Ryan Tedder Reminisces About Writing Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ In Just Three Hours

Beyonce has a handful of No. 1 singles to her name, but what is perhaps her biggest song isn’t actually one of them: “Halo,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2009, recently became Beyonce’s first song to eclipse a billion streams on Spotify. One of the song’s co-writers is OneRepublic leader and songwriter extraordinaire Ryan Tedder, who guested on The Tonight Show yesterday. While there, he spoke about how he and co-writer E. Kidd Bogart were able to pen “Halo” in just three hours.

Tedder told Jimmy Fallon:

“I had a three-hour gap in the middle of the day. My wife was gone, I called a friend [Bogart], and I said, ‘Hey, get over here, Beyonce wants me to write a song, let’s do it together.’ He had written a big No. 1 for Rihanna [‘SOS’]. I turned the keyboard on and — I wish every session went like this, but they don’t — the first sound that happened to play on the keyboard was the opening sound of the song. It sounded like angels and I was like, ‘Why don’t we do a song about angels, like her guardian angel, like Jay-Z is her guardian angel?’ Two minutes later, it evolved into, ‘Ooh, ‘Halo,’ that’s such a cool title, let’s go with ‘Halo.” Three hours later, the song was done, and then like 12 months later, the song came out, and it was that simple.”

Meanwhile, OneRepublic performed “Someday” on the show, so check that out below.