Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Gin and tonic. Some things work great on their own, but are way more enjoyable when they’re together. Even better: things that shouldn’t work together, like pineapples on pizza, that make perfect (and delicious) sense.
But it doesn’t stop at food—there have been some really great music collaborations, especially from musicians you might not have imagined to ever pair up.
Check out our list of unexpected collaborations that work really, really well.
Don’t Make Me Wait – Shaggy and Sting (2018)
Yup, the smooth-talking reggae superstar and legendary British artist have come together for a joint, island-inspired album. It’s called 44/876 (a combination of the areas codes of Great Britain and Jamaica).
Perfect – Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli (2017)
This is what happens when you pair the “perfect wedding first dance song” and the world’s most popular tenor. Perfection. (See what we did there?)
FourFiveSeconds – Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West (2016)
This unexpected mashup earned praise for its minimalist instrumentals, which include acoustic guitar, cello, and organ, and for blending pop, hip-hop, country, and folk.
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line and Nelly (2012)
Fact: This isn’t Nelly’s first country collaboration.
Over and Over – Tim McGraw and Nelly (2004)
Numb/Encore – Linkin Park and Jay-Z (2004)
Rock and rap fans came together for this epic collaboration, which won the band and Hova a Grammy.
Stan – Eminem and Elton John (2001)
So this single didn’t start as a collaboration with Eminem and Elton (it was originally recorded with English singer Dido), but the pair surprised music lovers when they took the stage together at the 2001 Grammy Awards. At the time, Em was facing a lot of criticism from GLAAD for the lyrics in many of his songs, and claimed he was homophobic. He responded by performing ‘Stan’ with Elton.
Could I Have This Kiss Forever – Enrique Iglesias and Whitney Houston (1999)
Fact: This pair hadn’t even met before recording this tune together.
Walk This Way – Run DMC and Aerosmith (1984)
The OG of unexpected collaborations.