Special Report

25 Bizarre Musical Collaborations

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

21. Santana and Rob Thomas
> Collaboration: Smooth
> Year: 1999

Soulful guitar master Carlos Santana joined with Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas to produce “Smooth,” a single that was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. Thomas wrote the lyrics, referencing songs written by Elton John and Ben E. King. “Smooth” was Santana’s first No. 1 single.

Source: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

22. Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson
> Collaboration: My Medicine
> Year: 2008

Forty-seven-year-old rapper Snoop Dogg and 86-year-old country legend Willie Nelson may not seem likely to jive when it comes to music but there is one thing both performers enjoy immensely — marijuana. Perhaps inspired by the drug, the two worked together on Snoop’s country-tinged song “My Medicine.”

Source: Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

23. Sting and Shaggy
> Collaboration: 44/876
> Year: 2018

English rocker Sting, who dabbled in reggae when he fronted The Police in the 1970s and 1980s, joined Jamaican fusion performer Shaggy on the collaborative album “44/876” in 2018. During an interview before the 2018 Grammy Awards, Sting said the “entire album was based on fun and rapport.” It was not one of Sting’s greatest successes; the album peaked at No. 40 in May 2018 on the Billboard 200, though it did win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2018. 44/876 refers to the country calling codes for the United Kingdom and Jamaica.

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

24. Taylor Swift and Zayn
> Collaboration: I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
> Year: 2017

Hit machine Taylor Swift collaborated with Zayn Malik for the single “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” The song, which was on the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack, climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 2017. Swift might be expected to more likely collaborate with her ex-flame Harry Styles, one of Malik’s mates in the boy band One Direction. However Swift is close friends with Malik’s girlfriend, model Gigi Hadid.

Source: Andrew Toth / Getty Images

25. Young Thug and Elton John
> Collaboration: High
> Year: 2018

Venerable English rocker Elton John liked the work of rapper Young Thug (aka Jeffery Lamar Williams), and producer Stelios Phili wanted to find a project that would involve both performers. He reviewed Elton’s discography, about 50 years of music, and found an a capella version of his 1972 hit “Rocket Man” online. That ended up on a tune what would become “High,” recorded in early 2016. Young Thug played a version of it for Elton when they met in London later that year. “High” was included on Young Thug’s “On The Rvn” EP that peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 in October 2018.

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