Sometimes, musicians forge friendships with others because they run in the same circles, or have similar sounds and successes. Other times, however, we hear that famous musicians have met or become friends, and it’s a struggle to figure out how that happened.
1. David Bowie and Nina Simone
In 1974, at a private New York club called the Hippopotamus, Nina Simone bumped into David Bowie shortly after seeing him perform live. Miss Simone had not been performing around that time, and was experiencing tax problems. When she ran into Bowie, he invited her to join his table, and the two exchanged phone numbers. At 3am the next day, Bowie called Simone, kicking off a nightly ritual that would last a month. Bowie’s encouragement, and his insistence that Simone wasn’t crazy was what helped her resume performing. Of Bowie, Simone said, “He’s got more sense than anybody I’ve ever known. It’s not human – David ain’t from here.”
2. Beyoncé meets the Dixie Chicks
When Beyoncé’s 2016 studio album Lemonade was released, the song “Daddy Lessons” was noticed by some for its distinctive bluegrass sound. The biggest-selling all-female group of modern times, the Dixie Chicks, certainly took notice of the song, and took to performing it at their live shows. During the Country Music Awards (CMA) show in 2016, the Dixie Chicks teamed up with Beyoncé to perform “Daddy Lessons” together in what was a show-stopping moment. While many conservative (read: bigoted) country music fans took to social media to decry the performance, we would not object to more collaborations from these record-shattering women in the future.
3. Kate Bush collaborates with Prince
In 1990, Kate Bush made her way backstage at one of Prince’s concerts. The pair had been mutual fans of one another’s work for many years, so it was no surprise that Bush proposed a collaboration as soon as she met Prince. Her track, “Why Should I Love You” was, in her eyes, just about finished, but was in need of some backing vocals that Prince would be perfect for. Prince took the recording, and, instead of singing the requested backing track, he added guitars, piano, and bass, completely changing the original sound of the track. Before returning the song to Bush, he added some harmonies to the vocals, and the finished product is, well, wonderful.
What is your favourite unexpected musical collaboration?