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Breaking into the mainstream in the late 2000s with a hit remix of their single "Apologize," pop/rock band OneRepublic is bolstered by the anthemic songwriting of frontman Ryan Tedder, who has written for an extensive roster of high-profile talent including Leona Lewis, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, and Adele. Following the breakthrough success of the Timbaland remix of "Apologize" from their 2006 debut, Dreaming Out Loud, OneRepublic continued to rack up radio hits. They reached a peak with 2013's Native, which was home to the hit singles "Counting Stars" and "Love Runs Out." With each successive album, OneRepublic veered more and more into pop territory, especially evident on their fourth album, 2016's Oh My My, which featured electronic dance and pop flourishes. They released their fifth full-length effort, Human, in 2021.
Tedder and Zach Filkins formed the group in 2002 in Colorado, later relocating to Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, they incorporated keyboardist Drew Brown, bassist/cellist Brent Kutzle, and drummer Eddie Fisher in the lineup. OneRepublic then signed with Sony BMG's Columbia label in 2003; three years later, however, the bandmates returned from a performance at Coachella to find themselves dropped from Columbia's roster. Nevertheless, OneRepublic's popularity continued to soar on social media, and Tedder helped raise the group's profile by penning songs for artists like Hilary Duff and Blake Lewis. Hip-hop producer Timbaland (with whom Tedder had already worked for several years) took notice of the band's audience and signed OneRepublic to his own Mosley Music Group, a joint venture with Interscope Records. Timbaland also remixed one of the group's most promising tracks, "Apologize," and included it on his own album, 2007's Timbaland Presents Shock Value. The song quickly became a platinum-selling single in many countries, breaking airplay records in the U.K. and selling an unprecedented 4.3 million digital downloads in America alone.
Later that year, OneRepublic stepped out on their own with Dreaming Out Loud, a debut album filled with piano-fueled songwriting and pop/rock melodies. The album quickly went gold, and "Apologize" continued to top the singles charts in multiple countries. Another Tedder-penned track, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," experienced similar success at the same time, thus making Tedder one of the year's most celebrated songwriters. OneRepublic began writing songs for a second album in 2008, and the band later decamped to Colorado Springs to avoid outside distractions. Although initially planned for a summer release, Waking Up wasn't completed until September 2009. The album's lead single, "All the Right Moves," was released to radio that same month, and the album followed in November, charting in the U.S. and Europe.
In 2013, OneRepublic returned with their platinum-certified third studio album, Native, featuring the singles "Feel Again," "If I Lose Myself," and their biggest hit to date, "Counting Stars," a U.S. number two. During the band's subsequent extensive world tour, a deluxe version of Native was released, featuring the hit "Love Runs Out," which reached number 15 on the Hot 100 and was a Top Ten hit in several other countries. They also landed on the Billboard 200 with their 2014 iTunes Session. As touring continued, the group began recording their follow-up album. Written in 16 cities across 12 countries, Oh My My captured the sound and flavor of locales like Turkey, Brazil, Spain, and Russia, and was released in late 2016. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
The following year, while on tour with Fitz & the Tantrums and James Arthur, OneRepublic released the stand-alone single "No Vacancy," a tropical-tinged track that featured Sebastian Yatra and Amir on a pair of remixes. After several more stand-alone singles were scattered throughout 2017 and 2018, the band began an extended roll-out of tracks that would eventually lead up to their fifth full-length.
Arriving in August 2021, Human featured tracks released as early as 2019, including the platinum-certified "Rescue Me" and the Kygo collaboration "Lose Somebody" (found on the album's deluxe edition). The LP also featured "Somebody to Love," penned by Songland season one winner JT Roach and Tedder's fellow co-hosts on the show Ester Dean and Shane McAnally. ~ Andrew Leahey