Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted by Spinner
In the music industry, every day is El Dia de los Muertos, especially when los muertos can be reanimated to ensure big record sales. "It's f---ing weird to be doing a song with someone who is deceased," as Korn's Jonathan Davis once said. Here are 10 examples of singers who didn't let a little thing like being long dead get in the way of giving a duet performance with a still-alive partner.
Natalie Cole's exhumation of her deceased father's vocal performance for their major 1991 hit 'Unforgettable' won three Grammys, including Song and Record of the Year. For better or worse, its huge success effectively jump-started the industry trend in kicked-the-bucket duets.
Before Nat 'n' Natalie, Hank 'n' Hank Jr. reunited on this 1989 reworking of the late, great country star's honky-tonk classic. Hank Jr. had nothing to cry about when the song earned him a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.
To mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death, the King's only child made a video where she sings with old footage of her very famous daddy. The stark video featured images of infants lying in cribs with an assortment of handguns. No commentary on Elvis' parenting style was implied. Lisa Marie also cut an earlier "duet" with her pa on 'Don't Cry Daddy,' which implied no comment on her singing ability.
When Paul McCartney asked Yoko Ono for unreleased material by her late husband to commemorate the 1995 Beatles 'Anthology' rollout, she gave him cassettes of four songs, including this one and 'Real Love,' which both became posthumous "Beatles" singles. During recording, Paul, George and Ringo agreed to pretend that Lennon had just slipped out for a cup of tea.
Biggie Smalls' running partner joined Eminem and Obie Trice on 'It Has Been Said,' the lead track from the 2005 'Duets' album, which featured at least two dozen hip-hop stars adding some heft to the late rotund rapper's scrawny stash of unreleased verses. In a twin killing, the equally dead Bob Marley appeared with Biggie on the track 'Hold Ya Head.'
By the time Marley's ghost appeared with Biggie, the late reggae superstar was already deep into a busy posthumous career. On 1999's 'Chant Down Babylon,' he rather creepily shared the mic with Hill -- the daughter-in-law he'd never met; elsewhere, he trades lines with Rakim, the Roots, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
'On Holiday,' Tony Bennett's 1997 tribute to the Queen of Gloom, was depressing enough over its first 18 tracks. But the capper was the affable jazzman's electronically aided duet with the long-deceased Lady Day on her masterpiece, 'God Bless the Child.' God bless the optimistic producers -- Phil Ramone and Bennett's son -- for believing in it.
Spacey, the swingin' actor who hammed it up as Dino wannabe Bobby Darin, gets double billing on this 2007 compilation, which aimed to re-establish the carefree Martin as 'Forever Cool.' Maybe so, but that says nothing for Joss Stone and 'Idol''s Paris Bennett, neither of whom had any business sharing a Chivas with the old sot.
If it's occasionally wonderful, it's also a very weird world in which Kenny G has enough artistic clout to arrange an overdubbing session with the late, great Satchmo. Louis might have suggested another classic number: 'I Was Doing All Right' ("till you came by").
At least the Red-Headed Stranger had a real-world connection to Patsy, having written her smash hit 'Crazy.' You'd have to be a little loony in the head to pair the country diva with the likes of Bob ('Butterfly Kisses') Carlisle, as Cline's necro-producers did for her 'Duets Volume I' collection in 1999.