Ask Billboard: Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves
Ask Billboard: Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Tuesday's (April 26) Chart Beat column, "10 All-Female Hit Collaborations," generated great reader feedback. Here are some of your additions, highlighting songs across multiple formats.

Hi Gary,

Here are two more great all-female collaborations to spotlight.

Even though it was technically a Herb Alpert release, the vocals on "Making Love in the Rain" belonged to Lisa Keith and Janet Jackson. The song, a No. 35 Hot 100 hit in 1987, is, to me, one of the most beautiful top 40 recordings of all-time.

And, one of my favorite female pairings was "It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be" by Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston, a playful song in which the two fight (lyrically) over a man. (Sadly, the single stopped at No. 41 on the Hot 100 in 1989).


Troy Williams
Dallas, Texas

Thanks to all who e-mailed with such insightful examples of hit all-female songs and albums.

Speaking of Franklin, one such song that I didn't include in the original column? Only the obvious "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" (and only because the single was credited to the male/female duo Eurythmics, featuring Franklin). The anthem peaked at No. 18 on the Hot 100 in 1985.

And, five more all-female collaborations worthy of highlighting:

Stevie Nicks & Sheryl Crow
"If You Ever Did Believe"

As the Lilith Fair era boomed in the late '90s/early '00s, several female artists cited Nicks as an immense influence. After recording this song for the "Practical Magic" soundtrack in 1998, Nicks enlisted Crow, Macy Gray, Natalie Maines and Sarah McLachlan to assist on her 2001 set "Trouble in Shangri-La." Nicks' first studio album since then, "In Your Dreams," arrives Tuesday (May 3).

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rosanne Cash & Shawn Colvin
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

The folk/country singer-songwriters - praised as "brilliant" by Johnny Cash before their performance - showed off their harmonies on this cut from Bob Dylan's all-star live album, "The 30th Anniversary Concert Collection." The set peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard 200 in 1993.

Melissa Etheridge & Joss Stone
"Cry Baby/Piece of My Heart"

The pair's intense 2005 Grammy Awards medley translated to a No. 32 Hot 100 peak.

VH1 Divas
A who's-who of powerhouse female vocalists, the recurring series of benefit concerts generated two Billboard 200 chart entries. "VH1 Divas Live," featuring Dion, Gloria Estefan, Franklin, Twain and Mariah Carey, reached No. 21 in 1998. A year later, the lineup of Houston, Cher, Tina Turner and Brandy produced "VH1 Divas Live/99" (No. 90).

Stand Up to Cancer
"Just Stand Up!"

15 star artists joined forces for this benefit single. Co-written and produced by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, the empowering song peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100 in 2008.