Current Events

Five Potential Grammy Collaborators For Beyoncé

Beyonce doesn't need any backup at the Grammys, but a number of collaborations would make for nice television.
Beyonce doesn't need any backup at the Grammys, but a number of collaborations would make for nice television. Parkwood Entertainment
Beyonce doesn't need any backup at the Grammys, but a number of collaborations would make for nice television. - PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
Beyonce doesn't need any backup at the Grammys, but a number of collaborations would make for nice television.
Parkwood Entertainment
Beyoncé (twins notwithstanding) is at the point in her career where she doesn’t really have to share the stage with anyone. She has sold millions upon millions of albums, headlined the Super Bowl halftime show, graced magazine covers worldwide, sold out stadiums around the globe, and won more awards than she probably cares to count. It could be argued, in fact, that Beyoncé is the biggest pop star on the planet, one who just so happens to be nominated for nine awards at the 2017 Grammys, taking place Sunday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. She already has 20 Grammy wins to her credit.

But this is the Grammys, where collaborations make for fun memories and unique pairings. This is the place where Eminem once joined up with Elton John, where Linkin Park, Jay-Z and Paul McCartney once shared a stage. Hell, Lady Gaga is performing with Metallica at this year’s event!

Will Beyoncé perform alone Sunday night? There’s really no telling. But should she opt to go the collaboration route, she doesn’t lack for potential partners. (Note: The Dixie Chicks would make for fine Grammy collaborators alongside Beyoncé, as the ladies belt out “Daddy Lessons,” but that just happened at the Country Music Awards in November, so no need to revisit that well so soon.)

This one works on a number of levels. For one, Beyoncé and the Weeknd collaborated on “6 Inch,” a dark, haunting tune (does the Weeknd record any tracks that aren’t dark and haunting?) featured on Beyoncé’s latest smash, multi-Grammy nominee Lemonade. The Weeknd is a brooding performer who would easily cede the spotlight to Beyoncé while the pair performs one of Lemonade’s finest tracks. They could even turn it into a medley of sorts and perhaps showcase a track from the Weeknd’s somewhat maligned Starboy, while giving the record a nice post-Grammy sales bump in the process.

Sometimes the most obvious call is the call you should make. Adele and Beyoncé are, with apologies to Taylor Swift, the two biggest pop stars on the planet. Beyoncé is nominated for nine awards at this year’s Grammys, while Adele is up for five; the two are going head-to-head in four of those categories. Point being, this year’s Grammys is tailor-made for arguably our two greatest modern-era divas to get onstage, pair up for a medley of songs from their respective Lemonade and 25 albums, and make a Grammy memory. Imagine Beyoncé singing backing vocals on “Hello,” only for Adele to back her up for a rendition of “Hold Up.” Plus, in today’s political climate, the pairing of the biggest pop stars in the U.S. and U.K. would make for a nice moment.

This one actually isn’t all that far-fetched. Beyoncé and White — the mercurial mind behind the White Stripes, Raconteurs and various other bands — collaborated for “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” The song isn’t the most popular one from Lemonade; that title is easily reserved for “Formation.” It is, however, the best song from Lemonade, one that features Beyoncé in full badass mode (though this could prove tricky with a network television broadcast, considering the amount of foul language on the track). “Don’t Hurt Yourself” was so well-received, in fact, that it is among the Grammy contenders for Best Rock Performance. The Grammys like to pair up artists from different walks of musical life, and with White’s Dave Grohl-like penchant for pairing up with just about anyone in the mainstream musical scene, this is a Grammy pairing that may very well come to fruition on Sunday night.

This one is timely, considering Beyoncé and Rihanna are nominated for a combined 17 awards at this year’s Grammys. However, televised awards shows such as this, the MTV VMAs and the like are tailor-made for squashing beefs – something Rihanna and Beyoncé allegedly share. What better way to show the two are on good terms by having the world’s most noteworthy diva — and one of its most provocative and controversial in Rihanna — team up for a performance that will be remembered for years to come?

1. JAY-Z
Could it really be anyone else? The biggest couple in pop music recently announced that they are expecting twins; Beyoncé even posted a number of pregnancy photos on social media to confirm the news. What better way to publicly celebrate the big news than by teaming up on music’s biggest stage? Consider it a way to close the door and come full circle on the rumors that Lemonade was recorded in response to Jay-Z’s alleged infidelities, when in reality it was likely recorded to drum up publicity and move millions of units (it succeeded in both regards). Maybe they’ll even team up and perform “Song Cry,” a poignant track and the best song Jay-Z ever recorded.
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Clint Hale enjoys music and writing, so that kinda works out. He likes small dogs and the Dallas Cowboys, as you can probably tell. Clint has been writing for the Houston Press since April 2016.
Contact: Clint Hale