This week, Britney Spears released a track called “Matches” featuring the Backstreet Boys. The highly anticipated tune is on the new deluxe version of Spears’ 2016 album, Glory.
Some believe that the song was recorded a while ago, however, according to Variety, there is some indication that the tune, produced by Ian Kirkpatrick and Michael Wise, is “relatively new.” It is unclear exactly when the song was recorded.
The popularity of “Matches” is hardly a surprise, given the dedicated fan bases of both Spears and the Backstreet Boys. As of Saturday morning, the song was in the No. 2 position on the iTunes chart, behind Taylor Swift’s “Willow.”
Spears’ collaborations over the years have almost always proved successful. While she’s had the majority of her hit singles as a solo artist, she has also moved to the top of the music charts with her name linked to another artist.
Here are five other Britney Spears collaborations to listen to right now:
5. “SMS (Bangerz)” by Miley Cyrus
If you aren’t a Miley Cyrus fan, there’s a chance that you didn’t know that Spears was featured on the title track of Cyrus’ Bangerz album. Cyrus’ fourth studio album was released on September 30, 2013. The track was produced by Mike Will Made It and Marz and it married electro-pop with hip hop, complimenting Cyrus’ vibe at the time.
It’s no secret that Cyrus is a huge Spears fan, so this collaboration was very much a dream come true for the “Midnight Sky” singer.
“Well, we’ve been trying to work together and I felt like there had to be that right time, and after ‘We Can’t Stop’ came out, she called and said how much she loved the song. At first she heard the song and she didn’t know it was me, and then she watched the video and just sort of fell in love with the video. I think it kind of reminded her of what she did when she was 20 and the feeling of kind of wanting to free yourself and represent so many girls, and so it was cool to be able to get her on the song. I don’t think there’s any pop idol that I care about more than I care about Britney, because that was the first CD I ever bought. I feel like there’s so much her and I connect on, and I had to have her, so it was cool,” Cyrus told Alan Carr on his radio show back in 2013.
4. “S&M” by Rihanna (Remix)
Spears was featured on the remix of Rihanna’s hit song “S&M.” The surprise collaboration ended up being a super popular crossover and fans couldn’t get enough.
According to Bustle, Rihanna took to social media to ask her fans who they’d want to see featured on the remix of the track and Spears was the most popular answer. The deal was made and the remix of the song was released in April 2011 and quickly shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
Spears and Rihanna took their collaboration to the big stage, performing together at the Billboard Music Awards that same year. The performance was nothing short of iconic. You can watch it here.
“It’s very strange: Britney never does features. It was really amazing that she really wanted to be part of this song. She really liked the song to begin with, but it was a different story when she had to sing it, and she really wanted to be a part of it. It made it really special, because you never see two pop female artists doing songs together anymore. Just call us ‘R&B,'” Rihanna told Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, according to MTV News.
3. “Me Against the Music” Featuring Madonna
“Me Against the Music” is one of Spears’ earliest collaborations and she knocked it out of the park, getting Madonna — the Queen of Pop herself — to sing on the track and record a music video for the song.
The song was featured on Spears’ In The Zone album, which was released in 2003. According to the New York Daily News, it was Spears’ idea to get Madonna on the track, which ended up being the first single of Spears’ fourth studio album.
“She’s like my godmother. When I’m around her I feel very safe, and there are few people I feel that way around. And she’s friggin’ Madonna!” Spears told the outlet.
Of course, who could forget the kiss-heard-round-the-world at the MTV VMAs that aired a few months before the song was released?!
2. “Pretty Girls” Featuring Iggy Azalea
In 2015, Spears teamed up with Iggy Azalea for a girl-anthem with an electro-hip-hop vibe. While the song was popular amongst fans, it unfortunately didn’t do as well on the charts.
The collaboration barely made it into the top 30 in the United States, France, and Australia, while climbing into the top 20 in the UK. The song received quite a bit of backlash for not being a major hit, given that it featured two major artists. At one point, Iggy Azalea made a comment in which she seemed to blame Spears for the song’s lack of success, according to Billboard.
And while many were convinced that Spears and Azalea were in a feud over the whole thing, Azalea denied the rumors and claimed that she and Spears were “friends.”
“I am honestly not surprised but still really saddened that the media is trying to create a ‘beef’ between [Spears] and myself. We remain friends and I haven’t said anything negative at all about her … I feel like the media wants women in music to get out and mud wrestle each other. As a woman I take great offense,” she tweeted at the time, according to Time.
1. “Make Me…” Featuring G-Eazy
Arguably Spears’ biggest collaboration, “Make Me…” featuring G-Eazy was released in 2017, and was the lead single off of her album, Glory. The track made it to No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club songs and saw itself at No. 17 on the Hot 100. Meanwhile, the music video has been viewed more than 68 million times on Spears’ VEVO.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, G-Eazy talked about how the “insane” collab came to be.
“It was hella wild. I was actually on tour in Australia. After the first leg in the U.S. and we got that email that was like, ‘Britney Spears wants to do a song.’ I didn’t know if it was gonna be the single or what. It was just a no-brainer. I think we were in Melbourne, and I was like, ‘Yo, let’s see if there are any studios open here.’ And literally after the show we went and cut it on the spot. That kind of thing you just drop whatever you’re doing to do,” he told the outlet.
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