12 huge female pop collaborations on the Official Chart

Collaborations that prove when two pop superstar worlds collide, the results can be spectacular.

Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim, Mya – Lady Marmalade

Released: 2001
Official Chart peak: 1
Chart sales: 967,000 

Not so much a collaboration as a meeting of pop superpowers, Lady Marmalade was the centrepiece of a major blockbuster movie Moulin Rouge, and brought together four of the biggest names in pop, all under one very decadent roof.

It was a big moment for Christina and Pink, both undergoing huge changes in both image and sound. Shortly after this song hit Number 1, Pink’s output went decidedly rockier and Christina’s squeaky-clean image was gone in the the glimmer of a sequin and the flash of a thigh.

It was Christina’s second Number 1 after debut single Genie In A Bottle, and the first of three for Pink. Bonus fact: It was the third time Lady Marmalade had charted. LaBelle took it to Number 17 in 1975, while All Saints made a slightly reswizzled version their second Number 1 in 1998.

MORE: Female artists with the most UK Number 1 albums

Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston – When You Believe

Released: 1998
Official Chart peak: 4
Chart sales: 410,000

When Mariah Carey scored her first hit in 1990, a full five years after Whitney’s first ever Number 1 Saving All My Love For You, Mariah was heralded as Houston’s natural successor. Thing is, Whitney wasn’t quite ready to hand over the baton of being one of the best voices in pop quite yet, and gossip magazines were abuzz with stories that relations between the two were frosty at best.

So imagine everybody’s surprise when the two divas teamed up for this hopeful ballad, the theme tune from animated movie The Prince Of Egypt. If there had been a hatchet, it was well and truly buried when the ladies took this song all the way to Number 4 in 1998. It was a 12th Top 10 hit for Whitney – and her first for five years – while for Mariah it was a 15th visit to the Top 10.

Shortly after Whitney's death in 2012, Mariah cleared up those rift rumours for good. "It was great and I don’t think people could ever understand our relationship,” she told MTV. “There was this supposed rivalry in the beginning, then we did the duet and became friends. I loved her.” So there.

Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce – Telephone

Released: 2009
Official Chart peak: 1
Chart sales: 1.02 million

Originally meant for Britney Spears, Gaga reclaimed the track, recruited Beyoncé for guest vocal duties and had a massive Number 1 with it. Gaga would have wait another eight years for a UK chart-topper, reaching the summit with Shallow in 2018.

Brandy & Monica – The Boy Is Mine

Released: 1998
Official Chart peak: 2
Chart sales: 816,000

Possibly the “other woman” song to end them all, Brandy and Monica’s four-minutes of sly digs and assurances that one is better than the other has never made the misery of infidelity sound such fun. It also helped the two American R&B singers break through into the mainstream – being the first Top 10 hit for both of them in the UK, topping out at Number 2 (losing out to C’est La Vie by B*Witched) Brandy and Monica reunited for a follow-up 14 years later in 2012, It All Belongs To Me, where they finally throw that cheater out.

MORE: Every UK Number 1 album by a female solo artist

Beyonce & Shakira – Beautiful Liar

Released: 2007
Official Chart peak: 1
Chart sales: 603,000

Be-yon-saaaay, Beyoncé. Sha-keeee-raa, Shakira. Not just a meeting of minds but almost a mirror image, two of pop’s near doppelgangers finally got in the same room to prove they were actually different people. The video for Beautiful Liar – a third solo Number 1 for Bey and Shakira’s second – played on the fact the two stars were lookalikes and included some impressive derriere dancing. Spending three weeks at Number 1 in 2007, Beautiful Liar ranks on high on both ladies’ list of biggest songs.

Britney Spears ft. Madonna – Me Against The Music

Released: 2003
Official Chart peak: 2
Chart sales: 184,000

A collaboration that few saw coming, as Madonna had previously said in interviews that feature slots were not her bag. However, after Madonna and Britney got hot and heavy at the 2003 MTV Awards, it was only a matter of time before the two recorded together.

