Top 4 Supergroups Who Proved Friendship Results in Creative Magic

Supergroups are a fun way to experience artists you already love in a new light. It’s always exciting to see a creative friendship blossom into a side project that provides excellent collaborative music. Here are just some of the great supergroups that have been at the top of their game over the years.

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The Highwaymen

When you think of a musical supergroup, the first to come to mind might be The Highwaymen. Formed by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson between 1985 and 1995, they put out three studio albums and starred together in the 1986 film Stagecoach.

In the late 1990s, the group embarked on a few tours, before Cash’s and Jennings’ health began to decline. Following Jennings’ death in 2002 and Cash’s in 2003, Nelson and Kristofferson collaborated on several other occasions. This included the track “One Too Many Mornings” in 2016, which featured archived vocals of Jennings and Cash from the 80s.

“Those tours and the records we made were a great time,” Kristofferson told Classic Rock Magazine in 2010. “I just wish I was more aware of how lucky I was to share a stage with those people. I had no idea that two of them would be done so soon. Hell, I was up there and I had all my heroes with me. These are guys whose ashtrays I used to clean. I’m kinda amazed I wasn’t more amazed.”

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets is the collaboration of Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane of The Rascals, producer and drummer James Ford of Simian, and Zach Dawes of Mini Mansions. The supergroup was formed in 2007 by co-frontmen Tuner and Kane, after Kane’s former band The Little Flames opened for the Arctics on their 2005 tour.

The vibe of The Last Shadow Puppets is pretty Arctic Monkeys-adjacent, even as they distance themselves from their original bands—baroque pop, lounge lizard-esque, inspired by Scott Walker and David Bowie. They’re psychedelic and orchestral in turn, and have been described as pulling from film scores and post-punk. As Turner stated in a 2016 interview with NME, “[Bowie] is sort of in the DNA of every record, to some extent. He’s been built-in for a long time.”

Of course, part of The Last Shadow Puppets was built as a way for Alex Turner to experiment with being something other than the frontman of the Arctic Monkeys. He and Kane have a camaraderie and energy that some described as bordering on infatuation. As reported in a 2016 review of their live show, “Like a pair of teenagers egging each other on, Turner and Kane are the most infatuated frontmen since Pete Doherty and Carl Barât [of The Libertines]. Large portions of their singing, dancing, playing and general tomfoolery are aimed not at the audience, but at each other.”

The Highwomen

Consisting of Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires, The Highwomen are a country supergroup that leans into its roots. Shires had the idea to create an all-female supergroup inspired by The Highwaymen, and in 2019, the group was born. Not only was it inspired by Nelson, Cash, Jennings, and Kristofferson, the group was also a response to lack of female representation in country music.

More than a supergroup, The Highwomen is about mentorship, community, and supporting women in country music. They released their debut self-titled album in September 2019, and while they’ve played together infrequently since then, The Highwomen still remain as a prime example of women supporting women.


Boygenius is the result of the friendship between Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus. All accomplished solo artists, they met when both Bridgers and Dacus opened for Baker at various shows in 2016. They were individually fans of each other’s work, and embarked on a co-headlining tour in 2018. They wrote and recorded the Boygenius EP in four days that year.

The band was mostly a response to the three of them being lumped together as “women in rock” despite their incredibly different musical styles. Since then, boygenius has blown up beyond the indie scene. They make music for sad, angry, heartbroken bisexuals, the girls and the gays and the theys, and their audience has grown immensely with the release of their full-length The Record in 2023.

Featured Images by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association

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