Collaborations at the heart of Grammy tradition

Unlikely pairings still popular at this year’s awards show

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

M.I.A. performing at the 2009 Grammys

Gazette File Photo

HOW TO INDUCE LABOUR 101. The expecting M.I.A. performed “Swagga Like Us” in a collaborative effort with T.I., Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West on her due date at the 51st annual Grammy Awards Sunday.

The Grammys are known for showcasing unique collaborations and this year was no exception. Taking place this past Sunday in Los Angeles, California, the 51st annual Grammy Awards honoured a variety of musical achievements: Coldplay was awarded Best Record of the Year for Viva La Vida, rapper Lil Wayne won Best Rap Album for The Carter III and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss picked up Best Album for Raising Sand.

While many expected Coldplay to win Best Album, it was in true Grammy fashion that the unorthodox pairing of country singer Krauss and Led Zepplin rocker Plant would be awarded.

Collaborations not only took home trophies, but they also took to the stage, entertaining the audience with an array of songs and styles.

Collaborative performances included The Jonas Brothers with Stevie Wonder singing “Superstition,” Paul McCartney reviving “I Saw Her Standing There” accompanied by Dave Grohl on drums, Miley Cyrus joining Taylor Swift in an acoustic rendition of her song “Fifteen” and Radiohead even featured a marching band in its performance of “15 Steps” off of its album, In Rainbows.

Perhaps the most anticipated collaborative performance was “Swagga Like Us,” featuring an extremely pregnant M.I.A. and rappers T.I., Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Though this year’s Grammy organizers may have outdone themselves in terms of creative musical pairings, here are some of the more memorable past collaborations:

Top 5 Most Unlikely Grammy Collaborations

1. Eminem and Elton John " “Stan”
The two shared the stage in 2000 to perform Eminem’s hit song after he had been criticized for some of his lyrics being homophobic.

2. Paul McCartney, Jay-Z and Linkin Park " “Numb/Encore” and “Yesterday”
In 2006, Jay-Z and Linkin Park performed their hit song “Numb/Encore” before being joined by Sir Paul McCartney to finish off with “Yesterday.”

3. Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, Pink and Missy Elliot featuring Patti LaBelle " “Lady Marmalade”
The racy performance of Lady Marmalade at the 2002 Grammys was topped off by Patti LaBelle " the original singer of the song in the 1970s " belting out the final few notes.

4. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl and Steven Van Zandt " “London Calling”
This unlikely group came together in 2003 as a tribute to the recent death of The Clash’s lead singer Joe Strummer.

5. Bono, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Steven Tyler, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tim McGraw and Alicia Keyes " “Across the Universe”
This diverse group of musicians gathered to perform The Beatles’ classic in 2005.

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