Meet Dr. Luke, Pop Music's Maestro

VIDEO: The singer releases a preview clip of her latest song, Hold It Against Me.
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When the superstars of Pop hand their latest tracks off to Lukasz Gottwald, it seems almost guaranteed that adding his music-mixing medicine will turn their songs into sure-fire hits.

Trust him -- he's a doctor.

Gottwald, a 37-year-old music producer and songwriter more affectionately known as "Dr. Luke," has 21 No. 1 hit singles and two Grammy nominations under his belt, making him the most successful (and sought-after) hit-maker on today's pop music scene.

"I'm looking for voices that are distinctive," Gottwald said. "That's the most important thing to me. I mean, obviously they have to be able to sing."

From Conway Studios in Hollywood, Gottwald has helped produce breakout hits for an impressive list of stars, including the Princess of Pop herself -- Britney Spears.

"She gets it done," Gottwald said. "She's pretty focused when she gets in and records, and she sounds good fast, you know? She's a lot busier than I am, so she comes in and gets it done and she's out."

In his latest project, Gottwald is one of the principal architects for Spears' latest song, "Hold It Against Me," and her upcoming album, "Femme Fatale," due out in March.

He has also shaped the "American-Idol"-bred barrage of Kelly Clarkson, the candy-coated track, "Teenage Dream," by Katy Perry, the polished punk rock of Pink and the intoxicating beats of Ke$ha. Time and again, Gottwald has proven that he knows the magic sound for what Pop-music lovers crave.

"Maybe I just didn't mature or something," Gottwald joked. "I mean, I do have three sisters, and I think that has something to do with it. One of my sisters is 15."

But producer Gottwald said he doesn't just make music just for the fans. He said he has to think the song sounds good before it's released.

"I like to like it," he said. "I have to like it, otherwise it'd be weird."

Gottwald's First Big Hit Was Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone'

Gottwald says he has been enthralled with music for decades. After studying jazz at The Manhattan School of Music, he spent ten years as a guitar player in the "Saturday Night Live" house band. It was through his work that he became fascinated by the mechanics of how Pop songs were built.

"The hardest thing, and the most difficult thing, is to do the most simple thing," he said. "Because that means that you've had to weed out every other option. I kind of feel like that about a good Pop song, too. When it's right, it's perfect, you know?"

Gottwald also spent some time DJ-ing at New York City clubs, where he met Max Martin, the Swedish Pop producer best known for his work with Britney Spears' breakout hit, "Hit Me Baby One More Time" in 1999.

The two producers eventually collaborated to produce another megahit in 2004, Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone."

"I have a lotta A&R [the record label] people who I'm friends with to this day who are like, 'Yeah, I passed on that song,'" Gottwald said. "But I think one of the things that actually made the song special is [Clarkson's] voice. You know, it was definitely a breakthrough."

"Since U Been Gone" skyrocketed to Billboard's No. 1 spot, and sealed Gottwald's fame in the music producing business. With Max Martin as his mentor, Gottwald left "SNL" in 2007 to focus on producing full time. Along the way, he discovered a teenaged vocalist whom he though had a unique sound: Ke$ha.

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