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30 Wild David Bowie Duets and Collaborations

John Lennon, Cher, Bing Crosby and more

David Bowie

15 May 1978, Rhineland, Germany --- (File) David Bowie performs during his concert in Frankfurt Main on 15 May 1978. --- Image by © Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

With a career that dated nearly 48 years and a reputation as rock's greatest chameleon, David Bowie has managed to team with the best and brightest of every generation's rising underground — glammers, punkers, art-proggers, disco masters, rappers, R&B stars, industrial brooders, electronica blippers and contemporary indie rockers. But that doesn't mean he's not down to work with Cher, Bing Crosby or a Beatle. Here's 30 of Bowie's collabos from the iconic, to the underrated to the curious. 

David Bowie

15 May 1978, Rhineland, Germany --- (File) David Bowie performs during his concert in Frankfurt Main on 15 May 1978. --- Image by © Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Queen Latifah, “Fame ’90” (1990)

Bowie gave his first American chart-topper a facelift 15 years after its release. Coinciding with both his Sound+Vision tour and the rise of hip-hop in the pop mainstream, he called up Queen Latifah, who offered a rap remix that reflects on the meaning of acclaim and recognition for a black woman. "It covers a lot of ground, 'Fame,'" Bowie told Q Magazine. "It stands up really well in time. It still sounds potent."

David Bowie

15 May 1978, Rhineland, Germany --- (File) David Bowie performs during his concert in Frankfurt Main on 15 May 1978. --- Image by © Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Al B. Sure!, “Black Tie White Noise” (1993)

With 1993's Black Tie White Noise, Bowie turned away from the hard rock sound he had been mining with Tin Machine and toward a glossier, R&B-inflected approach. He reenlisted Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers, who had helmed Let's Dance a decade earlier, to produce, and, on the title track, pulled in New Jack Swing man Al B. Sure!, then just a few years out from his smash "Night and Day," to duet on vocals. The overall sound, replete with backup singers and horn bleats, was uptown funky, but the lyrics, inspired by the L.A. riots, were more incendiary, with Bowie "looking through African eyes/Lit by the glare of an L.A. fire."

David Bowie

15 May 1978, Rhineland, Germany --- (File) David Bowie performs during his concert in Frankfurt Main on 15 May 1978. --- Image by © Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Lester Bowie, “Jump They Say” (1993)

After making two rock albums with the band Tin Machine and putting on a crowd-pleasing greatest hits tour, Sound + Vision, Bowie reconvened with producer Nile Rodgers to make a return to solo work with 2003's Black Tie White Noise. Heavily influenced by his ongoing fascination with contemporary black American music, the first single, "Jump They Say," merged an urgent rhythm and thick layers of synthesized strings with Bowie's signature melodic vocal sense. Always with an ear to the worlds of jazz and avant-garde, Bowie called on renowned trumpeter Lester Bowie (no relation) to add a skittering solo to match the song's frantic mood.

David Bowie

15 May 1978, Rhineland, Germany --- (File) David Bowie performs during his concert in Frankfurt Main on 15 May 1978. --- Image by © Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Kirmer/dpa/Corbis

Lenny Kravitz, “The Buddha of Suburbia” (1993)

Bowie once called 1993's The Buddha of Suburbia his favorite of his own albums, which makes it all the remarkable that, on these shores at least, it's virtually unknown. This is mostly due to the fact that the album's title track was initially composed for a BBC-TV miniseries (also called The Buddha of Suburbia and based on the novel of the same name) that never saw the light of day in America. It's a shame, because the song itself – which appears on the album in two versions; the first in its original theme song take and the second with a soaring outro guitar solo from Lenny Kravitz – is one of Bowie's Nineties-era best, a breezy, acoustic-guitar-led outsider's lament.