Paula, Is That You Singing? Celebs We Didn’t Know Were Featured On Songs
We know that artists often collaborate with each other to make music – but not all collabos are as well known as others. Check out our list of 15 celebs whose guest appearances and background vocals in songs were a major surprise.
Paula Patton – Can You Handle It
Anyone familiar with Usher’s 2004 album “Confessions” knows “Can You Handle It,” but not many know that the female vocals in the song are actually Paula Patton’s.
John Mayer – Go
In 2005, Common, Kanye West, and John Mayer collaborated to produce “Go” after being inspired by the movie Ray. The song itself was written and performed by Common but actually features vocals by both Kanye and John.
John Legend – Everything is Everything
John Legend has a bunch of surprising features in his discography, including Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name” and Al Green’s “Stay With Me.” But one that really shocked us was his background contribution to Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything,” which didn’t feature his vocals but actually his piano playing.
Lenny Kravitz – Justify My Love
Madonna’s “Justify My Love” was written and produced by Lenny Kravitz, but also featured him singing the song’s hook and chorus behind Madonna’s sultry whispering.
Cee Lo Green – Don’t Cha
In 2005, Cee Lo Green gifted his self-written, self-produced track “Don’t Cha” to the Pussycat Dolls to be used as their debut single. The surprise? Cee Lo sang all of the background vocals himself. That’s right, every “oooh!” and “yeahh!” is actually Cee-Lo.
Keri Hilson – Gimme More
Keri Hilson has written songs and sung backup for dozens of artists over the years – one of which is Britney Spears on her 2007 hit “Gimme More” – a joint that few people know features Keri in the background.
Cissy Houston – Dangerously In Love 2
In 2002, Cissy Houston provided backing vocals for Beyoncé’s love ballad “Dangerously in Love 2.” What do you think? Can you hear Cissy in the background?
Ashanti – I’m Real and Ain’t it Funny
In 2001 and 2002 Ashanti sang background on two of Jennifer Lopez’s songs featuring Ja Rule – “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny.” If you listen closely you can actually hear Ashanti’s voice behind J-Lo’s on both tracks.
Stevie Wonder – Let’s Get Serious
We know we’re taking it back with this one, but how many people know that Stevie Wonder not only wrote and produced Jermaine Jackson’s 1980’s hit “Let’s Get Serious” but also provided vocals for the track?
Kelly Price – Mo Money Mo Problems
Every element of Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” worked in harmony to produce one of the best songs in history. And who knew that the woman singing the chorus and much of the background was actually Kelly Price?
Pharrell Williams – Come Close
In 2002, Pharrell made a guest appearance on Common’s super sweet love song “Come Close,” which also featured Mary J. Blige.
Charlie Wilson – I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It
In 1980, Charlie Wilson and his brother Ronnie (then members of The Gap Band) jumped on Stevie Wonder’s “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” and sang background vocals. The collaboration became a hit, reaching number four on the Billboard R&B chart and number 11 on the Hot 100.
Ke$ha – Right Round
This one may have been more obvious to some than others, but in 2009, Ke$ha (who was still unknown) was featured on Flo Rida’s track “Right Round.” But although her voice played a large role in the production, she was uncredited in the American version, received no payment for her contribution, and opted out of appearing in the video.