A Great Big World, Pitbull & More of Christina Aguilera's 10 Best Collaborations: Critic's Picks

Pop icon Christina Aguilera has finally blessed us with brand-new music. The star released “Accelerate,” her new hip-hop-infused track, on Thursday (May 3), ahead of her upcoming Liberation album (which she said is set to be released on June 15).

The new track also features two hip-hop juggernauts, Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz, rapping alongside the singer’s powerful-as-ever vocals. The track was even produced by Kanye West, of whom Xtina says she’s always been a big fan. “Outside of, you know, his controversial aspects, I just think he’s a great artist and musicmaker and beatmaker,” she told Billboard for her just-released cover story.

“Accelerate” is just one of many songs where the star has worked alongside major names in hip-hop. In fact, Aguilera has a history of working with artists from all areas of the industry to make genre- and record-smashing music. So, to pay tribute to the triumphant return of Xtina, Billboard Pride has compiled a list of the singer’s best musical collaborations.

Nelly - “Tilt Ya Head Back,” feat. Christina Aguilera

The key to a good collaboration is making sure that all artists involved get to show off their best parts. “Tilt Ya Head Back” is a perfect example of what a collaboration should be. Neither Nelly nor Christina take a backseat in this R&B bop -- Nelly gets to show off both his rapping and singing, while Christina brings the power with her phenomenal voice and all the riffs and runs her heart could desire.

“Dirrty,” feat. Redman

As one of Aguilera’s most iconic songs, it’s strange to think that “Dirrty” doesn’t quite get the credit it deserves for having one the best features on any Xtina album. The singer slays the raw, forceful vocals throughout the track, and when Redman comes in with a fiery rap verse, it fits perfectly into this filthy, uninhibited track.

Pitbull - “Feel This Moment,” feat. Christina Aguilera

Any person who was alive during 2013 likely still has the melody of Pitbull’s hit dance track “Feel This Moment” stuck in their head. A large part of why that song performed so well was thanks to Aguilera’s spot-on vocals throughout the song’s chorus.

A Great Big World - “Say Something,” feat. Christina Aguilera

Sometimes the best features are the simplest ones. Unlike in many of her other collaborations, Aguilera does not dominate the song -- rather, she provides soft backup harmonies to A Great Big World vocalist Ian Axel, allowing the song to remain emotional and raw without completely taking over. This track is easily one of Xtina’s most beautiful vocal performances, and a fantastic collaboration.

Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim,  Mya & P!nk - “Lady Marmalade”

This is the collab of all collabs -- four fierce females taking on a classic Patti LaBelle track and absolutely slaying it. Mya, P!nk and Lil’ Kim get great moments in the song, but there’s a reason Xtina was saved for last. The moment you hear her running her voice in the background before she bursts in with her fabulous verse, you know she is the star of the song.

Christina Aguilera & Blake Shelton - “Just a Fool”

This track is a standout from Lotus. “Just a Fool” sees Aguilera and Shelton meeting halfway between R&B and country in order to deliver a good song that puts a strong emphasis on both the artists’ raw vocal talent.

Lady Gaga - “Do What U Want,” feat. Christina Aguilera

What happens when an unstoppable force like Lady Gaga meets an immovable object like Christina Aguilera? They work together to make a great song. In replacing R. Kelly with Xtina, Gaga not only brought in someone with the vocal talent to elevate her song to a new level, but she created a great moment where two colossal pop stars could share the spotlight on the same track.

Maroon 5 - “Moves Like Jagger,” feat. Christina Aguilera

Aguilera has collaborated with each of her fellow original coaches from The Voice: Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine. While each feature is great in and of itself, there’s no denying that her verse on “Moves Like Jagger” is the best of the bunch. Hitting each note effortlessly as always, Xtina helps make this song a certified bop well worth its place on this list.

“Can’t Hold Us Down,” feat. Lil’ Kim

It’s only fair that for one of Aguilera’s first major forays into hip-hop, she enlisted the help of rap icon Lil’ Kim. In this anti-slut-shaming feminist anthem, Christina holds back on delivering vocal stunts in order to deliver her point, letting Lil’ Kim go for the jugular with her confident rap verse.

Ricky Martin with Christina Aguilera - “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely”

We couldn’t make a list about amazing Xtina collabs without including at least one early aughts power ballad. And no two musical artists scream “early aughts” quite like Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin. “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” is less of a feature, and more of a straight up duet between the two icons, singing about heartbreak and longing.