Tricky Stewart
Stewart in 2020
Stewart in 2020
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Alan Stewart
Also known as
  • Tricky
  • Trixter
Born (1974-01-04) January 4, 1974 (age 50)
Markham, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1992–present

Christopher Alan "Tricky" Stewart (born January 4, 1974) is an American record producer, record executive, songwriter, and music publisher. Stewart, a five-time Grammy Award recipient, began producing music in 1992 and has contributed to unit sales of over 50 million for his work on commercially successful releases for hip hop, R&B and pop artists.[1] Often in tandem with production partner and R&B singer The-Dream, he has been credited on the singles "Case of the Ex" (2000) by Mya, "Me Against the Music" (2003) by Britney Spears, "Umbrella" (2007) by Rihanna, "Just Fine" (2007) by Mary J. Blige, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" (2008) by Beyoncé, "Touch My Body" (2008) and "Obsessed" (2009) by Mariah Carey, "One Time" (2009) and "Baby" (2010) by Justin Bieber, and "Ride" (2010) by Ciara, among others.

Stewart co-founded the record company RedZone Entertainment in 1995, which signed R&B singer Frank Ocean prior to his mainstream breakthrough. In 2012, he was included in Billboard's 40 Under 40, a list of music executives "who are propelling our industry with their artistic and business vision."[2] Stewart signed a publishing contract with Spirit Music Group in 2020,[3] a deal which covered his following works as he sold his catalog to Hipgnosis Songs two years prior.[4]

Early life

Stewart was born in Markham, Illinois. Raised in a musical family, he was playing guitar, keyboards, and writing songs by the age of 12. His older brother, record producer Laney Stewart, introduced him to one of his first music business mentors, the late Louis Silas, Jr., who fostered Stewart's musical career by giving him the opportunity to contribute to several projects for major artists. Before graduating high school, Stewart had placements with artists such as Aaron Hall, rhythm and blues trio IMx, and Chanté Moore. He credits working with the latter gave him further opportunities in his burgeoning career.[5]



In 1994, Stewart produced the single "Treat U Right" for Blackgirl. He also met record producer L.A. Reid, who offered him a deal to move his first production company to Atlanta. In 1995, with the support of Reid, he launched the company RedZone Entertainment and recording studio, Triangle Sound. Both were operated in partnership with his brother Mark Stewart and sister-in-law Judi Stewart. RedZone Entertainment is based in Atlanta, but also has a recording studio in Los Angeles.

Stewart saw his first major breakthrough in 1999 when he co-prouced the single "Who Dat" for JT Money. The song peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, received platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America and won ASCAP's "Song of the Year".[6] In addition to producing and writing, Stewart executive produced albums for Solé and Blu Cantrell.

In 2000, Tricky co-wrote and produced Interscope Records artist Mýa's breakthrough single "Case of the Ex". It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2000, and remained in the chart's top ten for three months.[7] While Mya's song was still on top, Stewart discovered and signed Blu Cantrell, and went on to executive produce her debut album So Blu on Arista Records. It peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 and spawned the Billboard Hot 100-top two single "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)".

In 2002, Stewart co-produced and co-wrote B2K's debut single, "Uh Huh".[8] In 2003, Blu Cantrell's second album, Bittersweet, was released; it features three songs produced by Stewart, "Unhappy", "Holding on to Love" and "Let Her Go". He also co-wrote and produced a number of songs for Britney Spears's fourth album, In the Zone (2003), including two of its singles, "Me Against the Music" and "Outrageous", as well as "Early Mornin'" and "The Hook Up".


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2007 was a breakthrough year for Stewart and RedZone Entertainment. Rihanna's single "Umbrella", co-written with The-Dream, garnered two Grammy nominations—for Record of the Year and Song of the Year—and won the award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. In an interview with MTV, Stewart said

"When she recorded the 'ellas' you knew it was about to be the jump-off, and your life was about to change if you had anything to do with that record."

