10 Most Unexpected Country Collaborations of 2014

Rock legends join Nashville newbies, a pop princess enlightens a country quartet and more of this year's musical odd couples

10. Martina McBride and Don Was

From McBride's R&B covers album Everlasting
As a producer, Don Was has worked with artists as artistically challenging as Bob Dylan and Garth Brooks (as Chris Gaines, no less). But one of his most natural pairings came with Martina McBride, who called upon Was to oversee her album of soul and R&B covers, Everlasting. McBride's huge voice demands a certain level of care — when to rein it in, when to let it soar, for example — and the producer made wise choices throughout the project, especially on "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man." Full of subtle flourishes and tasteful bombast, the McBride-Was collaboration on the Aretha Franklin gem deserves mad R-E-S-P-E-C-T.