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Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ Earned The-Dream $15 Million

The Dream Rihanna
Michael Loccisano / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The stars might be the ones who get all the attention, but it’s an old entertainment business maxim that the real money is in publishing — and in a recent interview, The-Dream proved that’s still very much the case, revealing that his songwriting credit on Rihanna‘s smash hit ‘Umbrella’ earned him “around $15 million.”

One of the biggest hits of 2007, ‘Umbrella’ topped the charts in 14 countries, sold three million copies in the United States alone, and was nominated for three Grammy Awards, leaving plenty of royalties to go around. Impressive as The-Dream’s payday was, it was just one chunk of a very large windfall: He’s only one of four credited writers on the track.

Of course, as the producer of the track — and an all-around in-demand talent — The-Dream’s estimated $15 million could also include production fees and other assorted favors from the label. As he recounted during the same interview, he received a comped hotel bill for his work on Justin Bieber‘s ‘Baby.’

And if all this has you thinking The-Dream is just the sort of upwardly mobile go-getter you’d like to have in your life, good news: He’s moved on after his failed marriage to Christina Milian (“It was really rushed… You have to suffer the consequences if you’re not ready to commit to that”) and is joking about being on the prowl for his “third and fourth wife.” Update those profiles!

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