Less than three years after Khalid was launched into the national spotlight thanks to his breakout debut single “Location,” the R&B star has emerged as one of the most in-demand collaborators in modern pop music.
The Grammy nominee for best new artist has successfully spanned the realms of hip-hop, dance, alternative and EDM with his soulful, laid-back voice, delivering hooks and guest verses for everyone from DJ superstars like Marshmello and Martin Garrix to up-and-coming singers like Sabrina Claudio and Tayla Parx.
In honor of the release of his full-length sophomore album, Free Spirit, this Friday (April 5), Billboard has ranked every one of Khalid’s 27 collaborations.
27. Imagine Dragons & Khalid, “Thunder/Young, Dumb & Broke”
More of a medley than a proper collaboration, this mash-up finds Khalid’s millennial anthem bumping up against the bombastic strains of Imagine Dragons’ 2017 hit, and peaked at No. 4 on Billboard‘s Rock Songs chart.
26. Buddy feat. Khalid, “Trippin’”
Singing yet another hook on this woozy cut from Buddy’s debut full-length LP, Harlan & Alondra, Khalid spends most of the song’s chorus shrouded in hazy production.
25. Rich The Kid feat. Khalid, “Too Gone”
Featured on Rich the Kid’s 2018 debut album The World Is Yours, Khalid delivers an apologetic hook that he’s “way too gone and…out of it” to take a call from the ex he isn’t quite over.
24. Sabrina Claudio feat. Khalid, “Don’t Let Me Down”
On this slow-burning 2018 single, Khalid voice melds with the ethereal vocals of alt-R&B star Sabrina Claudio over muffled steel drums and a tropical beat. Thanks in part to the assist from Khalid, the song remains the Cuban-American singer’s sole charting hit on Hot R&B Songs, peaking at No. 22.
23. 6lack feat. Khalid, “Seasons”
This low-key album cut from 6lack’s 2018 sophomore LP East Atlanta Love Letter was Khalid’s second collaboration with the alt-R&B singer/rapper, after a team-up with Ty Dolla $ign still to come on this list.
22. Khalid feat. Safe, “Don’t Pretend”
Assisted by up-and-coming Toronto rapper Safe, this album cut from Free Spirit finds Khalid wistfully pining for a lost love over and over with the pleading refrain, “Show me/Don’t pretend.”
21. Khalid feat. Swae Lee, “The Ways”
20. Khalid feat. Kane Brown, “Saturday Nights” (remix)
Nashville breakout star Kane Brown’s addition to the remix of this single from Khalid’s 2018 EP Suncity turns the song into a genre-blending ode to young love that feels right at home in both R&B and country. The original version of the track is also set to be included as a bonus track on Khalid’s upcoming sophomore set, Free Spirit.
19. Khalid & H.E.R., “This Way”
Khalid teamed up with fellow R&B darling H.E.R. for this back-and-forth duet about true love featured on the soundtrack for 2018 crime film Superfly. The collab was released as the Future-curated soundtrack’s second promotional single.
18. Alina Baraz feat. Khalid, “Electric”
Sparks flew between Khalid and Alina Baraz on this sensual duet, which was released as the sole single off the latter’s debut solo project, 2018’s The Color Of You.
17. Martin Garrix feat. Khalid, “Ocean”
This relatively mellow vibe of this pop-EDM collaboration with Martin Garrix felt much more suited to Khalid’s laid-back vocal style than the superstar DJ’s signature sound of steady builds and explosive drops. In the visual for the track, the singer is bathed in icy blue light as he croons each silky lyric.
16. DJDS feat. Khalid, Charlotte Day Wilson & Charlie Wilson, “No Pain”
This deep cut on DJDS’ 2018 album found the R&B star trading vocals with iconic soul singer Charlie Wilson and rising pop talent Charlotte Day Wilson over a skittering beat. The evocative music video for the track tells the story of a young couple holding each other up through the struggles of life, complete with an eleventh-hour shock involving a live lion.
15. Alina Baraz feat. Khalid, “Floating”
While “Electric” may have been the single, this second pairing between Alina Baraz and Khalid let the two singers explore their chemistry further — this time over laser gun bleeps and dreamy guitar.
14. DJDS feat. Khalid & Empress Of, “Why Don’t You Come On”
Released as the lead single off DJDS’ third album Big Wave More Fire, the jolting duet with Empress Of peaked at No. 30 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, giving the Los Angeles-based DJ duo their first Billboard hit.
