Probably (definitely) the most iconic female anthem of all time, we had to put "Lady Marmalade" at number one on this list. The song has lots of versions, but Xtina, P!nk, Lil' Kim and Mýa made it well known when they covered it for the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge!, which came out in 2001. The track was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, and also a number-one hit in the UK. If the song wasn't already amazing, the video is just as good. From the makeup to the outfits and the dance moves, these ladies were bringing sexy back in 2001, never mind Justin Timberlake.
Imagine if these two absolute stars collaborated today? The world would be shooketh. Shakira and Bey released "Beautiful Liar" in 2007 and it was the iconic female empowerment anthem about a man cheating, but the two girls come together to tell him where to go. The song is a medley of Shakira's Colombian style and Beyoncé's R&B and hip-hop genre. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2007 and won the MTV Video Music Award for Most Earthshattering Collaboration. Deserved.
When the music video for "Telephone" dropped, so did jaws all over the world. The song was released in 2009 and sold 7.4 million digital copies worldwide, making it one of Gaga's best-selling singles. The music video runs like a movie and makes references to Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill and was nominated for a plethora of awards, some of which include Video Of The Year at the MTV VMAs and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the Grammys. Lady Gaga and Beyoncé were the two biggest pop stars in the world at the time, so the song was a huge hit.
"Problem" was the lead single from Ariana Grande's second album My Everything, which was released in 2014. It featured Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, and debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 438,000 copies in its first week on sale — which is literally insane. The video won the Best Pop Video award at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards and has been viewed more than 1.1 billion times, while the song itself won Best Song at the 2014 MTV European Music Awards. Ari has said that the song is about wanting to re-enter a relationship after it's gone sour, but being afraid to do so. We can relate, girl.
Another Iggy Azalea collab, "Fancy" features Charli XCX and was the first single from Iggy's debut album, catapulting her straight into the spotlight. The song featured at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making it both ladies' first number-one hit. It held that spot for seven weeks, before being named Billboard's Song of the Summer in 2014, as well as the most-streamed song on Spotify and most-watched music video on Vevo in 2014. The music video is iconic with its recreation of scenes from '90s classic Clueless. Iggy played Beverly Hills socialite Cher Horowitz and Charli was Tai Frasier. It was a genius move, so kudos to these two.
A true '90s bop, "The Boy Is Mine" was the best-selling song in the US in 1998 and spent 13 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 during the summer of that year. The song was nominated for a number of awards, including Record Of The Year, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group — winning the latter. The music video was also nominated for two MTV VMAs, but unfortunately, the girls didn't win either. The song has been remade countless times, but we think nothing beats the OG.
This song is the perfect club bop, with the lyrics referencing the pleasures of letting go on the dancefloor. Although the song received mixed reviews from critics (which we don't understand, FYI), it still performed well on the charts and peaked at the top of the European Hot 100 Singles. The music video was super risque for the time (2004) and shows Britney Spears chasing Madonna around a maze before she eventually finds her, but she disappears again right before they kiss. Groundbreaking.
"Bang Bang" is such a feel-good feminist anthem with lots of unreachable high notes that you can butcher during karaoke. It featured on Jessie J's 2014 album Sweet Talker, and also as a deluxe version on Ariana Grande's 2014 album My Everything. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one in the UK, and it also got the nod at the 2015 Grammy awards when it was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The song has since gone platinum SIX TIMES and all the gals are doing very well for themselves.
What could be better than two power ballad icons collaborating? Nothing is the answer. "When You Believe" is a song that was written for the 1998 movie The Prince of Egypt and features Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. The song was robbed on the charts, IOHO, peaking at 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, but that didn't matter — because the song was given the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 1999 Acadamy Awards. The song is the definition of an emotional power ballad performed by the two hottest divas in the world at the time, and we think it's a gem.
Another Shakira collab, the 2012 track features R&B queen Rihanna. The song has an uptempo Colombian/rock vibe which is definitely out of sorts for Rihanna, but it proved that she can do anything and she'll do it well. (Just look at her lingerie and beauty lines.) For some reason, the song didn't perform very well on the charts; it peaked at 11 in the UK and started off at 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 before eventually climbing to a high of 15. The music video featured Shakira and Ri-Ri rolling around the floor in amazing outfits in a big mansion. What more could you want in an M.V.?
"True Love" is exactly what you'd imagine when you think of two badass singers coming together to write a mushy love song — it's still super romantic, but also edgy, which we love. The song got barely any media attention or time on the charts and the music video was a bit of a flop, apparently because P!nk was touring at the time so didn't have time to invest in an emotional video as she did for her previous singles. The song is still a hit in our opinion and definitely deserves a spot on your GNI playlist.
"Fly" was the last single released off of Nicki Minaj's debut solo album Pink Friday and, boy, she did save the best till last. The song features vocals from Rihanna, and is about soaring above the negativity and overcoming stereotypes. The track became Nicki's first UK number-one and made it into the top 20 charts in multiple other countries, including Ireland and Australia — not too shabby for a first album. The video shows Nicki and Rihanna experiencing the destruction in a post-apocalyptic environment, but by the end, the sun comes out and new life begins to grow. We're suckers for happy endings.
Remember the first time Xtina and Lil' Kim collaborated? That was so successful it was no surprise that "Can't Hold Us Down" was a bop, too. The song was nominated for the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals award at the 2004 Grammys, but it sadly lost to a Sting and Mary J. Blige duet. The single has been widely recognized as a feminist anthem and peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and also made it into the top ten of record charts in several other countries. Those two ladies are a match made in heaven.
This is the first collaboration on our list featuring female DJs and it's definitely deserving of the mention. "I Love It" is a song by DJ duo Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX and it's the definition of that song you just can't get out of your head. The song was both Icona Pop and Charli's first big US hit, selling over two million copies and getting as high as number seven on the Billboard chart. It also reached number one in the UK. This one is perfect for your girls' road trip playlist.
Another Iggy duet, "Black Widow" is an anthem perfect for post-breakup revenge feels. The song got to number three on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Iggy's third top five hit and Rita Ora's first top three hit in the US. FUN FACT: the song was actually written to be performed by Katy Perry on her fourth album Prism, but she handed it over to Iggy to finish it instead. Could you imagine the song without Rita's killer vocals?
We love the idea of five women coming together to create a feminist banger, and that's exactly what Little Mix and Nicki Minaj did for "Woman Like Me." The song was co-written by Jess Glynne and Ed Sheeran, so no wonder it was such a hit. The song reached number two in the UK and it reached number four on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart in the US. They also received the fan-voted award for British Artist Video of the Year at the 2019 Brit Awards and won Best Song at the Global Awards that year. We have a feeling that this one will never get old. Cardi B said LM asked her to feature on this track before they asked Nicki, so maybe Cardi would have a spot on this powerful list of women if she'd accepted.