Songs You Didn’t Know Feature The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde has dominated as a frontwoman for decades, taking on songs with vicious grit and unshakable courage. The powerhouse vocalist can make any tune her own, even if she was only singing backup.

That’s right, Hynde has lent her rich, bluesy contralto and commanding punk spirit to a number of outside songs. Here are eight non-Pretenders songs that feature the vocal stylings of Hynde.

“Pride (In the Name of Love)” – U2

The “Brass in Pocket” artist sang backing vocals on U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).” She was credited on the song as Christine Kerr as she was married to Simple Minds’ frontman Jim Kerr at the time.

In the closing choruses, beneath Bono’s own multi-layered vocals, you can hear her haunting ah-ohoh-ah-ohoh in the distance.

“My Love Life” – Morrissey

Hynde’s stunning vocals intertwine perfectly with Morrissey’s own in his 1991 tune, “My Love Life.” Her sporadic breathy flourishes are reminiscent of the ones heard on the Prentenders’ “Back on the Chain Gang.”

“Full Moon, Dirty Hearts” – INXS

Hynde was featured on the title track of INXS’s 1993 album, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, as a duet with the Australian rockers. While she is very rarely credited on the song, her iconically domineering voice is instantly recognizable over the track.

“Nite Klub” – The Specials

She lent her voice to the background of the Special’s zydeco-textured tune, “Nite Club.” There is a lot going on in the raucous song, but Hynde’s voice shines against the noise, belting NITE CLUB! like it’s gospel.

“Smelly Cat” – Friends

Hynde gives a powerful rendition of the classic Friends tune, “Smelly Cat,” alongside Lisa Kudrow’s character, Phoebe Buffay. The comedic song was actually written with the help of Hynde and the singer would later make an appearance on the show as the fictional Stephanie Schiffer.

“Trouble Coming Every Day” – Mick Farren

Hynde offered her vocals to Mick Farren’s 1978 album, Vampires Stole My Lunch Money. Her voice can be heard in the background in many of the songs throughout the project. The below song, in particular, showcases her power when put up against an equally powerful arrangement.

“Hurt By Love” – Chris Spedding

In her pre-Pretenders days, she also provided backing vocals for many of the songs on Chris Spedding’s 1977 album, Hurt. In the below tune, “Hurt by Love,” Hynde can be heard sporadically belting HURT! in the chorus.

“Shame Is the Name” – Morrissey

Hynde’s vocals are featured again on a Morrissey tune, the 2009 B-Side, “Shame Is The Name.” What’s your name? her voice can be heard calling out through the ominous tune. Her backing contributions are striking alongside Morrissey’s words.

Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images

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