The Untold Truth Of Charlie Puth

Wiz Khalifa released the track "See You Again" in 2015, featuring a relatively unknown youngster called Charlie Puth — pronounced "Pooth." The song completely dominated the charts and was nominated for three Grammy Awards. With his silky falsetto voice, Puth skyrocketed into the music scene off this duet and quickly capitalized with his debut album, "Nine Track Mind," in 2016. He followed up with his sophomore effort, "Voicenotes," two years later, and then released a slew of singles, starting off the summer of 2019 with "I Warned Myself."

The New Jersey native's rise to fame took off thanks to the internet ... but not exactly like you would think. Puth is a studio wizard with a natural gift for melodies, and writes a lot of pop songs about love and heartbreak for both himself and others. A selfless producer at heart, he tries to pull out the best from each performer. "I want to make hit songs for other people, be responsible for the beginning of their [careers]," Puth told Vulture, "like how Max Martin was to Britney Spears."  

What's your favorite track by this dreamboat singer? Get ready to duet with the untold truth of Charlie Puth.

Who wants their very own theme song?

As YouTube started to become a platform for pretty much anyone to make it big, Charlie Puth jumped on board, trying to get his name out there by using his wide array of talents. Specifically, "He wrote so many theme songs for famous vloggers before he signed to Atlantic," Pitchfork reports. According to The New York Times, Puth wrote these YouTuber "jingles" while he was still in high school. Not a bad first gig.

One of the lucky recipients? Kaleb Nation, a writer-YouTuber who said of a young Puth in a 2010 video, "He is a YouTube musician and he makes a lot of songs, but what he's probably most famous for is making theme songs for a lot of the top YouTubers." Nation went on to reveal that Puth created tunes for Charles Trippy, Supermac18, and Shane Dawson's channels. Puth also wrote a song for Our2ndLife, a YouTube boy band that later broke up (via Tubefilter). Tweeting about Puth's legacy with the former group, member Ricky Dillon imagined in February 2020, "I wonder how often charlie puth gets asked about the o2l song."

Charlie Puth's signature feature is the result of a traumatic childhood incident

One of the first things people notice about Charlie Puth — aside from his charming smile, that is — is the distinct notch on his right eyebrow. The mark became Puth's signature feature, proudly displayed on both his "Nine Track Mind" and "Voicenotes" album covers. But according to The Boston Globe, this eyebrow was "permanently scarred [when] he was attacked by a dog as a toddler." 

Understandably, Puth is reportedly "not a great fan of big, scary dogs, but he does love little ones." Indeed, the singer-songwriter even has a pup of his own named Brandy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In 2019, Puth adopted another adorable puppy, saying (via iHeartRadio), "When I saw that Black Lab, I'm like, 'I'm a hilarious individual and self-deprecating, so I'm going to get a Black Lab and name it Charlie' and that's exactly what I did." What's surprising about this, however, is that the early incident that left Puth with his famous scar involved this very same breed: a Black Labrador.

Though this physical feature was the result of a childhood accident, some of Puth's fans loved the look so much that they wanted to imitate it by buzzing their own notch. "The fact that people are actually shaving their eyebrows is very flattering," he admitted to The Boston Globe.

The singing and rapping Charlie Puth

Although Charlie Puth wrote music behind the scenes for other YouTube stars, he also put himself in the spotlight during those early years of his career. According to Puth's bio on the Berklee College of Music's website, "At age 18 he started his own YouTube channel, Charlie Vlogs," where he uploaded acoustic covers of hit songs in his free time from his studies, showing off both his signature voice and look. 

As reported by The New York Times, Puth "was briefly signed to Ellen DeGeneres's record label after a YouTube cover he did — a duet version of Adele's 'Someone Like You' — took off in 2011." The duo even performed their rendition on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

That same year, however, Puth released his own original song — but it wasn't quite what you might expect from this musician. After posing a serious question on Facebook — "Should i call my new song 'I got so much swag' or just 'SWAG'?" — he finally landed on "Swag (Woop!)" for reasons unknown. MTV News summarized the "hilarious" subsequent music video, in which Puth and his buddies walk along the Jersey Shore sporting fake mustaches. Plus, Puth raps. While the clip disappeared for a brief time, it fortunately resurfaced in 2015 for all to admire.

The making of a Charlie Puth's first major hit

Just days after Charlie Puth relocated to Los Angeles from New Jersey, he received a request to produce "a melody that could pay tribute to the late Paul Walker" for "Furious 7," per the Los Angeles Times — and something special appeared in his mind. "It just seemed to occur to me from out of nowhere," Puth said. "And basically 10 minutes later [producer Justin Franks] and I wrote it, we sent it off, and I thought we'd never hear about it again." (A reported 50 other songwriters had received the same request.)

