Morrissey has announced two major US arena shows with very unusual support acts: veteran performers Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard. Cue major WTFs and ROFLs from the internet. But it’s not the first peculiar double bill. Here are 15 more strange pairings…
Eminem and Elton John performed ‘Stan’ at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The duet raised eyebrows as the rapper has often been criticised for his homophobic lyrics. The pair have been friends ever since with John helping Eminem with his drug problem.
On October 31, 2011, American thrash metal gods, Metallica, released their team-up album, ‘Lulu’, with Velvet Underground legend Lou Reed. “You’re unlikely to play this record at your next soirée but the breadth and ambition is to be applauded,” wrote our NME reviewer at the time.
David Bowie and Bing Crosby
On September 11, 1977 Bowie and Bing recorded a Christmas song, ‘Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy’ for Crosby’s upcoming television show ‘Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas’. The song was filmed and to set to be shown on Crosby’s TV special however around five weeks after recording, Crosby died. Just over a month later, the show was broadcast worldwide.
Lady Gaga and The Darkness
At Lady Gaga’s request Suffolk based glam-metal band The Darkness were asked to join her ‘Born This Way Ball Tour’ in 2012. Both Lady Gaga, and the Darkness frontman, Justin Hawkins, are known for their extravagant and colourful costumes and they lived up to the legend, displaying a plethora of colours of spandex and latex.
The Stone Roses and Dizzee Rascal
The supporting act for The Stone Roses’ Finsbury park shows in June 2013 was leaked via the internet as possibly the most unexpected guest: Dizzee Rascal. Alongside The Courteeners and Rudimental, the London rapper was asked to join the iconic rock group.
Muse and Dizzee Rascal
Following in the Stone Roses’ footsteps Muse confirmed in February of 2013 that the support act on their tour would be grime legend Dizzee Rascal. This choice raised controversy amongst some fans, calling it a ‘brave’ decision and a feeling that the rapper would feel out of place in front of the rock crowd. The shows, however, were very successful with the Muse fans.
Girls Aloud and Coldplay
Coldplay shocked the world in 2009 announcing that their Wembley stadium show would be supported by Pop queens, Girls Aloud.
Pet Shop Boys and Take That
The Pet Shop Boys were announced as the support act for Take That’s 2011 ‘Progress’ tour as a celebration of pop music. That jacket!
The Stone Roses and Professor Green
The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown personally emailed Professor Green asking if he’d support The Stone Roses at Heaton park in 2012. He humbly accepted stating the choice for ‘was a bit of a no-brainer’.
U2 and Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z
The 360 tour held by U2 has been famous in its own right partly because in 2009-2011 Bono and pals were accompanied by hip-hop megastars the Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z.
Jimi Hendrix and The Monkees
Guitar legend Jimi Hendrix opened for teenybopper group The Monkees on their 1967 tour. Though at first this appears as a mismatch, the Hendrix and The Monkees had a lot of chemistry off stage making their performances on stage so memorable. It was also only three years before Hendrix’s untimely death.
Willie Nelson & Snoop Dogg
Finding common ground in excessive consumption of cannabis and other illicit substances, renowned country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson teamed up with rapper Snoop Dogg for a performance on the David Letterman show in 2011. They played Nelson’s ‘I Ain’t Superman’.
Carl Barât and Rizzle Kicks
The ex-Libertine and Rizzle Kicks both performed on the Africa Express train tour in the September of 2012, a tour set up to promote artistic collaboration between African and western musician.
Django Django, Maverick Sabre, Kasabian and Bashy
An unusual array of artists performed at the Africa Express tour in Marseille in late 2013 including Django Django, Maverick Sabre, Kasabian and Bashy.