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Best Singer-Songwriter – Readers Poll

Lady Gaga John Mayer Adele Taylor Swift Bruno Mars
Sandra Mu / Ethan Miller / Jason Merritt / Frazer Harrison / Larry Busacca, Getty Images

While many pop artists don’t pen their own songs, there’s a small crop of performers who pride themselves on their songwriting skills. Names like Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Adele, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars come to mind when you’re thinking of singer-songwriters within the pop niche, and all five of these poetic musicians (plus a bunch of others we’ve selected) have had massive amounts of success with their personal songs. So which is the best singer-songwriter? That’s where you, the readers, come in!

When you think of Lady Gaga, chances are the first thing that comes to mind are her stage antics and outrageous costumes. But people often forget that the N.Y.C. songbird is an accomplished songwriter, with co-writing credits (or solo credits) on every single on of her chart-topping hits. John Mayer is also a gifted singer-songwriter, hitting it big thanks to his deeply personal and infectious pop-rock songs. Adele also blows our mind in the songwriting department, drawing from her own romantic life to pen songs like ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Rolling in the Deep.’

Taylor Swift is another impressive singer-songwriter. Like Adele, this young talented songstress channels her emotions (mainly heartache) into hits like ‘Back to December’ and ‘The Story of Us.’ Bruno Mars, who is one part of songwriting team the Smeezingtons, not only writes his own tunes like the Grammy-nominated ‘Grenade,’ but he also writes tracks for other people like Cee Lo Green’s massive hit ‘F— You.’ Speaking of Cee Lo, his ‘Voice’ co-star Adam Levine is another noteworthy songwriter, penning tracks for all of Maroon 5‘s albums along with his bandmates.

Some other singer-songwriters we’ve included in this poll? Well, of course we had to give props to pop princesses Katy Perry, Kesha and Pink, who all write their own songs. Jason Mraz constantly wows us with his emotive and catchy pop tracks, while Christina Perri impresses with her songwriting abilities as well. Finally, we had to include Chris Martin, who not only sings in Coldplay, but also co-writes all of the songs on each Coldplay album with the help of his bandmates.

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