Britney played the megastar her finished version of Me Against The Music – lead single from fourth album In The Zone – and Madge thought there was something missing. Herself, basically. Madonna’s magic did the trick – it was a 12th Top 10 hit for Britney, peaking at Number 2. And the song that held it off the top spot? Crashed The Wedding by Busted. Four years later Madonna would team up Britney’s former squeeze Justin Timberlake on 4 Minutes – and that did get to Number 1.

Eve ft. Gwen Stefani - Let Me Blow Ya Mind

Released: 2001
Official Chart peak: 4
Chart sales: 596,000

Some collaborations come toward the end of an illustrious career, some hope to help a brand-new act take hold and others are the start of something else entirely. For No Doubt lead vocalist Gwen Stefani, turning up to lend a hand on rapper Eve’s third Top 10 hit, it was a conscious dip in the toe of a pool filled with bright, clear solo stardom. While she wouldn’t take the plunge until a full three years later, the scene was set. Eve did pretty well out of the deal too, with eight more Top 40 hits to follow, including a regroup with Gwen – they took Rich Girl to Number 4 in 2005.

Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer - No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

Released: 1979
Official Chart peak: 3

No rundown of female collaborations will be complete without this disco explosion, with two of the biggest voices in music taking it all the way home. The full-length version of this song, from Barbra’s 1979 album Wet, is a dehydrating, heart-thumping eight minutes, but an even longer version exists – at almost 12 minutes. We’re starting to see white spots before our eyes. Perhaps the opposite side of the coin to Brandy & Monica’s The Boy Is Mine, Barbra and Donna had both had quite enough of their feckless bloke, thank you. Since recording the song, Barbra and Donna never performed it together live, and there was no video. Donna once said she was so exhausted from a live show the night before they recorded the duet in the studio, she fell off a chair during a take.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj - Bang Bang

Released: 2014
Official Chart peak: 1
Chart sales: 1.5 million

This three-way all-star collab is, to say the least, bolshy. The musical equivalent of being bashed around the head with a giant foam baton for 3 minutes and 20 seconds, the origin of Bang Bang isn't entirely clear - the most likely explanation is that it was originally a solo Ariana song before it was handed to Jessie with a guest rap from Nicki. Ariana's affection for the song has, ahem, subsided in recent years, but it remains a huge seller.

Euthymics & Aretha Franklin - Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

Released: 1985
Official Chart peak: 9

Although not strictly a girls-only party, thanks to Dave Stewart’s essential place in the Eurythmics duo, when it came to front of house this was very much a female affair, so we’re letting this one sneak in. Legendary diva Aretha Franklin brought her powerhouse vintage vocals while Eurythmics frontwoman Annie Lennox brought her crystal-clear pipes – and together made a rousing girl power anthem a whole decade before the Spice Girls came along. The track followed the Eurythmics one and only Number 1, There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), and was an eighth Top 10 for them. Aretha Franklin has had just one Number 1 in the UK and that too was a collaboration. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) hit the top of the Official Singles Chart in 1987.

Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj - Side To Side

Released: 2016
Official Chart peak: 4
Chart sales: 1.3 million

Ariana and Nicki have been regular collaborators over the years, but 2016's Side To Side is, rightfully, their most successful. Everything from Ariana's suggestive delivery, to its Max Martin-helmed reggae-pop production and Nicki's ear-snagging rap is wildly addictive. 

Melanie C ft. Lisa Left-Eye Lopes: Never Be The Same Again

Released: 2000
Official Chart peak: 1
Chart sales: 465,000

For her third outing as a solo star, Spice Girl Melanie C pulled out the big guns – and boy did it work. Recruiting TLC’s rapper Left-Eye – using her full name on this track – Mel went straight in at Number 1, ousting none other than her ex-Spice bandmate Geri Halliwell off the top spot, and scoring her first chart-topper without the girls.