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OneRepublic's four steps to success

Frontman Ryan Tedder retraces the path that led his band to a No. 1 single

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1. MAKE A SPLASH ON MYSPACE
OneRepublic’s hit single was a MySpace phenomenon before Timbaland ever touched it, says frontman Ryan Tedder, 28. Indeed, the L.A.-based pop-rockers, who registered with the social-networking site in 2004, have since boasted more than 21 million total song plays as of press time. That fan support kept the fivesome going even after they were dropped from their original label, Columbia, in 2006. ”Within a [single] week, two people wrote us that our music kept them from killing themselves,” says Tedder. ”When that happens, you feel like there’s no way in hell you can quit, you know?” Their perseverance paid off: OneRepublic were ultimately picked up by Interscope, which just released their debut, Dreaming Out Loud.

2. HOOK UP WITH AN ÜBERPRODUCER
Tedder first met Timbaland circa 2001, and later signed as a solo artist with the producer’s Mosely Music Group. However, ”he was so busy working on records with Justin [Timberlake] and Missy [Elliott] that it didn’t work out.” Still, they kept in touch, and Timba reworked ”Apologize” for his 2007 CD, Shock Value. Explains Tedder: ”What he did was sort of put us in the car-pool lane, and it sped up the process immensely.”

3. TAKE YOUR TUNE TO TV
Performances of ”Apologize” on So You Think You Can Dance and One Life to Live — in August and October of this year, respectively — gave OneRepublic a broader fan base. ”Honestly, I’d never seen either of those shows,” Tedder says. ”But Dance really put us on the map. E-mails for show requests were flying in from all over the world! And One Life to Live is such a different demographic, tons of moms and sisters…”

4. SHARE THE SONGWRITING WEALTH
Maybe Tedder has a little Timba in him too. He’s the guy behind Jennifer Lopez’s recent Motown-horn-sampling single ”Do It Well” and the ubiquitous Natasha Bedingfield — Sean Kingston collaboration, ”Love Like This.” Also Tedder’s composition: ”Break Anotha,” the upcoming single from American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis’ first disc. ”If you look at my discography, you’d think it was three or four different people,” Tedder says. ”I mean, look at [producer] Rick Rubin! He’ll work with Jay-Z, then Neil Diamond. That’s my role model.”