One popular musician is good; two or more popular musicians are even better. Ratings increase; audiences grow; viewers begin to accept new musical genres–well, that's what happened when Run DMC performed with Aerosmith in 1986. But not every collaboration is a success; in fact, most musical collaborations are a little awkward. Here are eight televised collaborations that made us cringe.
8. Tom Jones and Nina Persson: We still can't decide whether we hate or love this odd rendition of the Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" from 1999. None of the guitars are plugged in and the singers appear to be lip syncing; and what's up with the cheesy backdrop?!
7. Eminem and Elton John: One creates homophobic lyrics and the other is one of the biggest gay icons in the music industry. The world was shocked when this duo performed Eminem's "Stan" together at the at the 2001 Grammys. (We were just hoping Dido was going to appear to relieve Elton John).
6. Sinatra and Elvis: Old heartthrob meets new heartthrob. Sinatra notoriously loathed rock n'roll, but saw the value in performing with popular acts to remain relevant. Sinatra must have felt like an unknown when Elvis's goofy antics swooned the crowd during this televised performance.
5. Nelly & Tim McGraw: We love unlikely collaborations, but we're still stumped as to why Nelly featured McGraw in "Over and Over". If you focus on the lyrics, you'll begin to view their 2004 live performance as a bit Brokeback Mountain-esque (not that there's anything wrong with that).
4. Elmo and Andrea Bocelli: What compliments Bocelli's voice more than Elmo? Answer: anything. This lullaby wound up giving us nightmares.
3. Muppets and everyone working at NBC in the '90s: interesting things happen when you mix puppets and people. Miss Piggy looks fly, but this montage blows our mind (and not in a good way). You're going to need a pen and pad to keep a tally of cameos.
2. Fear of Pop featuring Ben Folds & William Shatner: What is going on here?! The eclectic group performed "In Love" live on Conan in the 90s. Shatner speaks over Asian-infused sounds, while a beatnik plays drums and a 90s siren sings backup vocals.
1. James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince: Three legends, one stage at a James Brown concert at the Beverly Theater in Hollywood in 1983. Jackson plays it cool and doesn't steal the spotlight; and then there's Prince. Brown has to "convince" Prince to get on stage. Prince takes his time, plays random notes, removes his shirt, and knocks down a faux lamp post as he falls into the crowd. So bizarre.