16 of P!nk's Most Offbeat Collaborations
Pop's favorite rebel crosses genre boundaries again, duetting with country icon Kenny Chesney on "Setting the World on Fire"
While P!nk is a rock star in her own right, one of the things that makes her truly unique is her ability to chameleon across the most unexpected collaborations. She managed to stand out among a group of powerhouse divas on the chart-topping “Lady Marmalade,” stripped down for an acoustic album as one-half of the folksy duo You+Me, and flexed her comedy chops on a collaboration with The Lonely Island for their movie Popstar.
P!nk is continuing her offbeat collaborations, this time with a foray into country with the assistance of Kenny Chesney: “Setting the World on Fire.” The track has major crossover appeal and the potential to dominate adult contemporary radio. While it’s too early to tell if it will repeat the success of “Just Give Me a Reason," her Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping duet with Nate Ruess, Chesney seems confident; in fact, he delayed his album release three months to accommodate the pop-rocker. "Sure, it would be easier to just leave everything on schedule," he said in a press release. "But when you have something you know is great, and it captures the best part of being alive, why wouldn't you slow down enough to make it happen in the moment?"
While the collaboration might seem mismatched on paper, Chesney explained, "P!nk's voice holds so many feelings all at the same time: joy, desire, a bit of toughness, a little hurt. She's an incredible singer -- and has this great tine that shines but has a little wear to it, but doesn't sound beat up."
Several of her former collaborators -- across genres like hip-hop, blues, rock and jazz -- echo those sentiments. Below is a roundup of P!nk's less-rememebered -- but still (mostly) great -- collaborations from throughout her 17-year career.
1. Naughty by Nature
While P!nk is now known for her signature pop-rock sound and playful innuendos, she originally rose to fame with a trifecta of R&B-tinged singles. Though she began to develop her angsty pop sound with 2001’s Missundaztood, P!nk had no qualms about making a guest appearance on the rap trio’s 2002 album, on the track “What You Wanna Do.” The group was impressed: “She came in, added her flavor, her riffs and turned it around. It’s a smoker," Treach told MTV. Vinnie added, "She heard certain things and changed certain pitches. She didn't need no vocal coach."
2. Indigo Girls
The folk duo joined P!nk on "Dear Mr. President," an open letter to then-President George W. Bush on her fourth album, I’m Not Dead. While she sings the lead, the indie icons provide backing harmonies and guitar. The song criticizes several areas of Bush’s administration, including his views on the Iraq War, LGBT rights, and the No Child Left Behind Act.
3. Steven Tyler
P!nk enlisted the rock icon for "Misery," a bluesy number on her second album, Missundaztood. Not only does it feature the Aerosmith frontman’s vocal chops, but Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora leant his guitar licks to the track as well.
"I was always afraid he'd pick me as a target,” P!nk said of the rapper in an interview with Spin. “But he's always been nice to me and finally approached me to be on the album.” The duo first appeared together in 2010 on the rapper’s Recovery, where P!nk sang the hook on “Won’t Back Down.” Though it wasn’t released as a single, the song peaked at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two years later, Eminem returned the favor by adding a verse to P!nk’s party-starting “Here Comes the Weekend” off The Truth About Love.
While P!nk is known for her distinctive voice, she is also an accomplished songwriter. It’s well-known that she penned Adam Lambert’s Hot 100 top 10 hit “Whataya Want From Me,” but she’s also written for the likes of Hilary Duff, Mya and Cher. In fact, Cher took to Twitter to sing the rocker chick's praises: "Pink is definitely my girl. She's talent. Luv it." Celine Dion has confirmed that P!nk has written for her next album as well.
6. Usher and Mya
Before she was known for her aerial acrobatics, P!nk’s performances were peppered with slick choreography. Her moves were so sharp that, in 2001, she was enlisted for a dance tribute to Janet Jackson on MTV along with R&B peers Usher and Mya. P!nk kicked off the homage by re-creating Jackson’s “Miss You Much” choreography and then reappeared when the trio closed the performance with their take on “Rhythm Nation.”