Released in March 2007, "Umbrella" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart by May, rising 40 spots in one week to spend seven consecutive weeks at number one. The song also broke the iTunes music store's record for biggest debut. Its success brought Rihanna to a mainstream prominence; co-writer and business partner The-Dream ultimately signed with Def Jam Recordings to release his own singles. Stewart was credited on his follow-up singles "Falsetto" and "I Luv Your Girl". In late 2007, Stewart was working with notable artists as Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, and Usher ("Moving Mountains" and "This Ain't Sex" of his album Here I Stand).

"It's crazy, just being a part of that, I've seen a lot of things in my time in the music business, but to see a record take off like that, it's just amazing."

Stewart was also nominated in 2007 for a Grammy for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" on Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"; that same year, Stewart also co-wrote and produced on the album Growing Pains, as well as the vocals were produced by his production team. Composed of Tricky, The-Dream, and Kuk Harrell, it proved to be a successful tandem. Stewart won his first Grammy Awardfor his work on Growing Pains in 2009.

The single "Touch My Body" off Mariah Carey's album in 2008 E=MC², produced by Stewart and Carey was described as "...a No. 1 just waiting to pounce the Billboard Hot 100" by Chuck Taylor of Billboard Magazine. On April 2, 2008, it was announced that "Touch My Body" became Carey's 18th No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, pushing her to second place among artists with the most No. 1 singles in the rock era and first place as a solo artist in the same category, surpassing Elvis Presley. The achievement was attributed to a record-breaking digital sales debut, as 286,000 copies were sold in its first week of availability.

Also in 2008, he produced the songs, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" for Beyoncé as well as the ballad "Smash into You". "Single Ladies" would later become a pop culture phenomenon due to its female empowerment lyrics, catchy melody and much parodied music video. The song won multiple Grammy and MTV Video Music Awards, and remains Stewart's best-selling single.

For Ciara's 2009 album, Fantasy Ride, he produced the song "High Price", which features Ludacris. That same year, he also worked with Japanese-American singer-songwriter Utada on her third English studio album This Is The One, on which he produced four songs.

Tricky and The-Dream collaborated with Mariah Carey on her 2009 album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, for which they co-produced each song, and co-wrote all but one of the songs.

Tricky and The-Dream executive-produced Ciara's fourth studio album, Basic Instinct, which was released on December 10, 2010. The lead single from the album, "Ride" was produced by the duo and released in April 2010; it went on to become Ciara's 12th top ten hit on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[9]

Stewart contributed to the Christina Aguilera album Bionic, released in June 2010, and produced the score for her debut film, Burlesque, released in November 2010.

Stewart produced Katy Perry's second studio album, Teenage Dream which was released in 2010.[10] Its second promotional single, "Circle the Drain", was produced by Stewart and released on iTunes in August of that year.

Stewart co-produced three songs and one bonus track from Jennifer Lopez's eighth studio album Love?, which was released in April 2011. The album marked her first release through Island Records after completing her 10-year contract with Epic Records in February 2010.

Stewart and The-Dream teamed up to work on Jessica Simpson's holiday album, Happy Christmas.

In October 2016, he was a producer and songwriter for BTS's song "BTS Cypher 4".

In November 2023, Stewart co-produced P1Harmony's single "Fall in Love Again".


Produced singles

Year Single Peak chart positions Artist Album
1999 "Who Dat" (featuring Solé) 5 2 1 JT Money Pimpin' on Wax
"4, 5, 6" (featuring JT Money and Kandi) 27 9 1 Solé Skin Deep
2000 "It Wasn't Me" (featuring Ginuwine) 44
"If You Don't Wanna Love Me" 89 30 Tamar Braxton Tamar
"Case of the Ex" 2 10 3 14 1 Mýa Fear of Flying
2001 "Uh Huh" 37 20 31 4 41 B2K B2K
2003 "Me Against the Music" (featuring Madonna) 35 2 2 1 Britney Spears In the Zone
2007 "Umbrella" (featuring Jay-Z) 1 4 1 1 1 1 Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad
"Just Fine" 22 3 42 16 84 Mary J. Blige Growing Pains
"Ridin'" 58 Mýa Liberation
"Suffocate" 18 2 55 J. Holiday Back of My Lac'
"Falsetto" 30 3 94 The-Dream Love/Hate
"I Luv Your Girl" (featuring Young Jeezy) 20 3 58
2008 "Touch My Body" 1 2 1 5 2 17 Mariah Carey E=MC²
"Leavin'" 10 1 48 16 49 Jesse McCartney Departure
"Moving Mountains" 67 18 25 36 Usher Here I Stand
"Cookie Jar" (featuring The-Dream) 59 55 6 91 41 Gym Class Heroes The Quilt
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" 1 1 2 7 2 5 Beyoncé I Am... Sasha Fierce
"Just Like Me" (featuring T.I.) 49 8 91 Jamie Foxx Intuition
2009 "Hands on Me" 56 Bobby Valentino The Rebirth
"Throw It in the Bag" (featuring The-Dream) 14 4 2 Fabolous Loso's Way
"All I Really Want" (featuring The-Dream) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap
"Like a Surgeon" 59 Ciara Fantasy Ride
"Obsessed" 7 12 52 15 13 Mariah Carey Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
"One Time" 17 14 11 12 35 Justin Bieber My World
"I Look to You" 70 16 115 68 Whitney Houston I Look to You
"Gangsta Luv" (featuring The-Dream) 35 24 5 Snoop Dogg Malice n Wonderland
"Louboutins" Jennifer Lopez Love?
"Hard" (featuring Young Jeezy) 8 14 9 42 15 75 Rihanna Rated R
2010 "Baby" (featuring Ludacris) 5 96 3 3 18 Justin Bieber My World 2.0
"Up Out My Face" (remix) (featuring Nicki Minaj) 100 39 Mariah Carey Angels Advocate (Unreleased)
"Ride" (featuring Ludacris) 42 3 75 75 Ciara Basic Instinct
"Speechless" 74
"Gimmie Dat" 63 111
2011 "Novacane" 82 17 Frank Ocean Nostalgia, Ultra


