Written by: Jordan Johnson, Anton Zaslavski, Sarah Aarons, Kyle Trewartha, Stefan Johnson, Michael Trewartha and Marcus Lomax
Produced by: Zedd, Grey and The Monsters and the Strangerz
UK release: January 2018
UK chart peak: 7
It’s well known by now that The Middle went through twelve singers on its way to becoming an inescapable smash hit, but here’s the short version: Demi Lovato was all set to release it but backed out to prioritise Sorry Not Sorry; Camila Cabello recorded her spin on it but cancelled when Havana took off; and Anne-Marie’s attempt even had a release date and finished artwork before her version too had to go in the bin (thanks in this case to Marshmello hit Friends).
After the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo, Bebe Rexha and Lauren Jauregui tried their hand at it, it was the then-relatively-unknown (to pure-pop fans, at least) Maren Morris who finally got the gig.
She gives the song a perfect raspy delivery, making every single lyric believable. That enormous hook is undeniable, and – although he wasn’t particularly involved in its initial inception – it’s Zedd‘s best song too. That it starts with the sound of a car indicator just makes it all the better.