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The female music collaborations we’ll never forget – from Christina Aguilera to Celine Dion

By Kathryn Kyte

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Sometimes two voices are stronger than one! Musical collaborations can bring out the best in a number of talented voices, luring mega attention and, in many cases, mass approval. In recent weeks we’ve fallen for Rita Ora’s new track “Girls,” featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX, and Demi Lovato and Christina Aguilera’s powerful anthem, “Fall in Line” – which they nailed in a highly anticipated performance at the Billboard Music Awards in May. Jennifer Lopez got into bed with Cardi B, literally, on her new dance track “Dinero,” while Ariana Grande revealed an upcoming collaboration with Nicki Minaj called “The Light Is Coming.”

These are just a few examples of strong all-woman efforts receiving popular praise, but we’ve dug a bit deeper to resurrect some of our favourite female collabs ever.

Click through to see them all…

By Kathryn Kyte

Madonna and Britney Spears - “Me Against the Music”

There’s no way this pop magic number wan’t making the lineup, especially as one of those rare occasions when the Queen of Pop and Princess of Pop came together for an unreal moment in music history. The two engage in a cat-and-mouse chase through a nightclub in the song’s sexy video, which ends on an almost-kiss between the two pop superstars. It was that same year, 2003, when the kiss came to fruition at the MTV VMAs and yes we’re still talking about it. Together, Britney and Maddona possessed a chemistry that was infectious with lyrics to match!

Photo: © Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Brandy and Monica - “The Boy is Mine”

The 1990’s were a big time for Brandy (“Moesha” anyone?) and Monica had gained her own popular following while quite possibly releasing two of the most romantic songs ever, “Angel of Mine” and “For You I Will.” It was only a matter of time before the dynamic duo came together and the iconic R&B track that resulted was one for the books. Playing on a presumed rivalry between the two, the lyrics see Brandy and Monica fighting over the same man, played by Mekhi Phifer in the video. It was the lead single on both Brandy and Monica’s second albums and propelled them both to number-one status for the first time (the power of a collaboration!) Cue the GRAMMY win and there’s your proof that two stars are often better than one.

Photo: © Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand - “Tell Him”

If there’s a brilliant duet that’s truly as smooth as “buttah,” as Babs would say, it’s this one between Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand. The GRAMMY-nominated ballad came to dominate adult contemporary airwaves and almost made its way to the award show’s stage – until Barbra came down with the flu. “We could try, try it both ways and see which feels better,” Barbra says at the beginning of the music video, which features the two powerhouse vocalists in the recording studio. “Ok, so where do I go first – I do this line?” responds Celine before purring the song’s opening line. This little glimmer of what went on behind the scenes then gives way to a montage of the fun the divas shared in the studio as well as glimpses of Canadian producer extraordinaire David Foster at work. Forever etched into our 1990’s scrapbook of joys, “Tell Him” is a staple not soon to be forgotten.

Photo: © Online USA/Getty Images

Halsey featuring Lauren Jauregui - “Strangers”

Halsey has feverishly been a voice for women and the LGBTQ+ community and this track, which is about two women trying to make a relationship work together, is a perfect example of just that. Attach Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui to round out the vocals and what you get is a tune that pushes boundaries and highlights two strong singers that are quickly climbing the ranks. Both are openly bisexual too, so the words have a personal meaning, and “Strangers” marked the first time that Halsey used female pronouns instead of gender neutral ones. The two performed the synth hit on the Good Morning America stage in June 2018 and they did not disappoint live.

Photo: © Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Gwen Stefani and Eve - “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”

A collab so nice they did it twice. Gwen and Eve joined forces for “Rich Girl” in 2004, but it was 2001’s “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” that brought the dynamic duo together for the first time. The catchy track solidified Eve’s supremacy on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ chart and was one of the sure standouts from her album Scorpion. The video featured the two women cruising on ATVs before moving from the street to crashing a swank party, all while dressed to early oughts perfection (think visors, pink hair, bodysuits and bikini tops). The track was produced by Dr. Dre, who bails Gwen and Eve out of prison at the end of the video, so that’s another reason to let it blow your mind.

Photo: © M. Caulfield/WireImage for The Recording Academy

Beyonce & Lady Gaga - “Telephone”

Two of this generation’s most recognizable and inventive artists made 2010 unforgettable with this release and its nine-minute-plus video – complete with dance moves, theatrics and an over-the-top wardrobe that were cheeky entertainment at its best. Thanks to the collaboration, the pair joined Mariah Carey in rank, receiving the most No.1 hits since the Nielsen BDS-based radio airplay chart’s inception in 1992. (Note: this record has since been topped by the likes of Rihanna, P!nk and Katy Perry.) “Telephone” was nominated for a 2011 GRAMMY, topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and has sold over 3.5 million digital downloads in the U.S. Suffice to say it was a big tune.

Photo: © Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey - “When You Believe”

Another song worthy of a thousand angels, which came out just a year after “Tell Him,” was this powerfully uplifting number between two of the most revered artists of all time, "When You Believe". They may have had their reported differences, but there’s no denying the dynamism of their joint effort for the soundtrack of The Prince of Egypt – even the Academy was so smitten they awarded the soulful single an Oscar. Friends or foes, it doesn’t matter – this song makes you smile and want to hug someone.

Photo: © TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Nicki Minaj, Jessie J and Ariana Grande - “Bang Bang”

It’s nice to see artists come together who you might not have thought were the perfect match and watch them make a track that instantly causes a stir! You can thank uber-producer Max Martin and company for the words heard on “Bang Bang,” but we firmly salute this trio for delivering those without compromising their individual style. The song went six-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), not to mention the fact that it’s video has more than one-billion views on YouTube.

Photo: © Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Madonna featuring M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj - “Give Me All Your Luvin’”

Madonna clinched another all-female collaboration in 2012, this time with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj for a track on her MDNA album. The video sees the two featured artists donning cheerleader uniforms to celebrate her Madgesty, chanting “L-U-V Madonna!” And for those who are already big of fans of Nicki and Madonna working together, get excited as it seems the two have something “secret coming soon.” Perhaps the mother of six will be on a soon-to-be released track from Nicki’s new album, Queen, which is set for release on June 15.

Photo: © Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, Pink - “Lady Marmalade”

Christina Aguilera has never shied away from singing alongside strong female artists, going all the way back to 2001 with the GRAMMY award-winning track “Lady Marmalade.” The song, which she performed alongside heavy-hitting vocalists Pink, Lil’ Kim and Mya, was part of the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and a cover of the classic Patti LaBelle hit of the same name. But while the 1975 version showcased one set of pipes, the new “Lady Marmalade” brought four seemingly separate artists together to unforgettable ends. In an interview with MTV, Christina expressed how she had wanted to break from the norm. “When ‘Lady Marmalade’ came out, so many executives were like, ‘She can’t do this.’ ‘It’s too Rockwilder and Missy.’ ‘It’s too urban.’ And I was like, ‘I’m doing it,’” she said. “Lady Marmalade” served not just as an entertaining dance track, one that is still in our heads, but it stressed creation over cookie-cutter marketability and was rewarded for it with two MTV Video Music Awards and a GRAMMY.

Photo: © Dave Hogan/MP/Getty Images

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