5 of Mick Jagger’s Genre-Crossing Collaborations

Mick Jagger’s presence is indistinguishable not just in rock music, but the music world at large. As frontman of the Rolling Stones, Jagger has defined generations of rock music and has long been an icon. In addition to an incomparable discography with the Stones, Jagger has also embarked on a successful solo career – but he hasn’t always done it alone. Over the years, Jagger has collaborated with countless artists across genres from fellow icons to rising artists. Check out some of his best below.

Videos by American Songwriter

1. “Dancing in the Street” with David Bowie

When two of the world’s most famous rock stars teamed up in 1985, it was a surprise that it wasn’t an original song. The pair delivered an unforgettable cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ 1964 hit, “Dancing in the Street,” in benefit of Live Aid to help raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Their effervescent cover honors the upbeat nature of the original while adding their effortless sense of cool. The song was a Top 10 hit in the U.S. and hit No. 1 on their native UK Singles chart.

2. “State of Shock” with The Jacksons

It’s safe to say that “State of Shock” saw two of the most prominent artists in music joining forces – Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson. The former’s rugged vocals matched the latter’s signature high tenor, making for a unique combination. “Shock” was originally supposed to be a duet with Freddie Mercury, but scheduling conflicts led to Jagger singing on the track instead. The song that blends The Jacksons’ pop roots with Jagger’s rock and roll edge soared to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

3. “State of Shock”/”It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” with Tina Turner

A list of Jagger’s most famous collaborations wouldn’t be complete without this spell-binding moment when he teamed up with Tina Turner at Live Aid in 1985. The two rock stars brought all the passion and showmanship in this high-energy performance of the Rolling Stones’ 1974 hit, “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)” and Jagger’s collaboration with The Jacksons, “State of Shock.” Jagger and Turner’s natural chemistry emanated off the stage, easily making for one of his best live collaborations.

4. “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)” with will.i.am and Jennifer Lopez

This collaboration with will.i.am and Jennifer Lopez is certainly one of the most unexpected. Hearing Jagger’s voice over an electronic beat is surprising, yet it works in this context. Jagger’s signature gravelly voice shines through over the club-friendly pop beat as he sings, This is hard, hard like a rock n roll/Time bombs’s ticking, explode/Baby, this is dynamo/Better move back now, it’s bout to blow.

“You play your music and the first thing someone says [is], ‘Who’s gonna be on it?’ So I think of the hardest thing ever,” will.i.am told Rolling Stone in 2011 about how he got Jagger on the track. “And it happened, Mick Jagger. I just wanted to throw something out there that I thought could never be possible so they would stop asking me.”

5. “Eazy Sleazy” with Dave Grohl

Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl offered a bright spot during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2021 with “Eazy Sleazy.” Inspired by the coverage he was watching about the pandemic, Jagger started writing the song a month before its release. The lyrics put a voice to life during the pandemic shutdown like The numbers were so grim and Soon it’ll be a memory you’re trying to remember to forget. With Grohl on drums, bass and guitar, “Eazy Sleazy” brought a dose of rock and roll royalty during desperate times.

Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images

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