With production credits including Beyoncé's "Halo" and Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love" under his belt, Ryan Tedder has proven he knows how to whip up a moving song. And the OneRepublic frontman was eager to collaborate with Jennifer Hudson when she went to work on her sophomore effort, her first musical offering since the tragic murder of her mother, brother and nephew in late 2008.
Speaking to MTV News, the multitalented producer revealed how their touching collabo came about.
"I have to give a big-up to Jennifer Hudson," Tedder told MTV News' Sway during our Grammy red-carpet live stream on Sunday. "I did the title cut for her new album, I Remember Me. I produced and wrote that with her and it's, honestly, probably the most emotional song I've ever been involved with in my entire career."
Music-industry legend Clive Davis had for months been encouraging Hudson to get together with the producer and orchestrated their teaming up, Tedder explained. With his hectic OneRepublic tour schedule, the 31-year-old music mind finally got to speak to the R&B songstress when Davis seated the two next to each other at his annual pre-Grammy party last year.
"So I sit down and she's like, 'I hear we're going to work together,' and I'm like, 'Yes, we are,' Tedder recalled. "She sends me an e-mail with a diary entry dated right after her family was ... and it was, literally, her thoughts immediately after that happened. It started with the phrase, 'I remember me. I used to smile. I used to know love. I used to laugh. I used to hear things.' "
Tedder revealed that Hudson's private entry was "about four or five paragraphs" and revolved around her initial response to the stunning loss.
"She said, 'You're the one to write the song. I want you to put music and melody to these words,' and so I pulled as much as I could from it and tried to turn it around and what we ended up with is 'I Remember Me,' which is the name of her album," the songwriter said.
Just last week, Hudson took to Twitter to reveal the cover of the forthcoming album, which is due for release on March 22.
Are you eager to hear Jennifer's "I Remember Me"? Tell us in the comments.