A love of music can transcend genre boundaries and draw together all sorts of talented musicians who otherwise would never be seen or heard sharing a stage or a recording studio. Sometimes these collaborations make perfect sense, and other times they’re real head-scratchers.
To assemble a list of 25 particularly unlikely — in fact, bizarre — musical collaborations, 24/7 Tempo reviewed lists of curious pairings appearing on a wide range of general interest, culture, and music websites, including Rolling Stone, NME, BuzzFeed, The CheatSheet, Open Culture, Riot Fest, Copper, Radio X, The Whisp, ListVerse, and Digital Spy.
There are a lot of reasons for musicians to collaborate. Crossovers can give artists the opportunity to experiment with their sound and explore new styles. They can also make headlines and draw in new fans and listeners. See, for instance, these top musical collaborations that hit No. 1.
One of the most common kinds of musical collaboration in recent years has been the appearance of hip-hop artists on country songs — the most famous, though hardly the first, example of which is “Old Town Road,” the megahit by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. But classical musicians sometimes like to work with rock or jazz performers, and old-school pop singers have had success doing duets with their modern-day equivalents. (These are the 25 most iconic musical duos of all time.)
If you seek out some of the recordings listed here, chances are that sometimes you’ll end up asking yourself what the participants could have been thinking — but other times, maybe the majority, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well disparate musical talents can mesh.