Music by VICE

Sweet Beats: The Best Dance Music Pop Collabs

From Zedd to Moby, DJs young and old are creating pop-leaning anthems that attract the masses.

by Kathryn Kyte
Aug 6 2014, 7:40pm

Collaborations are a big part of music, piggybacking genres has become a viable way to reach audiences that crave variety. Some of the biggest hits on commercial radio see the partnering of artists from pop and electronic realms, catering to people's wavering eardrums. Here are the top dance-pop collaborations that have infected the airwaves over the years.

Moby & Gwen Stefani – "South Side" [2000]

It's hard to believe it's been 14 years since this track was unleashed. The pairing of the No Doubt front woman and the electronic musician seemed smart for both parties, after all the music industry was evolving and new sonic styles were assimilating into the mainstream.  Remember this was when Gwen was testing out new territory, dabbling into more groovy pop sensibilities. "South Side" appeared on Moby's wildly successful fifth studio album, Play, an album that sold upwards of 12 million copies, reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 chart, nabbed a Grammy nom' and was certified platinum in over 20 countries. The track housed a fusion of pop-rock crescendos that made for danceable, likeable music at the brink of the millennium.

Zedd & Hayley Williams – "Stay the Night" [2013]

Anton Zaslavski (Zedd) is a multi-talented musician and DJ who was raised in a classically-trained environment, which has clearly helped inspire his infectious compositions. For his 2013 Clarity album he enlisted the aid of vocalists such as Matthew Koma, Ellie Goulding and Foxes and his collaboration with Paramore's Hayley Williams appeared on the deluxe edition of the album. "Stay The Night" was a massive radio success and reached the No. 6 spot on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart plus the single sold over one million copies. According to an interview that the Russian-German artist did with MTV, the initial thought was to use a male vocalist. "At first we thought it might be better to have a male singer," commented the DJ. "But then, since I know Hayley's voice, we had the idea to use her for the track…I kind of think it's more sexy and interesting with her singing it."

David Guetta & Sia – "Titanium" [2011]

Co-penned by the Aussie songbird and the popularized DJ (along with Giorgio Tuinfort and Afrojack), the song became another viral hit for Mr. Guetta. This was the track that also brought Sia Furler back into the mainstream (although no one can nor should forget "Breathe Me") and prompted other collaborations with artists and DJs including Diplo, Eminem and Flo Rida. While it was strong on its own, "Titanium" also spawned a slew of remixes from DJs like Nicky Romero and Alesso, showing that the club beat and energizing vocals made a solid base for reworks. To date the song has nearly 300 million views on YouTube. The official video, which saw a boy with a nifty set of superpowers running from officers, was shot at various locations in Quebec.

Skrillex & Diplo & CL & G-Dragon – "Dirty Vibe" [2014]

Always experimenting with new sound textures, Skrillex looked to K-pop sensations CL and G-Dragon for the added zest he craved on his latest album, Recess. The addition has seemingly been a successful feat with over three million YouTube views to date and the track has garnered praise from music critics and fans alike. Both G-Dragon and CL head their own pop groups (BIGBANG, 2NE1, respectively) and each have teamed up with other Western music stars before—G-Dragon with acts like Boys Noize and Major Lazer and CL's girl troupe worked with Will.i.am on the track "Getting Dumb." "Dirty Vibe" is a boisterous trap-pop inclusion to Skrillex's endless box of goodies.

Calvin Harris & Rihanna – "We Found Love" [2011] 

Calvin Harris marked his territory, proving that pop and electronic worlds are big business, especially when RiRi is in the mix. "We Found Love" appeared on Rihanna's sixth studio album Talk That Talk as well as the Scotsman's album, 18 Months. Even the DJ producer himself couldn't deny the wide appeal of the song, praising Rihanna for her talent. "No one could have taken it as far as she did," he told MTV. "You can't escape it here… I've heard it probably more times today than I did when I was mixing it, which is a good thing." The explosive pop-house song sold five million copies in the US alone, topped the Hot 100 chart for ten weeks, received an International Dance Music Award (IDMA) for 'Best Commercial/Pop Dance Track' and further paved the way for a catalog of more crossover music between pop stars and DJs.

Daft Punk & Pharrell – "Get Lucky" [2013]

When the electronic masterminds returned with their hugely anticipated album, Random Access Memories, they made sure to pack it with some real zingers. The record was their first studio album since 2005 and "Get Lucky" was one of the sure staples on it. The track blasted to the No. 1 spot on digital charts in 55 countries, sold over nine million copies, broke a Spotify record, won two Grammy's, and simply put—dominated everywhere. The partnership with Pharrell Williams was a major success while other smart album collabs included Panda Bear, Giorgio Moroder, Julian Casablancas and Chilly Gonzales. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are set to release a new BBC-produced documentary sometime in 2015 that will highlight their music journey and longstanding notoriety in the scene with specs of their personal lives intermingled into the 'then to now' retrospective.

Zedd & Foxes – "Clarity" [2013]    

Back again is Zedd, this time with the titled track of his 2013 debut album. "Clarity" was treated to two vocal renditions one from Denmark's top pop star Medina and the other from English singer and songwriter, Foxes. While the latter seemed to be more of a success, at least in North America, both versions are worthy entries. The track was written by Zedd, Matthew Koma, Skylar Grey and Porter Robinson and made the Top 10 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Spotify singles chart. The single has also been certified platinum and the official video has nearly 85 million views on YouTube.

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