It’s one thing to collaborate with someone like Pitbull, but it’s a whole other story to team up with Beyoncé. No offense, Mr. 305, but she is among Forbes’ ’Most Powerful Women’ of 2015 for a reason. Let’s face it: when Yoncé teams up with someone for a duet, it usually stirs up some major excitement and quite a few headlines.
Take a look at Drake. Just last week, a demo version of his thundering collabo with Bey (“Can I”) surfaced online, leading most to believe that the final product will be everything we could have ever wanted from the duo. So even though she’s served up her share of lackluster duets (looking at you, “Beautiful Liar”), there’s definitely some star-studded bops in her long-running discography. While we wait patiently for her Drizzy Drake feature to get the final stamp of approval, we figured we’d dig into the archives to round up the pop titan’s top collaborations of all time. And no, this wasn’t easy.
BOOTS featuring Beyoncé Knowles – “Dreams”
It’s definitely not her most popular collaboration, but “Dreams” sounds like the result of one magical late-night jam session. After asking him to work on her self-titled album, the pop star returned the favor and reunited with BOOTS for “Dreams,” which was released to promote the NYC-based Day One charity. It’s sensual, melodic and, as you might have already guessed, absolutely dreamy.
Usher featuring Beyoncé & Lil Wayne – “Love In This Club Part II”
After making a cameo in her ultra-sexy music video for “Naughty Girl,” Usher said he wanted to do something shocking. So he hooked up with Bey for the remix of his lead single “Love in This Club” alongside Lil Wayne in 2008. It sorta makes you wonder why these two hadn’t collaborated sooner.
Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé Knowles – “Until the End of Time”
Speaking of “why haven’t they collaborated already” stars, two of the biggest band-leaders-turned-solo-stars finally linked up in 2007 to channel their inner Prince on “Until the End of Time.” It was one of those slow burner jams that got better with each listen as they danced around each other’s falsettos and high notes.
Beyoncé Knowles featuring André 3000 – “Party”
Even before they teamed up for their cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” Bey and André were all about celebrating the good times on “Party.” While the video version of the song features J. Cole, we have to side with André 3000’s cut of the single. From Yeezy’s production to Bey’s playful vocals, “Party” rightfully deserves its spot among her best.
Beyoncé Knowles featuring Drake – “Mine”
Bey worked with a ton of folks for her surprise self-titled LP, but her collaboration with Drake really stood out. For “Mine,” the duo took a minimal approach, and yet managed to pack a punch since the song focused on the singer’s marriage woes and motherhood.
Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z – “Upgrade U”
Way before Blue Ivy, there was a time when Bey and Jigga were pretty low key with their relationship. Aside from their on-camera and on-stage performances, they kept things hush hush. “Upgrade U” was one of the few instances where it seemed like Bey was showing us what it meant to be in a relationship with her. No lies detected.
Nicki Minaj featuring Beyoncé – “Feeling Myself”
Beyoncé’s feature on “Feeling Myself” is almost a no-brainer. Take the biggest raptress in the game, partner her up with Queen Bey and you have yourself one catchy (and pretentious) song about being hot ish. We’d show you the video, but Jay-Z is still trying to make Tidal happen and featured only on the new platform.
Beyoncé Knowles featuring Sean Paul – “Baby Boy”
After making a splash with “Crazy In Love,” Bey kept the heat coming with everyone’s favorite early 2000’s reggae singer. You already know who I’m talking about—it’s Sean Paul. “Baby Boy” was the second single off her debut album and felt like a natural team-up since the song incorporated some major dancehall influences.
Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé Knowles – “Telephone”
After Mother Monster hopped on the remix to “Video Phone,” Bey returned the favor by collaborating with Gaga for one of the biggest girl-on-girl duets in recent years. Everything was in line. Gaga was at her peak. Bey added some some extra pizazz. Plus, they played up that Thelma & Louise-like storyline for one hell of an incredible music video.
Beyoncé Knowles featuring Bun B and Slim Thug – “Check on It”
Beyoncé’s been repping her Houston roots for years, but she took her hometown pride to new levels in 2005 when she teamed up with Bun B and Slim Thug for one bouncy club banger. Bonus points for anyone that noticed the use of the word “twerk” exactly one decade ago.
Beyoncé Knowles featuring Jay-Z – “Drunk in Love”
Talk about some crazy foreshadowing! Jay and Bey have collaborated on a dozen of songs (and potentially a whole LP), but “Drunk in Love” takes the cake when it comes to showing off. It’s a glimpse into the married couple’s bedroom escapades, full of one-liners, double entendres, and, of course, a brand-new meaning to the word “surfboard.”
Beyoncé Knowles featuring Jay-Z – “Crazy in Love”
We all knew Beyoncé was the shining star when she was in Destiny’s Child, but the lead single off her debut LP made it crystal clear for any lingering naysayers. It was a small slice of pop funk that would hint at what would become of Bey’s solo career and her blossoming relationship with Jay-Z. It went on to be named the Greatest Song of the ’00s—no argument here.