Shock & awe

Shock & awe
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett collaborated on Cheek To Cheek.

Do you have a dream duet in mind?

Ask and, at some point, you shall receive.

Well-established singers and musicians have been teaming up since cavemen found they could harmonise an "Ug".

The results are often surprising.

A Flawless remix with Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, anyone?

Or how about Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea on a self-explanatory banger Booty?

And then there are those head-scratching collaborations.

Come on, did you really expect Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga to pair up?

One is an 88-year-old legendary jazz crooner, the other is pop's resident shock queen with a penchant for controversy (and meat dresses).

UNLIKELY DUO

The unlikely duo, which warbled The Lady Is A Tramp together on Bennett's Duets II in 2011, have again come together for a jazz album called Cheek To Cheek, to be released next week.

Their relationship extends beyond just work. Lady Gaga said Bennett "saved (her) life".

Gaga credits Bennett with helping her regain her confidence after the flop that was her last album (Artpop) and a falling out with her manager.

She told The Telegraph: "I feel a sense of confidence about myself as a musician that I felt in the beginning... And it's 'cause I got him by my side."

Can a musical pairing still shock?

Maybe there is no such thing as an "odd pairing" when it comes to music, a point Bennett and Gaga seem to prove. Here are three pairings we want to see happen.

1. STEFANIE SUN, SLIPKNOT AND SKRILLEX

The Triple S.

We know this is the unlikeliest, but hey, once these things get out there, they are more likely to happen.

It's a mix of everything that should not go together - Sun's delicate vocals, Slipknot's rage and Skrillex's electronic drops.

This could either be the best or the worst thing to happen to all parties involved.

2. BBC PHILHARMONIC AND NICKI MINAJ

This British symphony orchestra has teamed up with English acts spanning varying genres like The xx, Clean Bandit and Nero, treating audiences to dreamy performances with an edge.

Roping in bootylicious rapper Minaj might just put the "harm" in "philharmonic", but the results are guaranteed to be out of this world.

Imagine her trademark foul-mouthed rapping and Anaconda-style bum jiggling before a full-sized orchestra in a prim and proper setting.

Now just to mix things up a bit, why not get Minaj on cello while the penguin-suited orchestra set about swearing and twerking.

We know - thinking about it makes our heads hurt too.

3. ONE DIRECTION AND WU-TANG CLAN

Rumour has it that Zayn Malik will put his unproven rapping prowess on display in One Direction's upcoming album, Four.

Go big or go home, we say.

Dare he pit his "skills" against that of legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan?

Now, individually, Clan members have had the odd collab. Take Method Man and Texas, for instance.

Imagine the recently reunited - all nine of them - Staten Island crew's aggressive words coupled with One Direction's sugary boy band pop fare.

For best effect, it has to be seen live, if only for the confused look on 1D fans' faces.

ashikinr@sph.com.sg

Other odd collaborations

DAVID BOWIE AND BING CROSBY - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY/ PEACE ON EARTH

Bowie was well into his narcotic electronic experimentation phase when he joined Crosby for this surreal if heart-warming Christmas mash-up (before mash-ups were "a thing"). It was for the aunties' favourite's 42nd and final Christmas special in 1977. Crosby died a month after filming.

AVICII - LAY ME DOWN (FEAT. NILE RODGERS AND ADAM LAMBERT)

The DJ-producer wanted to collaborate with Rodgers "way before" the latter's work with Daft Punk. Lambert has an "incredible voice", apparently.

WILL.I.AM - T.H.E (THE HARDEST EVER) (FEAT. JENNIFER LOPEZ AND MICK JAGGER)

Will.i.am and JLo - sure. But Jagger?

"I wanted to be like Mick when I was young" was Will.i.am's reason.

NELLY AND TIM MCGRAW - OVER AND OVER

Rap and country may seem like a joke, but Nelly asked McGraw because "he's a badass, he's got game, and he's got a fine *****". How nice. We're sure McGraw's wife, Faith Hill, is flattered.


This article was first published on Sep 17, 2014.
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