Label execs fell in love with the hook and called on rapper Wiz Khalifa to star on the song. "I'm still not sure how it happened," Puth humbly admitted about landing the job. But few could have expected what came next. That original ten-minute writing session turned into "See You Again," which spent an impressive 12 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2015, tying the record for the longest run at number one ever for a rap single ... until Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" broke the record in 2019. 

The music video for "See You Again" showed its power, too, beating out Psy's "Gangnam Style" for the most-viewed video on YouTube at the time. Puth told Billboard that it "became such a monster overnight," adding, "I'm pretty sure hit songs don't happen like that anymore ... A week after it came out, everyone was already singing along."

How he learned to hone his skills

As a young boy, Charlie Puth "learned piano from his mother, and commuted from New Jersey to the Manhattan School of Music," according to The New York Times. Others recognized his raw talent — and this was enough to secure the future star's spot at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. According to one of his professors at the time, Puth was an eager student who was "always ready to answer a question, expound on why he thought something was good or bad." Even before becoming famous, Puth "stood out ... he was quirky and funny."

Despite being trained at one of the most elite musical colleges, however, Puth remembers his educational experience a little differently. He admitted to The Boston Globe, "I skipped class a lot." But for good reasons — or what Puth called "hustle days." The singer-songwriter remembered, "I'd take the Acela to New York City and wait outside some executive's door with my songs, or I'd visit some local guys in Boston. I was in complete hustle mode."

Luckily, this hard work paid off. In fact, this wasn't the first time a Berklee student worked so hard to make it as a star. Puth revealed an amazing connection to that former student, saying, "I found out I was staying in John Mayer's old dorm room."

Charlie Puth's fame added to his anxiety

Behind the mirage of fame and popularity is often complicated emotions, which Charlie Puth learned thanks to co-writing "See You Again," one of the biggest singles of the past decade. "A little bit of success, you think that I would be over the moon," Puth told The New York Times in 2018, "but quietly, it was really hard for me." According to the musician, he was "already a very in-my-head anxious person" before becoming a breakout star. "The big misconception is when you get more famous you have more friends," he added, before confessing, "I find that I'm alone more than ever now."

One of his former professors at the Berklee College of Music — Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter who was also an "American Idol" judge alongside Katy Perry — commented on Puth's meteoric rise, telling the publication that a song like that was bigger than the artist. Claiming that this put Puth "into a very difficult position," she said, "I don't think he was prepared for that." 

While Puth revealed to The Boston Globe that he dealt with such severe anxiety when he went away for college that it made him "vomit," he later opened up to "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" about experiencing what he called his first "nervous breakdown," which inspired his song, "The Way I Am": "It was scary that more people were going to know that about my personality ... It's scary knowing that people are going to know more about me."

Charlie Puth's written and practiced romances

Fans love Charlie Puth for his relatable lyrics about romance in the modern age — but having spent much of his career as an eligible bachelor, the singer-songwriter's own track record actually includes few public incidents. One of his first speculated romance's included Selena Gomez, his duet partner on 2016's "We Don't Talk Anymore." Puth later revealed to Billboard that their relationship was "very short-lived, very small, but very impactful," adding, "And it really messed me up ... It wasn't like I was the only person on her mind." Adding insult to injury, a source later claimed to People that the two "never dated." Hm ... who do you believe?

In addition to awkwardly attempting to use his flirting tactics on "Access Hollywood" hosts Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover in 2016, Puth was "captured by paparazzi with the Hollywood wild-child Bella Thorne on a Miami beach, then, after she posted a picture with her ex, melted down on Twitter just a few days later," The New York Times reported. When reflecting on these rumored flings and flirtations, Puth confessed, "It was more about the idea of me than actually wanting to be with me and I got that confused with actual love and romanticism." 

Puth elaborated that he still feels underdeveloped in the romance department, telling Vulture, "I've never felt so enamored with somebody that I can't bring myself to move on. And I'm not proud of that. I want to have heartbreak, as masochistic as that is."

His public opinion of Justin Bieber

Though it's not exactly out of the ordinary for some celebs to passionately hate Justin Bieber, it's a bit less common to receive a public diss from a fellow musician. But during a 2016 concert in Dallas, Charlie Puth reportedly took a quick musical interlude while performing "We Don't Talk Anymore" to call out the Canadian singer. Maybe it had something to do with the song's featured guest, Selena Gomez, a.k.a. the Biebs' ex

"What I said at the concert last night about Justin was meant to be a joke," Puth clarified on Twitter in since-deleted posts the next day, MTV News reported. "However, the way it was said mid song did not sound like one." He also added, "I am a massive @JustinBieber fan and I have nothing but great things to say about him and his music always."

