The Five Best Musical Collaborations of 2014 (So Far)

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Collaborations have dominated the top charts in 2014, proving two (or three) is better than one. Most of these collaborations are made up of women, which offer a change in the traditionally male-dominated music industry.

1.  Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX – “Fancy”  

The biggest song of the summer was a collaboration from two artists brand new to the mainstream scene. Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX released “Fancy” in February, and it caught fire, climbing to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May. From this collaboration, both artists have become two of the biggest names in the industry. “Fancy” has proved to be one of the most memorable, catchy, and unique top hits of this year.

2.  Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

Three of the driving forces of 2014 came together to create an explosive collaboration. Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj released “Bang Bang” in July and performed the song live at the MTV Video Music Awards. With both Jessie J’s and Grande’s powerful voices, Minaj’s rapping provides a change in the third verse which prevents the song from overwhelming the listener. The chorus really displays the artists’ talents and ability to support one another. With three popular artists, the song could easily have been made into a competition between them. Even in live performances of the song, there is equality among the three.

3.  Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert – “Somethin’ Bad”

Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert have been long-time friends, so there is some confusion as to why a duet took so long to come together. The two have dominated the country charts, with Underwood even venturing into the pop charts at times. One would think there would be competition between two of the biggest female acts in the same genre, but they have nothing but support for each other. “Somethin’ Bad” allows a peek into Lambert and Underwood’s relationship, complete with references to Thelma and Louise. Their individual personalities shine through, even though the assumption would be to lump them together. They may both be country blondes, but each has her own style.

4.  Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora – “Black Widow”

“Black Widow” has been labeled the “Dark Horse” – as in Katy Perry’s hit song – of 2014. With the beat drop and assistance from another artist, this is slightly true. Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora take the Katy Perry style song to a whole new level. With Azalea’s rapping, “Black Widow” is full of power and dominance.  Ora’s chorus provides relief from Azalea’s harsh rap and preps for the next round. The song is just short enough to leave listeners wanting more.

5.  Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj – “***Flawless (Remix)”

Beyoncé released her surprise album in December to eager applause. Her empowering song “***Flawless” was among the many immediate hits on the album. In August, a remix of the song was released featuring none other than Nicki Minaj, who may be one of the biggest artists of the year. The remix packs every bit of power the original did, but in a different way. Beyoncé even addresses the controversial elevator incident involving her sister and husband, singing “Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” The combination of both singers’ intensity is palpable through the entire length of the song.

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