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As the lines between genres continue to be blurred by innovative newcomers and elite veterans alike, there have been some incredible collaborations that have graced music in the past few years. Who would have thought that getting Ozzy Osbourne and Post Malone in a recording studio would result in such a gem? And then there’s the OG of cross-genre collaborations with Aerosmith and Run DMC teaming up for 1986’s iconic Walk This Way.
So sit back and enjoy thirteen of the best cross-genre collabs in music history.
It may have already been one of the most iconic opening melodies in alternative music, but Linkin Park’s Numb welcomed a rap makeover in 2004 thanks to a collaboration with Jay-Z, and ended up being more successful than its original release only the year before.
Pop and pop-punk have a deep rooted history (the clue is in the name), but US mega star Taylor Swift made many dreams come true when she enlisted Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie for the extremely catchy ME! off her latest record Lover.
Now is clearly a huge moment for K-Pop, so Dua Lipa’s collaboration with Blackpink on the deluxe version of her debut self-titled album merged two huge musical worlds for a track set to get your day off to a great start.
In 2018, country rising star Kelsea Ballerini – whose sophomore album Unapologetically was nominated for a GRAMMY last year – joined forces with EDM DJ duo The Chainsmokers for the entirely unexpected This Feeling.
“My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all”. So impactful were those lyrics at the start of the millennium that almost an entire generation knew the song by heart. Eminem had made another long-lasting mark on the world with the help of British singer Dido, perhaps not the most obvious choice one but one that truly worked. Not to forget, the video is still darkly iconic.
The year is 1986, and hip hop royalty Run DMC release the collaboration of the century (if you ask us) with classic rock legends Aerosmith. Since then, the track has been listed as part of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock And Roll, and has since been covered by the British pop stalwarts Sugababes and Girls Aloud.
Originally released independently by Lil Nas X in December 2018, the single quickly became a success. In April 2019, Lil Nas X invited country singer Billy Ray Cyrus on board to re-release the duet version, and the rest is modern history. The video is also something to behold, as line-dancing (complete with killer outfits) meets country-rap. You’re welcome.
In 2019, Ed Sheeran released his No. 6 Collaborations, packed with a stellar line-up of featured artists. But our favourite pick off the album is South Of The Border with Camilla Cabello and Cardi B, complete with understated latin vibes and the trio’s powerhouse performances.
On his third studio album, American rapper Post Malone enlisted metal legend Ozzy Osbourne as one of his guest collaborators. The result, Take What You Want is one of the most stunning cross-over tracks, even if it left some Posty fans wondering just who “newcomer” Ozzy was.
California Gurls was arguably the ultimate summer song of 2010. Girls in daisy dukes and bikinis, Katy Perry on a cloud, and (of course) Snoop Dogg making a casual cameo in the midst of both the song and its unmistakable video. In an interview Katy Perry revealed that the song was her response to Jay-Z’s Empire State Of Mind, jumping across the United States to create an ode to the west coast.
In one of the most unlikely collaborations, Canadian EDM star Deadmau5 teamed up with emo royalty My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way on Professional Griefers. The track’s positive drive also saw it being added to the FIFA 13 soundtrack, as well as having guest feature on TV show Arrow.
Get Lucky proved to be the ultimate pick-me-up track of the 2010s. To get the groove just right, Daft Punk enlisted hit-producer Pharrell Williams and funk icon Nile Rodgers, with the song ultimately winning three Grammys at the 2014 ceremony including Record Of The Year.
Although not officially a collaboration, we just couldn’t leave it off this list as it’s just too good not to share again. Remember when the Foo Fighters got Rick Astley on stage to perform a rock version of Astley’s 80’s pop hit Never Gonna Give You Up at Japan’s Summer Sonic festival in 2018? Good times.
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