 Zena Producer
This Is My Time (Life Is Beautiful / What's Real?) Raven-Symoné
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative Britney Spears Arranger, programming, multi-instrumentation
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (import bonus CD)
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (U.S. bonus CD)
In The Zone (DVD audio/bonus videos) Arranger, programming, vocals (background), instrumentation
In The Zone (import bonus track)
Bittersweet (Australia bonus tracks) Blu Cantrell Producer, executive producer, drum programming
B2K Greatest Hits B2K Producer, composer
Chapter III Allure Producer, programming, instrumentation
2003 Moodring Mýa Producer
Moodring (UK bonus tracks)
Moodring/"Sophisticated Lady" & "No Sleep Tonight"
In the Zone Britney Spears Arranger, programming, vocals (background), multi-instruments
In the Zone (Australia Bonus Tracks) Producer, arranger, programming, vocals (background), multi-instruments
Me Against the Music Composer, producer, arranger, programming, instrumentation
Me Against the Music (remixes) Composer, arranger, programming, instrumentation
Me Against the Music (Australia CD)
Me Against the Music, Pt. 2 Composer, producer, arranger, programming, instrumentation
Bittersweet (w/Explicit Bonus CD) Blu Cantrell Executive producer, drum programming, mixing, instrumentation
Bittersweet/Breathe (CD5) Executive producer
2002 Funky Divas: The Autumn Collection Various artists Producer
The New Guy (soundtrack)
Pure R&B, Vol 3
Bad Company (original soundtrack)
2001 Down To Earth, Music From the Motion Picture Various artists Producer, programmer, sequencing
Prophet Jones Prophet Jones Producer, programming, keyboards
Fear of Flying Mýa
Fear of Flying (bonus tracks)
Fear of Flying/"Case of the Ex" Producer
Bridging the Gap Charlie Wilson Producer, keyboards
So Blu Blu Cantrell Executive producer, producer
2000 Take Back (C."Tricky" Stewart remix) Koda Kumi Remixer
Tamar Tamar Braxton Executive producer, producer, writer
1999 Skin Deep Solé Producer, executive producer
Skin Deep (clean)
Rise to Power Kane and Abel Programming, multi-instruments, sequencing
Pimpin' On Wax J.T. Money Producer, engineer, programming, vocals, performer
Pimpin' On Wax/"Who dat" feat. Solé Producer, composer
Daydreamin' Before Dark Sequencing, keyboards
1998 Player's Club (soundtrack) Various artists Producer
Player's Club (soundtrack, Clean)
Tyrese Tyrese Producer, engineer
Tyrese (clean) Programming, sequencing
1996 Mista Mista Producer
Now and Forever Color Me Badd Keyboards
1994 Straight to the Point Damion Hall Producer, vocal arrangement, programming, sequencing
Treat U Right Blackgirl Producer, vocal arrangement, arranger, sequencing
1993 NBA Jam Session Various artists Programming, remixing, sequencing
Remixes in the Key of B Bobby Brown Multi-instruments, remixing
The Truth Aaron Hall Sequencing
1992 Our Worst Behavior Immature Drums

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Album/artist/song Award/nomination
2010 I Am... Sasha Fierce/Beyonce Grammy Nominee "Album of the Year"
2010 I Am... Sasha Fierce/Beyonce Grammy Winner "Best Contemporary R&B Album"
2010 I Am... Sasha Fierce/Beyonce/"Single Ladies" Grammy Winner "Song of the Year"
2010 I Am... Sasha Fierce/Beyonce/"Single Ladies" Grammy Winner "Best R&B Song"
2009 Growing Pains/Mary J. Blige Grammy Winner "Best Cont R&B Album"
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna feat. Jay Z/"Umbrella" ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Award "Among the Chart Topping R&B/Hip Hop Songs of 2007"
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna feat. Jay Z/"Umbrella" NMPA double platinum "note"[16]
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna feat. Jay Z/"Umbrella" Grammy Nomination "Song of the Year"
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna feat. Jay Z/"Umbrella" Grammy Nomination "Record of the Year"
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna feat. Jay Z/"Umbrella" Grammy "Best Rap/Song Collaboration"
2007 Growing Pains/Mary J. Blige/"Just Fine" Grammy Nomination "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance"
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna/"Umbrella" NMPA double platinum
2007 Good Girl Gone Bad/Rihanna/"Umbrella" ASCAP Pop Award "One of the Most Played Songs of 2007"


  1. ^ "Spirit Music Group | Tricky Stewart Signs Publishing Deal With Spirit Music Group". Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Gail (August 2, 2012). "40 Under 40: Christopher "Tricky" Stewart". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Variety Staff (March 13, 2020). "'Umbrella' Cowriter Tricky Stewart Signs Publishing Deal With Spirit Music". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Variety Staff (March 13, 2020). "'Umbrella' Cowriter Tricky Stewart Signs Publishing Deal With Spirit Music". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "Tricky Stewart". Peermusic. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  6. ^ Dale Kawashima,, "C. Tricky Stewart Co-Writes "Case of the Ex" for Mya, Plus Other Top R&B Hip=Hop Hits"
  7. ^ Dale Kawashima,, "C. Tricky Stewart Co-Writes "Case of the Ex" for Mya, Plus Other Top R&B/Hip Hop Hits"
  8. ^ Moss, Corey (October 15, 2003). "Getting Aggressive With Britney Pays Off For RedZone". MTV News. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  9. ^ "'O Brother' Still Finds Itself On Top". Billboard. March 21, 2002. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Exclusive: Ciara Readies New Album". September 28, 2009. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  11. ^ Tricky Stewart Switches Gears with New Katy Perry Album Archived December 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Rap-Up (December 2010).
  12. ^ Harris, Latesha (June 21, 2022). "Beyoncé's new single is out. Listen to 'BREAK MY SOUL'". NPR. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  13. ^ "Muni Long Counts Her 'Bodies' on New Track by Antwan Folk". Rated R&B. March 22, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  14. ^ "MATT B REFLECTS WITH SILKY-SMOOTH R&B SINGLE "I SPOILED YOU" by Hanna Yando". Behind the Curtains Media. August 28, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  15. ^ "Singer ThiDaniel Teams with Super Producer Tricky Stewart for Feel-Good Track 'Purple': Premiere". Billboard. August 25, 2016. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  16. ^,"Tricky Receives Double Platinum Song Award"