13. Tayla Parx feat. Khalid, “Runaway”
Before she earned the biggest hit of her career by co-writing bestie Ariana Grande’s chart-toppers “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings,” Tayla Parx scored an assist from Khalid on this one-off 2018 single, which details the two singers plotting the ultimate romantic road trip to “make freedom their favorite place.”
12. Lorde feat. Khalid, Post Malone & SZA, “Homemade Dynamite” (remix)
With Khalid joining forces with SZA, Post Malone and Lorde, this booming remix off the latter’s smash album Melodrama peaked at No. 13 in the alt-pop wunderkind’s native New Zealand and cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 92. While a music video was never made for the remix, Khalid later opened for Lorde on the European leg of her Melodrama World Tour.
11. Khalid feat. Empress Of, “Suncity”
Khalid ventures into bilingual territory on the bouncy title track from his 2018 EP of the same name. Fun fact: in addition to guest vocals by Empress Of, the song features background vocals from Spanish flamenco-pop star Rosalía.
10. Marshmello feat. Khalid, “Silence”
Lending his soulful vocals to this vibrant dance ballad by Marshmello, Khalid and the helmeted DJ earned a No. 1 hit on both the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Dance Club Songs charts, as well as the latter’s first top 40 hit on the Hot 100.
9. Khalid feat. John Mayer, “Outta My Head”
Khalid enlisted John Mayer for this earworm off his latest offering, Free Spirit. Over Mayer’s signature guitar and floating vocals on the hook, Khalid declares “just can’t get you outta my head” on a loop so expertly crafted, it’s sure to be stuck in anyone’s head after just a single listen.
8. Khalid, 6lack & Ty Dolla $ign, “OTW”
Filled with the throwback vibes of ‘90s R&B, this darkly melodic ode to the art of the booty call let Khalid share an irresistibly catchy hook with 6lack and Ty Dolla $ign. The clip for the song features all three artists rocking coordinated leather jackets and matching orange puffer coats as they narrate the travails of modern hook-up culture.
7. KYLE feat. Khalid, “iMissMe”
“iSpy” star rapper KYLE’s energy is infectious on this cheerfully selfish banger from his debut studio album, Light of Mine. The glittering album cut features the rapper’s signature gleeful delivery, while Khalid swoops in to guest on the second verse over driving synths and ’80s-inspired percussion.
6. Shawn Mendes feat. Khalid, “Youth”
Released in the wake of the Manchester arena bombing, this hopeful mid-tempo ballad gave Khalid the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with Shawn Mendes in a powerful statement of solidarity. The pair took a further stand against gun violence by performing the track at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards with the show choir from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
5. Benny Blanco, Halsey & Khlaid, “Eastside”
Khalid’s soulful vocals open this nostalgia-tinged collaboration with Halsey and Benny Blanco, which served as the super-producer’s debut single under his own name, earning Blanco his first top 10 hit as a solo artist.
4. Billie Eilish & Khalid, “Lovely”
Khalid teamed up with Billie Eilish for this contribution to the Season 2 soundtrack of Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why, the results are both haunting and sorrowful — an appropriate vibe for each star’s often-melancholy aesthetic. The moody video finds both singers trapped in a giant glass box as a simulated storm brews overhead.
3. Logic feat. Khalid & Alessia Cara, “1-800-273-8255”
Named after the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, this impassioned collaboration between Khalid, Logic and Alessia Cara gave all three stars the highest-charting hit of their careers when it peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100. It was later nominated for song of the year and best music video at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, where the trio performed the inspirational track in stunning tribute to the late Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, both of who had recently died by suicide.
2. Calvin Harris feat. Khalid & Future, “Rollin”
The third single off Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, this summery track found Khalid going full-tilt funk alongside Future as the producer builds a constantly-cresting wave of synthesizers and a slapping percussion. The R&B singer kicks the party off with a blunt vocal more straight-forward than his typical quavering croon before passing the baton back and forth with Future over the song’s groovy bass line.
1. Khalid & Normani, “Love Lies”
This lush duet from the soundtrack to groundbreaking gay teen romance Love, Simon earned Khalid and Normani the first Hot 100 top 10 hit (as lead artists) of their respective solo careers. The single’s sensual video portrays the R&B star as a valet attendant-turned-voyeur, spying on the Fifth Harmony solo star as she knowingly performs a dance routine from a luxe hotel suite far above his station in the parking lot. The song is equally parts slow-burning and seductive, and reigns supreme as Khalid’s most potent and unforgettable collaboration to date.