Pristine Pasadena Mid-Century Modern Sells to ‘Toxic’ Songwriter

By James McClain

The San Gabriel Valley’s charming city of Pasadena is full of architectural treasures, and one of the best-kept midcentury secrets in town recently trundled onto the open market for the first time in decades. Designed by local architect John Galbraith and completed in 1956, the flat-roofed house last sold in 1963 — for well under $150,000, according to tax records — and remained in the same family until this month, when the sublime time capsule transferred for nearly $2.4 million in a bidding war.

Property records reveal the buyer is an entity easily linked to Christian Karlsson, the Swedish DJ, songwriter, and record producer who’s the Bloodshy half of the famed Bloodshy & Avant, the pop music power couple who have produced and co-written hit tunes with the likes of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue. But the team, which also includes fellow Swede Pontun Winnberg, are still probably best-known for their longtime association with Britney Spears, for whom they created enduring fan favorite earworms like “Piece of Me,” “Radar,” and “Freakshow.” Their biggest success, however, was 2003’s international smash “Toxic,” which won Spears a Grammy and has frequently been acclaimed as one of the best songs of the aughts.

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