Top 10 Weird Musical Collaborations


She’s a fickle mistress, show business, so when your agent suggests collaborating with another musical artist, it’s best to agree. Even if the resulting tunes aren’t a success, at least you’ll go down in history by making musical magic with your stylistic opposite. You won’t find the predictable parings of Sonny and Cher, Hall and Oates or even Britney and Madonna in this list – it’s reserved strictly for duets that had the public saying “wha?!”

10. Ted Nugent and Meat Loaf – Free For All

One is a larger-than-life singer named after a popular dinner-time meal. One is a Detroit-born hard-rock guitarist. Together, they collaborated on a whole album, with Meat singing lead vocals. Stepping away from the glam-rock, high-powered chart hits, “Free For All” was a distinctly more technical and instrument-based experiment from the “Bat Out of Hell” singer. Nugent remained pleased as punch with his decision after the album went Platinum from rave reviews.

9. James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti – It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World

These two world-famous artists couldn’t be more different. African-American James liked drugs, women and soul, whereas Italian Luciano liked food, charity work and opera. Yet, this pair, teamed up with a string orchestra, produced a breath-taking rendition of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” during a “Pavarotti and Friends” concert on May 28 2002.

8. Aerosmith and Run-DMC – Walk This Way

This oft-covered track was originally a hit for the Aerosmith boys back in early 1977, but in 1986, American rap group Run–D.M.C created a version with guest vocals by Steven Tyler. The track was seen as a huge breakthrough in combining rap and rock in the popular charts, and the song’s legacy continues to this day with it being featured on hit game “Guitar Hero.” Other stars to have jumped on the “Walk This Way” bandwagon include Fergie, Nelly, Britney Spears, *NSYNC and Mary J. Blige.

7. Axl Rose, Elton John and Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

This karaoke classic managed to unite not two, but three musical greats as part of a performance in the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in 1992. However, this wasn’t the only time the British hat-donning diva and the rough and ready American had joined forces in the name of music. In 1992, the pair also performed Guns N’ Roses’ smash hit, “November Rain”.

6. David Bowie and Mick Jagger / Bing Crosby – Dancing in the Street / Little Drummer Boy

One-blue-eyed Bowie has been around for so long, it doesn’t matter whom he pairs up with – it’ll still be successful. This includes “Dancing in The Street”, the track made in conjunction with rubber-lipped Brit-rocker, Mick Jagger, which shot to number one in 1985. However, this collaboration generated more than money – it also got the cogs of the rumor mill in full turn when bisexual Bowie’s wife insinuated the pair had made more than sweet music together. Luckily, no such rumors were present when everybody’s favorite Rat Pack rogue teamed up with Bowie to sing Christmas carols on TV. Their performance of “Little Drummer Boy” was subsequently voted as one of the 25 most memorable musical moments of 20th century television by “TV Guide”.

5. Jay-Z and Linkin Park – A whole album

This ongoing teaming still confuses nu-metallers and hip-hoppers everywhere. Rock and rap fans suddenly had to reevaluate when the über producer & former Def Jam CEO took a teen angst band from California and made “Collision Course”. The album was the first to shoot to number one of the Billboard 200 since Alice in Chains’ “Jar of Flies” in 1994

4. Ozzy Osbourne and Miss Piggy – Born to be Wild

The Prince of Darkness and …. A potty-mouthed pink pig puppet. You certainly couldn’t accuse Ozzy Osbourne of being shy when it comes to dodgy duets. In addition to this parody, which appeared on the 1995 album “Kermit Unplugged”, Ozzy has also collaborated with Primus, Slash and of course, his daughter, Kelly – who fortunately, considering her image overhaul, won’t be confused with Miss Piggy any longer.

3. Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson – The Girl is Mine / Say Say Say

Michael Jackson: another Prince – this time the Price of Pop, and another shameless collaborator. Wacko Jacko’s crooning counterparts include Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin and siblings Jermaine and Janet on separate occasions. These particular tracks, released in 1983 and 1982 respectively, paired up two of music’s best selling artists of all time, with amazingly cheesy results.

2. Celine Dion & R. Kelly

Robert Sylvester Kelly, AKA R. Kelly, managed to resurrect his flagging career after those allegations, by collaborating with the French-Canadian songstress that everybody loves to hate. The single, which was released in 1998, reached a rather impressive number one in the Billboard hot 100, as well as 12 weeks at number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. Mind you, Celine was no stranger to that kind of controversy – she eventually married her childhood manager, René Angélil in 1994.

1. Eminem & Elton John – Stan

Publicly-declared “faggot hater” Eminem shocked both his and Elton’s fans when they performed “Stan” together at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The decision raised eyebrows in the gay community as well as rap and hip-hop fans, who deemed it hypocritical, even though many others saw it as a milestone against prejudice. Eminem, real name Marshall, further quashed his homophobic reputation in his film, “8 Mile”, where his character defended a gay colleague.

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  1. Danirahakurmi on

    How about when Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp covered the song You’re So Vain. It’s on Manson’s latest studio album Born Villain.

  2. Jeff Healey Lovah on

    Nothing is weird about Aerosmith and Run DMC's collaberation. It's a pop culture icon and a huge hit. Rock and rap are a perfect mix and some bands are a mix of it themselves like TFK, Manafest, and Linkin Park

  3. The Jay-Z Linkin Park collab wasn't even weird to me. Neither was the #1 pick in my opinion. People made a big deal about it because Eminem used the word "fag" more in his albums back then. NEWS FLASH: He wasn't the first artist/rapper to use that word in his songs but people acted as though he was just because he was in the spot light a lot then.

  4. "Little Drummer Boy" isn't one of my favorite Christmas carols, but I love LOVE the Bowie/Crosby version of it. It just seems like such an odd paring — 70s glam rocker and 40s straight-laced crooner — but their voices work so well together. The fact that it's not a modern-day remix on a computer is even better.

  5. the wildest teamup has to be the entire soundtrack of the film All This And World War II. The history of the 2nd World War using Beatles tunes as background, sung by like 30 artists of all sorts…Leo Kottke doing I Am the Walrus says it all.

  6. Amanda Burnam on

    I think you should add nelly and tim mcgraw to this list. That was way unexpected.

  7. Nice list! I'd throw Sting/Puff Daddy into the mix when they sang(?) together for B.I.G. How did Sting get sucked into that cesspool? Seriously. If you recall, they applauded Biggie's mom who did such a great job of parenting that she produced an admitted drug dealer and pimp (not the "cool" pimp, but an actual "I make women sell themselves and give me their money" pimp.) Mr. Dream of the Blue Turtles tumbled a few notches when he did that show.

  8. This is a great list!

    The Traveling Wilburys is my favorite musical collaboration – George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. I'm not sure if they do or don't fall into the "weird" aspect.

  9. A few years ago, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Les Claypool (Primus) and Stuart Copeland (The Police) put a band together called Oysterhead. Definitely strange given their different backgrounds and philosophy on music. Trey likes to jam, Stuart wanted structured parts, and Les is… well Les.