Big name features and starry collaboration are pretty common in the Official Singles Chart these days, but when Beyoncé (Be-yon-cé) and Shakira (Sha-ki-ra) got together in 2007, it felt like a moment.
Beyoncé was riding high on the success of her second solo album since putting Destiny's Child on hiatus, B-Day, and Shakira had scored the song of the previous summer with her first chart-topper Hips Don't Lie – it was only natural they should join forces, especially given there was more than a slight resemblance between the pair.
Beautiful Liar actually started life as a track left over from the B-Day sessions, and originally had Beyoncé duetting with herself – well, if anyone can, Bey can – singing to her feisty stage persona Sasha Fierce. With Shakira becoming known as the Colombian Beyoncé – no word on whether anyone was calling Beyoncé the American Shakira, but we like to think they were – Sasha got bumped, Shakira was brought on board, and the new version raced to Number 1, deposing another all-star collaboration from Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Justin Timberlake.
The video for Beautiful Liar was, as you would expect: steamy, atmospheric, and featured lots of both artists’ signature hip-swivelling, and the tune, despite being about two women in love with the same rat, was not the vengeful banger you might expect, but a smooth and seductive midtempo. A much more laidback take on that other iconic duet battling over some lacklustre dude – The Boy Is Mine, from Brandy & Monica – the song ended with both ladies deciding there was no point arguing over such a basic man, and becoming pals.
Beautiful Liar stayed at Number 1 for three weeks, before being deposed by McFly, and has amassed 564,100 combined sales across physical sales, downloads, and streams. Like all Beyoncé releases of that era, Beautiful Liar had its own storming Freemasons remix – definitely worth seeking out if you love a noughties floorfiller.
Elsewhere on the Top 40 this very week in 2007, Ne-Yo was a big climber with Because of You, and Natasha Bedingfield was on the up with maternal jam I Wanna Have Your Babies, her last Top 10 hit in the UK. There were also new entries from Ash, former Busted star Matt Willis, and Ocean Colour Scene.