Let’s face it: No one can deny a catchy ass hook. It’s the most important part of a good ear worm and totally lives up to its meaning. And yet, this big ol’ responsibility is sometimes given to certain select females. In recent years, these ladies that have become the go-to girls in charge of tackling chorus duties. Urban Dictionary likes to refer to them as a “hook bitch,” but to each their own.
VH1 decided to take a trip down memory lane (from the last decade and a half) to rank the 9 most popular ladies in charge of serving up one flawless hook with all the chart receipts you could dream of. Shall we begin?
Noteworthy Hook: “Dilemma” (10 weeks in the Top 10)
Kelly Rowland may not have ever found soaring solo success like Beyoncé, but she’s definitely one heck of a singer to collaborate with. Back in 2002, Nelly hit the jackpot when he nabbed the former Destiny Child sister for the hook of “Dilemma,” which hit the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. She’d eventually go on to play wing woman to Trina’s “Here We Go Again” (#17) and Future’s “Neva End” (Remix) (#52) as well a ton of guest appearances for David Guetta.
Noteworthy Hook: “Empire State of Mind” (16 weeks in the Top 10)
If you need a girl that can play the piano and belt out some high notes on your chorus, Alicia Keys is the answer. Since her 2001 debut, the singer/songwriter has appeared on some major hitters, including Eve’s “Gangsta Lovin” which snagged the number two spot on the Hot 100, and Jay Z’s number one hit song, “Empire State of Mind.”
Noteworthy Hook: “Fancy” (17 weeks in the Top 10)
Smash features were a thing for Charlie XCX even before she really became a thing herself. In 2012, the pop star landed on the hook for Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” which hit the number 7 spot on the Hot 100. Sure, we didn’t really know that she was singing the chorus on the song by equally-new industry newbies, but it eventually paved the way for a guest spot on a little ol’ track you might know called “Fancy,” which topped the charts for 7 weeks. Count em, 7. You can also find her on the chant-like hook of Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty” alongside Tinashe.
Noteworthy Hook: “Feel This Moment” (7 weeks in the Top 10)
Like others on this list, Christina doesn’t hold the same chart power that she once had, but that doesn’t mean she can’t at least help in boosting a song up the charts. Case in point: her 2011 appearance on Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” Fun fact: It was her first number 1 hit since her “Lady Marmalade” collabo in 2001. Some of the other songs that Aguilera has served as chorus girl include Diddy’s “Tell Me” (#47) and A Great Big World’s “Say Something” (#4).
Noteworthy Hook: “Always On Time” (16 weeks in the Top 10)
It’s been quite a few years since Ashanti served up a quality hit, but there’s no denying her tight-grip on the R&B game during a pre-Beyoncé era. In fact, her appearances on so many early 2000s hits helped her become the first woman to have three Top 10 songs in the same week. In 2001, Ashanti assisted on Big Pun’s “How We Roll,” which peaked the number 53 spot on the Hot 100. Shortly afterwards, she’d team up with her partner in crime Ja Rule for “Always On Time,” which took the number 1 spot, and Fat Joe for her “What’s Luv?” team-up, which peaked at the number 2 position. It was all easy strolling during the next few years with “Down 4 U” with the Murder Inc. gang (#6), “Mesmerize” with Ja Rule (#2), “Into You” with Fabolous (#4) and “Southside” with Lloyd (#24).
Noteworthy Hook: “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” (8 weeks in the Top 10)
Adding Queen Bey to your record will automatically draw major attention considering she (and Taylor Swift) reign supreme in the world of pop. It all started around Destiny’s Child’s final years when B teamed up with her then-boyfriend Jay Z for “03 Bonnie & Clyde,” the lead single from Jigga’s The Blueprint: The Gift & the Curse. It reached the number 4 spot on the Hot 100 and alluded to all the future success the duo would have later down the road. Bey eventually provided the hook for Justin Timberlake’s “Until the End of Time” (#17), Usher’s “Love in This Club Part II” (#18), Jay Z’s “Part II (On the Run)” (#77) and Nicki Minaj’s “Feelin Myself” (#39).
Noteworthy Hook: “Right Round” (13 weeks in the Top 10)
One way to guarantee a solid hook is to ask the songwriter to just go ahead and sing on the track as well. That’s the case with Ke$ha, who kicked off her career as the uncredited female vocalist on the hook of Flo Rida’s 2009 “Right Round.” She made absolutely no money from the song, which hit the top spot on the Hot 100, but it did help her launch her own solo career and secure several other choruses like Taio Cruz’s “Dirty Picture” (#96), Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends” (Remix) (#3) and Pitbull’s “Timber” (#1).
Noteworthy Hook: “Wild Ones” (14 weeks in the Top 10)
Sia became a household name after jumping on several tracks for others just a few years ago and her life has never been the same since. I mean, who else do you know that can buy a house with the royalties from a guest spot on a David Guetta record? Exactly. She’s since provided hooks for Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” (#5), Eminem’s “Guts Over Fear” (#22) and even found her own mainstream success with solo tracks like “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart.”
Noteworthy Hook: “Love The Way You Lie” (16 weeks in the Top 10)
Here’s what’s great about Rihanna. Even though she can hold her own on a song, Bad Gal Riri isn’t totally unreachable for a guest feature. Even back in her early days, Riri proved a viable act to add to your track by helping Maroon 5 out on “If I Never See Your Face Again,” which peaked at the number 53 spot on the Hot 100. She’d later provide the hooks for a string of tracks, including T.I.’s “Live Your Life” (#1), Jay Z’s “Run This Town” (#2), Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” (#1), Kanye West’s “All Of the Lights” (#18), Nicki Minaj’s “Fly” (#19), Drake’s “Take Care” (#7), Wale’s “Bad” (Remix) (#21), Eminem’s “The Monster” (#1) and, most recently, Shakira’s “Can’t Remember to Forget You” (#15). Don’t even try to argue with us. Rihanna owns this title.