7. Lily Allen
Both Lily and P!nk have reputations for their brash honesty and sharp wit, so it was fate (and the help of super-producer Greg Kurstin) that brought them together for “True Love.” The track, from P!nk’s The Truth About Love, tackles the intricacies of a dysfunctional relationship. "I've loved every lyric she's ever written," P!nk told The Independent about her collaborator. "And I just thought she would be perfect for the song -- she's funny and clever and witty and has a beautiful tone to her voice.”
8. Herbie Hancock
P!nk was one of several artists enlisted for the jazz legend’s 2010 The Imagine Project, a cross-cultural album featuring artists from various locations around the globe. She was included on two tracks, including the recipient of the 2011 Grammy Award for best pop collaboration with vocals, a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The winning track also featured Seal, India.Arie, Jeff Beck, Konono N°1 and Oumou Sangaré.
9. Annie Lennox
Over the years, P!nk has contributed to three charity singles. She joined Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Miley Cyrus, among others, on a 2010 remake of “We Are the World” to help benefit Haiti after a destructive earthquake. She also leant her vocals to “Hands,” supporting families of victims of a nightclub shooting in Orlando, along with Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez and others. But it was her contribution to Annie Lennox’s “Sing,” a charity single to help prevent HIV/AIDS in Africa, that was most obscure: the female-only lineup consisted of only two Hot 100 contemporaries (Shakira and Fergie), while skewing more toward older generations, with singers like Gladys Knight, Madonna, Bonnie Raitt and Martha Wainwright joining in the chorus.
The rapper recruited P!nk to belt out the chorus on “Guns And Roses,” a track from his 2012 album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Hand. In an interview with Rap-Up, T.I talked about his similarities with the powerhouse: “She real people, she from the streets. I’m a real cat, I’m from the streets. We found ourselves in rooms where we were like, ‘You know what? These people fake as hell in here. Let’s get out of here.'”
11. Sarah McLachlan
While P!nk is known for her showmanship, she has the vocals to match -- a fact she proved during her duet with Sarah McLachlan at the 2008 American Music Awards. The two harmonized through a breathtaking rendition of the latter's hit “Angel.” When EW.com asked McLachlan if they’d ever get into the studio together, she responded positively: “If the song is right, I'm game. I don’t know why more people don’t ask me, because I’m a total whore in that way -- I’ll sing with anybody as long as it feels good.”
12. Britney Spears and Beyoncé
P!nk may have slighted Spears in her bratty “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” but Pepsi brought the two pop titans together -- along with Queen Bey (and a cameo from Enrique Iglesias as the emperor) -- for an unforgettable ad during the 2004 Super Bowl. The trio of divas donned gladiator gear, but instead of fighting each other, they threw down their weapons and broke out a rousing version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
Before India and P!nk teamed up with Hancock, the pair collaborated on “I Am Not My Hair.” While the version that ended up on Arie’s Testimony: Vol. I, Life & Relationship is a solo, the song's original idea was rooted in P!nk's decision to do away with her signature bubblegum hairdo. The last verse of the song was inspired by Melissa Etheridge’s performance at the 2005 Grammy Awards, where she appeared bald from chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. "At that moment in time, her performance was a juxtaposition of pain and beauty,” Arie told Billboard. “It symbolized the beauty of strength."
14. Lisa Marie Presley
In 2005, P!nk provided backing harmonies on “Shine,” a soft rock record on Lisa Marie Presley’s Now What. The two were such close friends that Presley bought P!nk a pitbull, which was appropriately named Elvis. Being the animal lover she is, P!nk got a tattoo of the dog on her forearm after he died.
15. Jim Moore
Of all of her collaborations, it’s this hidden track from I’m Not Dead that is the most personal; it was written by her father, Jim Moore, while serving in the Vietnam War. He sang the song to her while she was a baby, and she credits him with teaching her how to harmonize. They recorded the album cut in one take.
16. Ellen DeGeneres
“When I decided to have a new theme song this season, there is only one person I asked to write it. I still can’t believe she said yes!” the talk show host exclaimed before introducing P!nk for her first televised performance of the inspirational “Today’s the Day.” Later in the episode, P!nk said that being asked to write a song for DeGeneres was ”the biggest honor in the world.”
Have a listen to countrified P!nk below: