Women in the Entertainment Industry: Best Female Collaborations in Pop Music

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Lady Gaga and Beyonce – ‘Telephone’

Two of the biggest global stars and often crowned with the title ‘Queen of Pop’, Gaga and Beyonce came together for ‘Telephone’ which featured in Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster. The track was written by both of the female artists and became one of Gaga’s best-selling singles, achieving over 7 million digital downloads. The Grammy-nominated track hears both women’s desire to abandon the phone (a symbol for the industry’s desire to keep the woman working) in favour of the dance floor, the song is powerful in its message of female liberation. The track was accompanied by one of the best music videos ever made and a particular standout within 21st century pop. Following as a sequel of Gaga’s video for ‘Paparazzi’, the video (which is over 9 minutes long and has achieved over 220 million hits on YouTube) sees Gaga and Beyonce poison various people throughout, before they drive off to an unknown place, but can presumed to be a utopian one characterised by the two artists’ sisterhood.

Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim and Mýa – ‘Lady Marmalade’

A song originally recorded back in the 70s by Labelle, it was covered by a huge force of female artists which featured on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! Reaching the top of the charts in both the US and UK as well as a variety of other countries, ‘Lady Marmalade’ was a female collaboration that took the world by storm through Aguilera’s signature vocal-versatility as well as Pink’s raw vocals adding to the track’s layering. The track was nominated for a Grammy and won several MTV Video Music Awards, with the video channeling Luhrmann’s aesthetic: rich, sexual and vibrant. The song is also the longest reigning number in the US for an all-female collaboration where it remained at the top for over nine weeks making it a standout song for women on the back of Spice Girls’ girl power movement.

Gwen Stefani and Eve – ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ and ‘Rich Girl’

Gwen Stefani and Eve could be argued to be two of the most important women when it comes to female collaborations, bridging the pop, R&B and hip hop boundaries, and as a result creating some timeless and shameless classics. The first of which is Eve’s ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’, which won the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration as well as the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video. Second of the collaborations is Stefani’s ‘Rich Girl’ which received a Grammy nomination and marks one of Stefani’s most popular songs. Both tracks showcase Stefani’s unique vocals complimented with sharply executed rap by Eve, securing the songs as important pieces of noughties music. With both of the tracks’ music videos demonstrating the cause of a riot (‘Rich Girl’ being set on a pirate ship and ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ seeing Eve and Stefani disrupt a formal party), Eve and Stefani wrestle with expectations and reveal the endless dimension to women’s ability in the music industry.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj – ‘Bang Bang’

The most recent of all tracks, ‘Bang Bang’ was only released last year but took over the airwaves with its infectious rhythm along with the impeccable vocal range of Jessie J and Ariana Grande. Along with topping charts and being nominated for a Grammy, the track was performed at a variety of award shows and circulated the music scene. With Jessie J, Grande and Minaj’s solo albums set parallel to the release and promotion of ‘Bang Bang’, the track became an important anthem for the scope of power women are beholding in 21st century popular culture. Despite a slightly disappointing video, the song is likely to stand out in music history as a key moment of female pop stars joining forces to create something great.

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Film & English student, Deputy Editor of The Edge and President of FilmSoc. Likes FKA twigs, BANKS and other capitalised artists.

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