Year Album/song Artist Credit
2022 "Break My Soul"[11] Beyoncé Producer
2021 Bodies[12] Muni Long Producer, Composer
2020 Eden / I Spoiled You[13] Matt B Producer
2016 Lilac / "Purple"[14] ThiDaniel aka Saucito Producer
2011 No Idea Big Time Rush Writer/Producer
Novacane Frank Ocean
Ride Freestyle[15] Jamie Drastik Producer
2010 No Mercy / "No Mercy" T.I. Producer
Love King / "Panties to the Side" The-Dream
Basic Instinct / "Gimmie Dat" Ciara
Basic Instinct / "Ride" Ciara / Ludacris
Untitled Yet Celine Dion
Love? / "Run the World" Jennifer Lopez
Burlesque soundtrack / "Express", "Show Me How You Burlesque" Christina Aguilera/ Cher
Bionic / "Desnudate", "Glam", "Prima Donna" Christina Aguilera Producer, composer
Teenage Dream/ "Circle the Drain", "Who Am I Living For?", "Hummingbird Heartbeat", "Dressin'Up" Katy Perry
2009 D.N.A./ Starlight Mario Producer
D.N.A./ Don't Walk Away
Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel Mariah Carey Writer/producer
Fantasy Ride/ High Price Ciara/ Ludacris Producer
Fantasy Ride/ Ciara to the Stage Ciara
Fantasy Ride/ Like a Surgeon
Fantasy Ride/ Keep Dancin' On Me
This Is The One Utada
Loso's Way / Throw It in the Bag Fabolous / The-Dream
Hatin on the Club Rihanna / The-Dream
2008 Intuition Jamie Foxx Producer, composer
Call and Response: The Remix Album/"This Love (C. "Tricky" Stewart Remix)" Maroon 5 Producer
I Am... Sasha Fierce/"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and "Smash into You" Beyoncé Composer, producer
The Quilt/"Cookie Jar" Gym Class Heroes Producer
"Hurt That Body" Donnie Klang Composer, producer
Here I Stand/"This Ain't Sex" Usher
Here I Stand/"Moving Mountains"
E=MC² Mariah Carey
E=MC²(deluxe edition)
E=MC²/"Touch My Body"
Departure Jesse McCartney
Discipline Janet Jackson Producer
Discipline "Greatest X" Producer, composer
Discipline (CD/DVD Japan deluxe edition) Producer
Discipline (CD/DVD)
2007 Back of My Lac' (CD/DVD) J. Holiday Producer, composer
Love/Hate The-Dream Composer, producer, director
Love/Hate (clean)
Love/Hate/"Falsetto" Composer, producer
Love/Hate/"I Luv Your Girl"
Good Girl Gone Bad Rihanna Composer, producer, keyboards, drum programming
Good Girl Gone Bad (bonus CD)
Good Girl Gone Bad/"Umbrella" Composer, producer
Ananda (CD/DVD) Paulina Rubio Producer
Ananda (standard)
Growing Pains Mary J. Blige Composer, producer, keyboards, drum programming, mix supervision
Growing Pains/"Just Fine" Composer, producer
Back of My Lac' (CD/DVD Clean) J. Holiday Producer
Back of My Lac' (clean)
Back of My Lac'/"Bed" Composer, producer
Back of My Lac'/"Suffocate"
Taking Chances/"Skies of L.A." Celine Dion Producer, keyboards, drum programming
Taking Chances (CD/DVD)
2006 Alter Ego/"Light's On" Tyrese Producer
The Best of Sisqo 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection Sisqo
Ananda (Target bonus track) Paulina Rubio
Ananda (Walmart bonus track)
Point of No Return / "You Ain't Ready" 3LW Writer, producer
Point of No Return / "How U Gonna Act" 3LW / Penelope Magnet
Director Avant Producer
Director(Circuit City Exclusive)
2005 Back for More Shawn Desman Arranger, programming, instrumentation
Back for More (bonus CD)
Girlfight (Australia) Brooke Valentine Producer
In The Zone (DualDisc) Britney Spears Programming, instrumentation
Queen of Hip-Pop/"I Love You" Namie Amuro Composer, producer, multi-instrumentation
2004 Been Around The World, Pt. 1 Zena Producer
This Is My Time (Life Is Beautiful / What's Real?) Raven-Symoné
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative Britney Spears Arranger, programming, multi-instrumentation
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (import bonus CD)
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (U.S. bonus CD)
In The Zone (DVD audio/bonus videos) Arranger, programming, vocals (background), instrumentation
In The Zone (import bonus track)
Bittersweet (Australia bonus tracks) Blu Cantrell Producer, executive producer, drum programming
B2K Greatest Hits B2K Producer, composer
Chapter III Allure Producer, programming, instrumentation
2003 Moodring Mýa Producer
Moodring (UK bonus tracks)
Moodring/"Sophisticated Lady" & "No Sleep Tonight"
In the Zone Britney Spears Arranger, programming, vocals (background), multi-instruments
In the Zone (Australia Bonus Tracks) Producer, arranger, programming, vocals (background), multi-instruments
Me Against the Music Composer, producer, arranger, programming, instrumentation
Me Against the Music (remixes) Composer, arranger, programming, instrumentation
Me Against the Music (Australia CD)
Me Against the Music, Pt. 2 Composer, producer, arranger, programming, instrumentation
Bittersweet (w/Explicit Bonus CD) Blu Cantrell Executive producer, drum programming, mixing, instrumentation
Bittersweet/Breathe (CD5) Executive producer
2002 Funky Divas: The Autumn Collection Various artists Producer
The New Guy (soundtrack)
Pure R&B, Vol 3
Bad Company (original soundtrack)
[[[B2K]] B2K
2001 Down To Earth, Music From the Motion Picture Various artists Producer, programmer, sequencing
Prophet Jones Prophet Jones Producer, programming, keyboards
Fear of Flying Mýa
Fear of Flying (bonus tracks)
Fear of Flying/"Case of the Ex" Producer
Bridging the Gap Charlie Wilson Producer, keyboards
So Blu Blu Cantrell Executive producer, producer
2000 Take Back (C."Tricky" Stewart remix) Koda Kumi Remixer
Tamar Tamar Braxton Executive producer, producer, writer
1999 Skin Deep Solé Producer, executive producer
Skin Deep (clean)
Rise to Power Kane and Abel Programming, multi-instruments, sequencing
Pimpin' On Wax J.T. Money Producer, engineer, programming, vocals, performer
Pimpin' On Wax/"Who dat" feat. Solé Producer, composer
Daydreamin' Before Dark Sequencing, keyboards
1998 Player's Club (soundtrack) Various artists Producer
Player's Club (soundtrack, Clean)
Tyrese Tyrese Producer, engineer
Tyrese (clean) Programming, sequencing
1996 Mista Mista Producer
Now and Forever Color Me Badd Keyboards
1994 Straight to the Point Damion Hall Producer, vocal arrangement, programming, sequencing
Treat U Right Blackgirl Producer, vocal arrangement, arranger, sequencing
1993 NBA Jam Session Various artists Programming, remixing, sequencing
Remixes in the Key of B Bobby Brown Multi-instruments, remixing
The Truth Aaron Hall Sequencing
1992 On Our Worst Behavior Immature Drums

