When two Grammy winners for best new artist collaborate on a track, it’s reasonable to expect big things, and Megan Thee Stallion (the reigning best new artist winner) and Dua Lipa (who won three years ago) make a solid — if not spectacular — debut on the Billboard Hot 100 dated March 26. Their sexy collab, “Sweetest Pie,” opens at No. 15, becoming the fourth collab by a pair of best new artist winners to reach the top 15.
The Recording Academy has awarded best new artist since 1959, the second year of the awards. (The great Bobby Darin was the first recipient.) But collaborations were fairly uncommon in pop music until recent decades. The first collab by a pair of best new artist winners to crack the Hot 100 was Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger” in 2011. It’s the only collab by two best new artist winners to date to reach No. 1.
There have been 60 best new artist winners to date (61 if you count Milli Vanilli, whose award was revoked following a lip-synching scandal). Only eight of them have made the Hot 100 with a collab with another best new artist winner. John Legend has done it three times. Legend’s versatility is seen in the range of fellow best new artist winners he has charted with – Chance the Rapper, pop star Meghan Trainor and country queen Carrie Underwood.
Megan Thee Stallion and Maroon 5 have each charted with two collaborations with fellow best new artist winners.
Here are the six collabs by two best new artist winners to reach the Hot 100. They are listed in ascending order based on how high they climbed on the chart.
“All Day Long,” Chance the Rapper featuring John Legend
This song, the opening track on Chance the Rapper’s first studio album, The Big Day, reached No. 94 in August 2019. It’s the only collab by two male solo best new artist winners to make the Hot 100. (It’s also the only one to give a shout-out to “Miss Sylvia Rhone,” the chair and CEO of Epic Records and one of the most powerful women in the history of the music industry.) Legend won best new artist in 2006, becoming the first Black male solo artist to win. Chance took the award in 2017, becoming the first (and so far only) male solo rapper to win.
“Hallelujah,” Carrie Underwood & John Legend
This elegant ballad, from Underwood’s first Christmas album, My Gift, hit No. 54 in January 2021. Legend co-wrote the song with Toby Gad and sent it to Underwood late in the album-making process. She loved it and asked him to sing it with her. Legend and Underwood were back-to-back winners of the award, in 2006 and 2007, respectively. This marks the only time back-to-back best new artist winners have collaborated on a Hot 100 hit.
“Sweetest Pie,” Megan Thee Stallion & Dua Lipa
This song, the lead single from Megan Thee Stallion’s upcoming second studio album, debuts at No. 15 this week, becoming Megan’s eighth top 20 hit; Lipa’s sixth. It’s Lipa’s highest debut among her 18 Hot 100 entries so far. It’s the only collab by two female solo best new artist winners to make the Hot 100. Lipa won the award in 2019; two years before Megan Thee Stallion.
“Beautiful Mistakes,” Maroon 5 featuring Megan Thee Stallion
This hip-hop collab, co-produced and partially written by Blackbear and Andrew Goldstein, reached No. 13 in July 2021. It was the third single from Maroon 5’s seventh studio album, Jordi. Maroon 5 won best new artist (beating Kanye West, among others) in 2005. Megan Thee Stallion won in 2021.
“Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend
This slinky, medium-tempo shuffle reached No. 8 in December 2015, the same month the Grammy nominations were announced. Trainor won best new artist in February 2016, 10 years after Legend took the award. It was the fourth and final single from Trainor’s first major-label studio album, Title. It became Trainor’s third top 10 hit; Legend’s second.
“Moves Like Jagger,” Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
This propulsive track, an homage to one of the greatest rock showmen of all time, reached No. 1 in September 2011 and logged four weeks on top. It was Maroon 5’s second No. 1; Aguilera’s fifth (and first in a little more than 10 years.). It’s the only one of these collabs by Grammy winners for best new artist to receive a Grammy nomination in its own right — best pop duo/group performance. Benny Blanco and Shellback co-produced the track, and also helped co-write it. This was the fourth and final single from the re-release of Maroon 5’s third studio album, Hands All Over. Aguilera won best new artist in 2000; Maroon 5 in 2005.
Missing in Action
Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s “When You Believe” (No. 15 in January 1999) would probably have made this list, but Houston wasn’t allowed to compete for best new artist in 1986 because she had recorded a pair of duets in 1984 with Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass. The Recording Academy were sticklers in those days. Now they allow more flexibility in this category. Houston was nominated in three other categories in 1986, including album of the year (so, yeah, she probably would have won). Carey won in 1991.