When two share a love that runs deeper than Art: 20 Best Musical Collaborations By Actual Couples

 When two share a love that runs deeper than Art: 20 Best Musical Collaborations By Actual Couples

Celebrity relationships can be the most chaotic aspect of pop culture, but sometimes two talents come together and empower each other to deliver their absolute best. Singers, rappers, songwriters, and producers have collaborated to create trendy tunes and timeless tracks since the industry’s inception. However, there’s something special that happens when two artists share a love that runs deeper than art. 

Whether they were an item before co-creating in the studio or fell for one another while the song was being made, romantic partners who are also creative peers often exude a chemistry that can be felt in the music. Some of the most interesting duets across Hip-Hop, R&B, and soul have come from real-life couples.

Below are 20 of the best collaborations between those artists🔻

Bow Wow – “Like You” feat. Ciara

On “Like You,” Bow Wow and Ciara made use of a New Edition’s “I’m Leaving You” for a millennial confessional revealing burgeoning feelings. With a catchy hook connecting compatible verses, this collaboration is an all-time classic singalong tune. 

Bobby Brown – “Something In Common” feat. Whitney Houston

“Something In Common” was the first collaboration between the two famously (and publicly) affectionate singers. Throughout the song, Brown and Houston express the blissful joy of finding an unlikely romance, a feeling that mirrored the beginnings of their actual life together before things took a turn. 

TWENTY88 (Big Sean and Jhene Aiko) – “Talk Show”

Big Sean and Jhene Aiko combine to form the Hip-Hop–R&B hybrid TWENTY88, via which they’ve both created some of their most interesting works. “Talk Show” is formatted as a late-night conversation between a celebrity couple whose loving disposition unravels in front of a live audience.

Erykah Badu – “Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip-Hop)” feat. Common

“Love Of My Life” shared both Erykah Badu and Common’s respective love affairs with Hip-Hop, and how the genre has continued to grow and change as the culture evolved. This allegorical collaboration is personal and honest and showcases both artists’ abilities to give simple lyrics deeper meanings.

Janet Jackson – “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” feat. Q-Tip, Joni Mitchell

“Got ‘Til It’s Gone” is the perfect blend of artists with different sounds, making sublime use of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and a flawless guest verse from Q-Tip. Together, Janet Jackson and the Queens rapper created a neo-soul hit that delivers the message that nothing should be taken for granted. 

Mary J. Blige – “I Don’t Want To Do Anything” feat. K-Ci

On “I Don’t Want To Do Anything,” both Mary J. Blige and K-Ci express their devotion to a romantic partner. The duet features two of the most soulful vocalists in the genre embodying the passion of their brief real-life romance, as well as the sound of classic ‘90s R&B collaborations.

Lil Wayne – “She Feeling Me” feat. Nivea

Released on the mixtape The Carter Files, “She Feeling Me” features Nivea calling out for Weezy as he takes pride in the adoration. Both artists express their love with lyrics that complement each other’s absolute devotion to being “ride or die” partners.

Rihanna – “Nobody’s Business” feat. Chris Brown

Making use of a Michael Jackson sample, Rihanna and Chris Brown sent a message to anyone on the outside looking in. “Nobody’s Business” is pop perfection for people who love loving out loud, but not the invasive questions that may follow. With the circumstances surrounding the pair’s eventual breakup after having been one of the defining tabloid stories of the century, the song also came with a certain amount of baggage.

Ashford & Simpson – “Solid”

Husband and wife Ashford & Simpson were notable songwriters in the ‘60s and ‘70s, penning hits for the likes of Ray Charles, Diana Ross, and others. But on “Solid,” the couple proved they could be the stars themselves. The ‘80s R&B track declares an unshakeable love in which “the thrill is still hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot.”  

Offset – “Clout” feat. Cardi B

A millennial Hip-Hop power couple, Cardi B and Offset matched each other’s defensive energy on “Clout.” Housed on Offset’s debut solo album Father Of 4, the track features both rappers attempting to silence “public opinions from private accounts.”  

Beyoncé – “Upgrade You” feat. Jay-Z

To start the track Jay-Z called out, “Yeah, Bey! Talk yo’ s**t,” and that’s exactly what she did. Before they ever released an album as The Carters, Hov and Beyoncé routinely flirted on one-off collaborations, and on “Upgrade You,” they pair their love for each other with their mutual love of luxury. 

Erykah Badu – “Hello” feat. Andre 3000

From Erykah Badu’s But You Cain’t Use My Phone mixtape, “Hello” features the best aspects of her and Andre 3000’s respective talents—the crafting of whimsical vocals and witty themes. As a loose cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Hello It’s Me,” the song finds the two artists adding new interpretations to the original track’s simple, conversational lyrics. 

Kindred the Family Soul – “Far Away”

Escapism is often a tool used to disengage from the harsh realities of life. On “Far Away,” Kindred the Family Soul paints a blissful neo-soul portrait of a lush, romantic, break from the world. The group, made up of married couple Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon, transports listeners to their own personal paradise. 

Brandy – “Brokenhearted” feat. Wanya Morris

On “Brokenhearted,” Brandy and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men harmonize the emotions that follow a breakup. Rather than taking the sit-and-sulk routine, the vocalists rationalize the end of a romance, thinking of it as the beginning of a new life and an opportunity for new love. 

Junior M.A.F.I.A. (Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim) – “Get Money”

Featuring two of the most memorable verses from both Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Kim, the New York emcees go head-to-head on this Junior M.A.F.I.A cut. “Get Money” finds the (somewhat secret) lovers proving that, among all the other things that bonded them together, their skills on the mic were unmatched by anyone but each other.

Rick James – “Fire and Desire” feat. Teena Marie

On “Fire and Desire,” Teena Marie and Rick James passionately pine over a deeply intimate love affair that takes the participants from cold and obscene to warm and loving. The slow and sensual song blends elements of funk and soul to provide the perfect backdrop for a transformative romance. 

The Carters (Beyoncé and Jay-Z) – “LOVE HAPPY”

On “LOVEHAPPY,” Bey and Jay—with their three children, luxury lifestyle, and designer pieces—are the American dream. After revealing the lows of their marriage on 4:44 and Lemonade, the couple came together on Everything Is Love to celebrate their highs. This particular song relays the message that no love is flawless, but with honesty, hard work, and forgiveness, a shattered story can turn into a happily ever after.

Ike and Tina Turner – “Baby, Get It On”

“Baby, Get It On” is one of few tracks from Ike and Tina Turner that includes vocals from them both. The upbeat song showcases Tina Turner’s iconic rock-and-roll style and features the couple sharing mutual affection and questioning what’s taking so long for their relationship to progress. While the Turners’ marriage ended regrettably, fans will always have this classic to hold on to. 

Mac Miller – “My Favorite Part” feat. Ariana Grande

“My Favorite Part” allows both Mac Miller and Ariana Grande to experiment with their individual sounds as they combine their talents for an unlikely collaboration. Grande, one of the most dynamic pop vocalists working today, and Miller, more limited in his singing, find common ground on this neo-soulful ode to their young love. 

Future – “Turn On The Lights Remix” feat. Ciara

In 2012, Future and Ciara both knew what they wanted in their respective romantic partners and were momentarily able to find it in each other. On “Turn On The Lights Remix,” the two Atlanta artists describe whom they both consider the ultimate catch. The fun song captures the excitement that comes with finding a new love interest, absent of anything predicting the drama that’d follow the eventual co-parents in real life. 

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