The musical collaborations that totally blew our minds

Sometimes, celebrities join forces and create cool, wonderful things, and we are just FLOORED by them. While some celebrity collaborations are a bust, others are pure gold and deserve some positive recognition from the universe. These collaborations illuminate and bring out the sheer, talent and brilliance in each of these musicians, artists, and actors. Here are ten times a duo totally dazzled us.

1. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – “Islands In The Stream”

If you visit any karaoke bar, odds are that “Islands In The Stream” will be sung at least once before closing time.  Let’s face it, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton together are pure-fab, top-notch country magic.  And, as if this amazing duet weren’t enough, this song was also written by the forever groovy Bee Gees!  Now, that’s a gold star collaboration.

2. Paul Reubens & Cyndi Lauper – Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Theme Song

This one’s kind of a secret. When Paul Reubens was working on the theme song for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, he knew that Cyndi Lauper was the only lady who could provide the perfect wacky (but incredible) vocals.  Around the time that the show was coming out, Lauper was planning to release her album, True Colors, which had a more serious tone.  As she puts it in her autobiography Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir:“In our superficial world, people couldn’t accept both at the same time. So I sang the theme song using the pseudonym ‘Ellen Shaw.’ And then Paul sent me back a tape that was so hilariously funny, of me singing the theme with him in between saying, ‘Oh no! My career is ruined, oh no!’ He’s a nut. I love him.”  It’s Cyndi’s iconic Betty Boop-esque vocals that makes the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse theme song all the more wonderful and her all the more awesome.

3. Loretta Lynn & Jack White – “Portland, Oregon”

When the queen of country music and the current king of rock join forces, there’s no doubt that magic will ensue.  This was the case with Loretta Lynn’s 2004 album Van Lear Rose produced by Jack White.  Her song, “Portland, Oregon” has got it all: country twang, soul, and Jack White shredding on the guitar.  An A+ collaboration in my book.

4. Frank & Nancy Sinatra – “Something Stupid”

I guess it might be a LITTLE weird that Nancy Sinatra sings a love song with her dad, Frank, and mentions the smell of her perfume filling his head, but come on —their voices together are pure buttery-fresh-pancakes for the ears.  Plus, this song is super cute.  Good job, Sinatras!

5. Elton John & Miss Piggy – “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

Anything involving The Muppets is automatically infinite goodness in my mind, but that’s even more so the case when Elton John is involved.  Don’t you think Miss Piggy and Elton’s costumes alone are enough to make them take a spot on this list?  I do!  They’re not breaking any hearts with this collaboration.

6. David Bowie & Queen – “Under Pressure”

UM. . .David Bowie and Queen. Need I say more? Probably not. This collab would sound epic to the King of Epic himself. Together, Bowie and Queen wrote one of the most iconic songs of the century.  Way to go, England!

7. E.T. & Michael Jackson

For those of your who have a fear of little old E.T. (myself included —especially when he gets all wrinkly and raisin-like at the end of the movie. Hello, NIGHTMARES.), I won’t be offended if you’re scratching your head at this one. But come on, when else but 1982 could a collaboration as magical and mysterious as “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” Narrated by Michael Jackson have existed?  The stars aligned when this audiobook was recorded, I tell ya. If you missed out on it in the early ’80s because you weren’t born yet or E.T. just wasn’t your thing, don’t worry!  You can still get a copy today online!

8. David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who”

Together, Talking Heads’ front man, David Byrne, and St. Vincent’s front lady, Annie Clark, are absolute rhythmic royalty.  Their music is pop, but not over-played. —catchy, but also just the right amount of confusing.  Their album, Love This Giant, is a collaborative champion.  Let’s hope this team continues to create musical magic!

9. USA for Africa – “We Are The World”

Michael Jackson in a sequin glove. Bruce Springstein Bruce Springstein-ing.. Cyndi Lauper with yellow and orange mullet. Dan Aykroyd just singing for no particular reason. 44 popular artists from the mid-’80s singing to fight famine and disease in Africa.. I mean, it doesn’t get better than “We Are The World.” The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and featured vocal stylings from the best of the best in the world of music in the 1980s.  It’s really the crème de la crème of celebrity collaborations.

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