While country artists have been teaming up with artists from different genres for a while now, we thought we’d highlight three upcoming albums with unlikely collaborations that may surprise you! However, it may also continue to surprise you to learn that Elton John, Nelly and William Shatner have all worked with country artists before.
Elton John will release his forthcoming album, The Lockdown Sessions on October 22. Recorded remotely over the last 18 months, the collaboration album features 16 tracks and an unprecedented 20+ artists spanning a vast range of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique style to the album that is sure to hold its place amongst one of pop and rock’s greatest songbooks.
Kicking off with the currently single, Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) with Dua Lipa, the album features collaborations with Jimmie Allen, Lil Nas X, Brandi Carlile, Glen Campbell, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Charlie Puth and more.
John says, “The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album. But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up. Some of the recording sessions had to be done remotely, via Zoom, which I’d obviously never done before. Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist, but separated by glass screens. But all the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory. And I realised there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”
John’s 2018 albums, Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin and Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin, featured covers by artists like Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Maren Morris and Little Big Town. On his1993 album, Duets he sang with Don Henley, Tammy Wynette, Bonnie Raitt and more.
- Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)
- Elton John, Young Thug & Nicki Minaj – Always Love You
- Surfaces feat. Elton John – Learn To Fly
- Elton John & Charlie Puth – After All
- Rina Sawayama & Elton John – Chosen Family
- Gorillaz feat. Elton John & 6LACK – The Pink Phantom
- Elton John & Years & Years – It’s a sin (global reach mix)
- Miley Cyrus feat. WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo & Chad Smith – Nothing Else Matters
- Elton John & SG Lewis – Orbit
- Elton John & Brandi Carlile – Simple Things
- Jimmie Allen & Elton John – Beauty In The Bones
- Lil Nas X feat. Elton John – One Of Me
- Elton John & Eddie Vedder – E-Ticket
- Elton John & Stevie Wonder – Finish Line
- Elton John & Stevie Nicks – Stolen Car
- Glen Campbell & Elton John – I’m Not Gonna Miss You
Nelly’s upcoming country-inspired album, Heartland will feature collaborations with Darius Rucker, Jimmie Allen, Chris Bandi, George Birge, Kane Brown, Tyler Hubbard and City Spud. The nine-track album, due for release on August 27, will include his recent platinum-certified work, Lil Bit with Florida Georgia Line as well as his newly released track, High Horse featuring Blanco Brown and BRELAND.
Nelly says, “I don’t call it a country album, but I say it’s country influenced. I love country music. I love the artists. I love them enough not to say I’m doing a country album. But I can do an album that shows how country music has inspired me, how I appreciate the way that the country world has opened their arms to Nelly and shown support.”
Nelly previously teamed up with Tim McGraw on the crossover hit, Over and Over in 2004. In 2012, he joined Florida Georgia Line for a remix of the duo’s smash hit, Cruise, and recently, he joined Jimmie Allen on Allen’s Bettie James EP for the song, Good Times Roll.
- Nelly & Florida Georgia Line – Lil Bit
- Nelly, Blanco Brown & BRELAND – High Horse
- Nelly & Kane Brown – Grits & Glamour
- Nelly, City Spud & Darius Rucker – Ms. Drive Me Crazy
- Nelly & Tyler Hubbard – Country Boy Do
- Nelly & George Birge – Someone Somewhere
- Nelly – 5 Drinks Ago
- Nelly & Chris Bandi – Follow Me
- Nelly & Jimmie Allen – Good Times Roll
Award-winning actor, director, producer, writer, and chart-topping recording artist, William Shatner will release his upcoming autobiographical album, Bill on September 24. Through spoken word and genre-bending music, the songs on Bill chronicle significant autobiographical moments in Shatner’s life and the ideas, challenges, and questions he’s confronted along the way.
Built during lockdown, the album features Brad Paisley, Joe Jonas, guitarist Joe Walsh, pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, musician John Lurie, saxophonist Dave Koz and more. The tracks were co-written and produced by Grammy award-winner Dan Miller, while the lyrics were a collaboration between Shatner and his friend and writer Robert Sharenow.
On creating the album remotely during the pandemic, Shatner says, “Through a series of phone calls, texts, and emails, music and words flew back and forth across the country. The (COVID-19) crisis created an urgency and quickly unleashed a candor between us that allowed us to peel back layers that sat on the surface of a subject to reveal the depth of truth buried underneath. What better time to contemplate life’s biggest questions than during a global pandemic? Some songs touched on painful or beautiful moments, while others turned into elliptical philosophical explorations about the very nature of existence and death.”
In 2004, Paisley sang on Shatner’s album, Has Been, with Shatner featuring on a hidden track on Paisley’s Time Well Wasted 2005 album. He later starred in Paisley’s music videos for Celebrity and Online, alongside Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander.
- William Shatner – I Ride
- William Shatner & Joe Walsh – Made In The Shade
- William Shatner & Joe Jonas – Clouds of Guilt
- William Shatner & Brad Paisley – So Far From the Moon
- William Shatner – Love, Death, and Horses
- William Shatner & Robert Randolph – Just Forgive
- William Shatner & John Lurie – Loneliness
- William Shatner & Joan as Police Woman – Thunder and Fire
- William Shatner & Daniel Miller – The Bridge
- William Shatner – Black Horse
- William Shatner & Dave Koz – Masks
- William Shatner – Monday Night in London
- William Shatner & Robert Randolph – Toughie
- William Shatner – What Do We Know
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