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated Work Award Category Result
2007 "Umbrella" (Rihanna feat. Jay-Z) ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Award Top R&B/Hip Hop Songs of 2007 Won
NMPA Double Platinum[16] Won
Grammy Awards Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
ASCAP Pop Award One of the Most Played Songs of 2007 Won
2010 I Am... Sasha Fierce (Beyoncé) Grammy Awards Album of the Year Nominated
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Beyoncé) Song of the Year Won
Best R&B Song Won
2011 Teenage Dream (Katy Perry) Album of the Year Nominated
2012 Loud (Rihanna) Nominated
2023 Renaissance (Beyoncé) Nominated
"Break My Soul" (Beyoncé) Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Dance/Electronic Recording Won


  1. ^ "Spirit Music Group | Tricky Stewart Signs Publishing Deal With Spirit Music Group". Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Gail (August 2, 2012). "40 Under 40: Christopher "Tricky" Stewart". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Variety Staff (March 13, 2020). "'Umbrella' Cowriter Tricky Stewart Signs Publishing Deal With Spirit Music". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Variety Staff (March 13, 2020). "'Umbrella' Cowriter Tricky Stewart Signs Publishing Deal With Spirit Music". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "Tricky Stewart". Peermusic. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  6. ^ Dale Kawashima,, "C. Tricky Stewart Co-Writes "Case of the Ex" for Mya, Plus Other Top R&B Hip=Hop Hits"
  7. ^ Dale Kawashima,, "C. Tricky Stewart Co-Writes "Case of the Ex" for Mya, Plus Other Top R&B/Hip Hop Hits"
  8. ^ Moss, Corey (October 15, 2003). "Getting Aggressive With Britney Pays Off For RedZone". MTV News. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Ciara Readies New Album". September 28, 2009. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  10. ^ Tricky Stewart Switches Gears with New Katy Perry Album Archived December 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Rap-Up (December 2010).
  11. ^ Harris, Latesha (June 21, 2022). "Beyoncé's new single is out. Listen to 'BREAK MY SOUL'". NPR. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  12. ^ "Muni Long Counts Her 'Bodies' on New Track by Antwan Folk". Rated R&B. March 22, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  13. ^ "MATT B REFLECTS WITH SILKY-SMOOTH R&B SINGLE "I SPOILED YOU" by Hanna Yando". Behind the Curtains Media. August 28, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  14. ^ "Singer ThiDaniel Teams with Super Producer Tricky Stewart for Feel-Good Track 'Purple': Premiere". Billboard. August 25, 2016. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "Jamie Drastik - Champagne And Cocaine". April 7, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  16. ^,"Tricky Receives Double Platinum Song Award"