1.The Hanson brothers — Isaac, Taylor, and Zac — came up with the infectious chorus to their worldwide number one hit "MMMBop" when they were just 13, 11, and 9 years old, respectively.
Listen to Hanson's "MMMBop" here:
2.Taylor Swift was just 14 and in her first year of high school when she cowrote the song "Tim McGraw," which appeared on her self-titled debut album, reaching No. 6 on the country charts and becoming her first-ever Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (she's, uh, had a few more since then).
Listen to Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw" here:
3.Paul McCartney wrote the music for "When I'm Sixty-Four" — off the Beatles' landmark album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — when he was just 16 years old.
Listen to the Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four" here:
4.Fiona Apple was 15 when she wrote "Never Is a Promise," an emotional, standout track on her debut album, Tidal.
Listen to Fiona Apple's "Never Is a Promise" here:
5.Daniel Johns and Ben Gillies of Silverchair were just 14 years old in 1994 when they wrote "Tomorrow," which they then entered into a nationwide band competition in their native Australia — and beat out over 800 other acts to win! The song became a phenomenon, reaching number one in Australia and then becoming the most played song on modern rock radio in the United States the following year.
Listen to Silverchair's "Tomorrow" here:
6.Lorde was only 15 when she wrote the lyrics to her number one hit "Royals" in just half an hour. She then co-composed the music with musician Joel Little shortly after that.
Listen to Lorde's "Royals" here:
7.In 1953, a 15-year-old Maurice Williams tried unsuccessfully to get his date to stay out with him past her parents' 10 p.m. curfew. The next day, he was inspired to write the timeless number one hit "Stay."
Listen to Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs perform "Stay" in 1967 here:
8.Adele wrote her very first song when she was 16 years old after her mother wanted her to leave London to attend university in Liverpool. The song — her future debut single, "Hometown Glory" — was a protest song of sorts explaining why she wanted to stay in London, her hometown.
Listen to Adele's "Hometown Glory" here:
9.Eddie Vedder was in his mid-20s when he joined Pearl Jam, but long before that, a teenage Vedder wrote one of their most famous songs, "Better Man," while sitting on his bed after a day in high school.
Listen to Pearl Jam's "Better Man" here:
10.Olivia Rodrigo was just 16 and starring on Disney+'s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series when she wrote "All I Want" from her character Nini's point of view for the show.
Listen to Olivia Rodrigo's "Sour" here:
11.Stevie Wonder was only 15 years old when he cowrote "Uptight (Everything's Alright)." He'd arrived at a writing session with songwriters Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby having already thought up the “Everything is alright, uptight” hook and an uptempo riff inspired by his time on tour with the Rolling Stones. Together, the three finished the rest of the Grammy-nominated classic.
Listen to "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" here:
12.Long before she wrote "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)," a 13-year-old Kate Bush composed "The Man With the Child in His Eyes," which caught the ear of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who helped land her a record deal. The song became a top 10 UK hit when her debut album was released three years later, in 1978.
Listen to Kate Bush's "The Man With the Child in His Eyes" here:
13.Black Francis (born Charles Thompson) wrote "Here Comes Your Man" — the biggest hit of the Pixies' career — when he was just 14 or 15 years old. The band was initially reluctant to record the poppy-sounding song at first, though, because their style was alternative/punk, and Black Francis had yet to discover punk music when he'd written it seven years earlier.
Listen to the Pixies' "Here Comes Your Man" here:
14.The 1980s icon Debbie Gibson released her triple-platinum debut album, Out of the Blue, when she was 16, and shortly thereafter became the youngest female artist to ever write, perform, and produce a number one hit ("Foolish Beat"). But what's even more impressive is that Gibson wrote another massive hit off the album — "Only in My Dreams" — when she was just 14.
Listen to Debbie Gibson's "Only in My Dreams" here:
15.Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the M.G.'s cowrote "Green Onions" — arguably the most famous instrumental song of the 20th century — when he was 17.
Listen to "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s here: