Created By: LaptopGuy on February 16, 2013 Last Edited By: LaptopGuy on April 6, 2013

Featured Artist Star

A song whose success is attributed to the guest star rather than the lead artist.

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Usually in music, the biggest stars are the ones who have the most successful songs. Other times, the more obscure artists shine on the charts. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, a song is released featuring a somewhat-popular artist, and it would be expected to flop...except that featured on the track is a superstar act, one that always has successful hits. Suddenly, the song goes top 10 on iTunes solely because of the guest star. This usually leads to radio picking it up and turning it into a monster smash hit.

  • When T.I.'s "Live Your Life" was released on iTunes, it skyrocketed to the top of the pop charts. While "Whatever You Like" became a hit on its own, why did "Live Your Life" overtake it? Because Rihanna sang the chorus.
    • Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie" became a hit for the exact same reason.
    • Coldplay's "Princess of China" also went top 10 when Mylo Xyloto was released, but it never really picked up on radio.
  • David Guetta. Although he has been popular in Europe for quite a while, it was not until he started having hits with Akon, Usher, and Nicki Minaj singing that he broke though in the US.
  • B.O.B.'s "Nothin' On You" launched the career of the Georgia-based rapper into the mainstream. Around that time, Paramore was one of the most popular rock bands in the world, so it was only natural that he could have a hit with Hayley Williams singing the chorus. Although it peaked one spot below his first hit, it sold many more digital copies and remains better known today. He tried to repeat the same success with "Magic" with Rivers Cuomo, but since Weezer wasn't really that popular anymore, the song underperformed.
    • Of course, we can't talk about "Nothin' on You" without bringing up Bruno Mars. While B.o.B. was off to a great start, Mars was relegated to featured artist status on hits like Travie Mc Coy's "Billionaire." However, Mars's debut single, "Just The Way You Are," completely overshadowed any song B.o.B has made and he became huge, while B.o.B faded from the spotlight.
      • Speaking of Travie Mc Coy, his group Gym Class Heroes owed the success of both "Cupid's Chokehold" and "Stereo Hearts" to the guest vocalists Patrick Stump and Adam Levine, respectively. Of course, Stump and Levine are the lead singers of two of the most popular bands in the world at the time.
    • Back to B.o.B., the only reason "Both of Us" became a hit was Taylor Swift.
      • Swift has also helped turn two songs by less popular artists into top 40 hits: "Half of My Heart" by John Mayer and "Two is Better Than One" by Boys Like Girls.
      • While it failed to reach the top 40, Swift was the only reason Tim Mc Graw's duet with her "Highway Don't Care" was able to go top 10 on iTunes.
  • Far East Movement had one of the biggest songs of 2010 in "Like a G6," and "Rocketeer" also made the top 10 shortly afterwards. By March 2012, they have been almost completely forgotten about when they released a new song called "Live My Life." It probably would have gotten no attention, had it not been for one Justin Bieber. The song therefore sold enough to debut in the top 40 despite virtually no airplay.
    • Chris Brown's "Next To You" also had strong opening week sales because of Bieber.
  • Kevin Rudolf and Jay Sean's first hits both have Lil Wayne on it. It's safe to assume he was the one that is reponsible for their success.
  • Without the Black Eyed Peas, has never had a major hit in the U.S. before his Britney Spears-featuring "Scream and Shout" rocketed to the top of the iTunes chart. It wouldn't have been possible without The X-Factor or Judge Spears. Outside the US, is a very successful solo artist.
    • His follow-up single hit the top 10 due to the "Bieber effect" as well.
Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • February 16, 2013
    Used as a plot point in the short-lived CBS series Love Monkey. Tom is the A&R guy for a new singer named Wayne. Tom wants Zoe, one of his former singers (now big time), to perform a duet with Wayne at a benefit concert, the point being to release the song on the concert CD. Zoe's current agent OKs the deal for her to sing, but not to release it, thus screwing Tom (and Wayne, but he doesn't matter because he's a nobody).
  • April 6, 2013
    It's hard to say whether Santana's huge comeback with the Supernatural album in 1999 had a lot to do with the two big airplay hits on the album, "Smooth" and "Put Your Lights On", having their lead vocals done by Rob Thomas and Everlast respectively. Carlos Santana is of course a guitar legend with a career spanning decades, who has often had various artists appear in his songs over the years, but these two were quite popular with their own work at the time Supernatural was released.
  • April 6, 2013
    This might be iffy:

    Michael Jackson was of course a hugely popular artist even before Thriller came out in the 80s, but was hardly popular with Album-Oriented Rock stations. However, I remember one AOR station in Minneapolis adding "Beat It" to their regular playlist, and often announcing it as featuring Eddie Van Halen on guitar, with Van Halen of course being a band played often on the station so there was a link to the AOR crowd there. They didn't play any other Michael Jackson songs.

    (If some other people here who remember the 80s and listened to AOR stations in other markets besides Minneapolis can corroborate that this happened nationwide, it might make an interesting example of a genre crossover facilitated by a guest artist.)