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July 29th, 2014
There isn’t a whole lot Lady Gaga can do to surprise us.
From meat dresses, to living in an egg, to the whole “Joe Calderone” thing, Mother Monster has pretty much done, said, or worn it all over the past six years. But one thing she hasn’t done is tap into her smooth, jazzy side, and her collaborator on her just-announced jazz album just may shock you.
Gaga has tapped none other than 87-year old music legend and eternally cool cat Tony Bennett for Cheek To Cheek, out September 23rd. If you take a look at Gaga’s Instagram, she is fangirling hard over her current BFF!
I know, right? Not exactly who you would expect for the next hot Gaga collaboration. True, they did work together on 2011’s The Lady is a Tramp, but who knew they were so tight? Or apparent musical soulmates?
“The collaboration has been so wonderful. It’s so natural singing with Tony,” Gaga said. “I just learn so much from him every day. I’m so happy.”
Let’s give Mr. Bennett huge props, though. He’s an absolute legend and a 60-year veteran of the music industry. This also isn’t the first time a young superstar has beaten down his door for a collaboration. He’s worked with everyone from Carrie Underwood to John Mayer to Amy Winehouse.
He’s also got mad love for Gaga, saying that “she sings so wonderful and she’s actually really a great jazz singer.”
Check out the video for their first video from Cheek to Cheek, Anything Goes. We have to admit, it’s pretty impossible not to tap your foot and snap your fingers along to this!
While we’re on the subject of unusual duets, let’s take a look back at some memorable collabos that shouldn’t have worked in theory, but totally did:
EMINEM & ELTON JOHN, Stan, 2001
Why It Shocked Us: Because Eminem was under major fire in 2001 for the homophobic lyrics in his music, and Elton John is… well… gay.
Why It Worked: The collaboration was a one-time thing that happened at the 2001 Grammy Awards, and a lot of people thought it was a calculated PR move on Eminem’s part. But we find it hard to believe that Elton would have participated if he didn’t think Em was sincere about mending fences with the gay community. Looking back, it was one of the truly memorable Grammy moments of the millennium.
NELLY & TIM McGRAW, Over And Over, 2004
Why It Shocked Us: Because hip-hop and country aren’t supposed to go together. Ever.
Why It Worked: The song was a #1 pop hit in the US and a handful of other countries, so clearly someone enjoyed this unusual meeting of musical minds. It wasn’t nearly as bad as we all probably expected it to be, and after a few listens it even becomes catchy.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE & NELLY, Cruise remix, 2013
Why It Shocked Us: Because Nelly dared to milk the country music cow once again.
Why It Worked: This Cruise remix topped the Billboard country charts for weeks and as of 2014, is the the best-selling country digital song of ALL TIME in the US. You couldn’t escape it in the summer of 2013. The song was a smash hit for Florida Georgia Line and reminded us that Nelly was still alive, so we’d say the collaboration worked out well for everyone.
JAY Z & LINKIN PARK, Numb/Encore, 2004
Why It Shocked Us: It’s not that we didn’t already know that rock and hip-hop could work together really, really well. But not many people expected a collaboration between Jay Z and Linkin Park in 2004, nevermind an entire album.
Why It Worked: Because it’s Jay Z and Linkin Park. Just about anything and everything Jay Z touches turns to gold, and Linkin Park aren’t too shabby themselves. Numb/Encore is about as seamless a rap/rock collaboration as you’ll ever find.
PSY & SNOOP DOGG, Hangover, 2014
Why It Shocked Us: Because it’s Psy and Snoop Dogg. We repeat, IT’S PSY & SNOOP D-O-DOUBLE-G.
Why It Worked: One reason and one reason only: Snoop. Had Psy been left to his own devices on this song, Hangover just might have become the most irritating song of 2014. But Snoop is kind of like the cream of mushroom soup of the music industry: you can add him to anything and instantly it becomes better. The video has over 100 million views on YouTube since premiering in June, proving that whether we like it or not, Psy isn’t going anywhere any time soon.