Still, the incident stayed with Puth, and he's known to reference his perceived animosity toward Bieber. During a 2019 interview/shopping trip with Vulture, the artist browsed through band t-shirts and spotted a familiar face. As Puth pointed to a Justin Bieber shirt, he quipped to article's photographer, "Don't get a picture of me with this one."

The pressure Charlie Puth feels to deliver musical gold

With the sudden fame that came from "See You Again," Charlie Puth needed to capitalize off the moment. Up until that point, his career consisted of many production credits and clips of songs — but he was nowhere near an album worth of tracks. By the following year, Puth released his debut studio album, Nine Track Mind, which went platinum but received mixed reviews: love from Teen Vogue and highly negative feedback from Pitchfork and Spin

In an interview for The New York Times, Puth confessed that releasing the record felt rushed. "I was trying to figure out who I was musically in front of millions of people," the singer-songwriter said. Noting that the timeline moved so quickly, he admitted of "Nine Track Mind," "For the most part it was just filler." Puth spent considerable time afterward trying to correct the damage from his first major release. As Vulture reported, the album and critical aftermath turned Puth "into someone he claims he didn't want to be." And in Puth's words, "[It] felt like a Twinkie factory. Very manufactured, nothing had any personality to it."

It's the most Charlie Puth time of the year

Is Charlie Puth all you want for Christmas? Perhaps thinking he could compete with the likes of Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey, a young Puth previously wrote holiday songs ... back when he was only in sixth grade. As The Boston Globe reported, the future star "recorded and burned copies of his own holiday CD" as a young man, and "made about $600 selling it door-to-door." Not too shabby! 

Puth revealed that he titled the album "Have a Very Charlie Christmas," recalling, "I printed out all these CD jackets using Microsoft Word 97." But looking back, he said, "I can't stand to listen to it now." At least someone still appreciates the effort, as the outlet noted how Puth's mother "still hauls it out every December." Aww!

Still, the musician later showed that he's nondenominational when it comes to making holiday songs. In 2019, he joined the James Corden-assembled group, Boyz II Menorah. With the addition of Zac Braff, Josh Peck, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, the five guys premiered their Hanukkah-themed comedy single, "A Week and a Day," on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," all while "wearing matching all-white outfits reminiscent of some of our all-time favorite '90s boybands," MTV News recapped. After the release, Puth took to Twitter to clear up any confusion with fans: "Fun fact I'm not even Jewish."

Charlie Puth hails from a New Jersey city brimming with talent

There must be something special in the water near the Jersey Shore to produce such gifted talents. And no, we're not talking the likes of Snookie and Pauly D. Charlie Puth is originally from Rumson, N.J., a picturesque city right by the ocean. But while Puth studied piano "with his mother at age 4" and attended a pre-college program in Manhattan "as a jazz piano major," according to his Berklee College of Music bio, he actually lived near one of the most famous musicians to come from The Garden State: Bruce Springsteen.

"He's my neighbor," Puth said to The Boston Globe about "The Boss," who was born in the neighboring town of Long Branch. Not to mention the other most famous musician to hail from New Jersey: "And so is [Jon] Bon Jovi. My mom knows him pretty well." Wow.

All three stars even came together — virtually — in April 2020 for the benefit, "Jersey 4 Jersey." Featuring only musicians from New Jersey, including SZA and Halsey, the charity event spectacle gave back to the stars' home state, raising funds for local New Jersey communities, according to Variety.

Just how much is Charlie Puth worth?

Thanks to co-writing one of the biggest singles ever, "See You Again," the talented Charlie Puth became a millionaire shortly after graduating college. In addition to tours and two full-length albums, Puth has continued to add to his wealth. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his net worth is an estimated $25 million, as of this writing.

What should a wealthy, 20-something spend their millions on? Um, how about used clothing? In a 2019 interview with Vulture, Puth and the journalist in question went vintage shopping in New York City. "Eventually, he settles on a $1,000 haul, including the 'N Sync shirt and a Black Sabbath hoodie," the article noted. However, he almost spent more. "I was gonna get the Incubus shirt," Puth said, "but it was a woman's shirt; it wouldn't fit right."

Less surprising are the sweet accommodations where Puth can keep all those t-shirts. As reported by The New York Times, the musician owns a "modernist home" in Beverly Hills, where "the ceilings are tropical-forest tall" and "the living room is sunken with leather couches." The home also boasts a few expensive toys: "[An] Aston Martin sits in the garage ... and the toilets raise their lids to greet you." Ah, the true signs of success.