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One Scene Wonder:
Dire Straits's "Money For Nothing" is well known for the background singing that Sting does in it. You know, " I want my emmmmmmmm teeeeeeee veeeeeeeeeee......." (in the same tune of " Don't Stand So Close To Me")
Rockwell's hit "Somebody's Watching Me" featured Michael (notably in the chorus) Jackson.
Tom Waits pitch-perfect turn as Tommy in Primus' "Tommy the Cat".
Queen: David Bowie joining up for "Under Pressure". Steve Howe playing a relatively short (compared to Yes and Asia standards) flamenco guitar solo on "Innuendo", which has become a classic and one loads of people around the world try to learn and replicate (oddly appropriate given that Brian May asked Steve to do it because he couldn't manage it). Also, the half-minute operatic section on "'Bohemian Rhapsody" is arguably one of the first things people recall about Queen in spite of being very different to 99% of things the band did before or since.
On the Frank Zappa album Broadway the Hard Way, Sting comes on halfway through and performs "Murder by Numbers".
"Weird Al" Yankovic did his pastiche of Zappa, "Genius in France," for the album Poodle Hat, who did he get to provide solos satisfactorily remiscent of Frank's? Dweezil. Return Of The Son Of Frank Zappa.
And when he recorded a parody of The Doors ("Craigslist") for the Internet Leaks EP, he enlisted none other than Ray Manzarek to contribute the keyboard parts.
On "Mr. Popeil" ( In 3-D), Lisa Popeil, daughter of Sam Popeil (on whom the song is based) and half-sister to Ron Popeil, sings the backup vocals.
On "Taco Grande" (a parody of Gerardo's "Rico Suave" which appears on the album Off the Deep End), Cheech Marin provides a Spanish spoken-word bridge.
Mary Kay Bergman performs less than two seconds of "Pretty Fly For A Rabbi" on Running With Scissors. Specifically, the "for a rabbi" before the second verse.
80's pop singer Tiffany had a surprise guest appearance by rapper Krayzie Bone on the song "I'm Not Sleeping," on her 2001 "come back album" Color Of Silence''.
Slash's guitar solos on TLC's "Red Light Special" song.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's guest appearance on Mariah Carey's Butterfly album, the most jarring however being ODB on her previous record.
Anytime two highly acclaimed rappers team up, and make a legendary memorable collaboration.
Bone appearing on Biggie's "Notorious Thugs" track, which is considered a classic.
2pac appearing on Bone's "Thug Luv" track months after he died.
Phil Collins showing up in Bone's music video for "Home".
Nas and AZ appearing together on the track "Life's A Bitch" on the classic Illmatic album
Jay-Z on Biggie's "I Love The Dough" song from his Life After Death cd.
Eminem on Jay-Z's "Renagade" track from The Blueprint. Nas mentions this on "Ether"' ("Eminem murdered you on your own shit")
To the point where in rap circles "being renegaded" became synonymous with being massively upstaged by a featured rapper.
Eminem on Lil' Wayne's "Drop the World". It's the only redeeming part of Rebirth.
Nicki Minaj's verse in Kanye's Monster.
This article explores the phenomenon in more detail.
A rarer-example of the above example is when a high-profile rapper appears as a featured artist on a pop or R'n'B (or occasionally more left-field) song.
Kanye West on Estelle's "American Boy"
Eminem on Akon's "Smack That"
Jay-Z on Rihanna's "Umbrella" - has the first verse (lasting less than a minute) and disappears for the rest of the song (and album, since "Umbrella" opened up Good Girl Gone Bad)
Whenever Andre 3000 turns up on a track, you know he's gonna leave the rest of the song (and arguably album) in his wake.
Mariah Carey doing back up vocals for Babyface on a track called "Every time I Close My Eyes"
Jamie Foxx's video for "Blame It" has scores of celeb appearances. Ashley Scott from , Ron Howard, Jericho Forest Whitaker, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Quincy Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, Morris Chestnut, Clifton Powell, Alex Thomas, DeRay Davis, Joe (R&B singer), Mos Def, Tatyana Ali, Jalen Rose, Bill Bellamy, Electrik Red, Dawn Richard, Keshia Knight Pulliam and LeToya.
Eddie Van Halen providing the guitar solo for Michael Jackson's "Beat It".
Vincent Price for the closing speech, and the laugh, in " Thriller".
Avantasia: Roy Khan on "Twisted Mind" from The Scarecrow, Klaus Meine on "Dying for an Angel" from The Wicked Symphony.
Clare Torry's wordless wails on Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky," on The Dark Side of the Moon. On an album that is completely full of awesome, she is possibly the most awesomest part of it.
Eric Clapton's guitar solo on The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", and in turn, George Harrison's rhythm guitar playing on Cream's "Badge".
In turn, Elton John plays piano, organ and sings backing vocals on "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" by John Lennon, and John playing guitar and singing backing vocals on Elton's cover of The Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" They made a bet that if both got to number one, they would appear in concert together, which came true in 1974, when Lennon appeared onstage at an Elton show in Madison Square Garden to sing both songs and "I Saw Her Standing There". It would prove to be Lennon's last public concert performance.
Blake Shelton in Cady Groves' "This Little Girl" music video. He plays a towtruck driver who tows Cady's car while she is still inside it.
Ian Knutson wrote less than 1/4 of "Religion Song (Put Away The Gun)" by Everything Else.
Sandy Denny's vocals on Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore", the only guest vocalist on any Zeppelin song. Played live the part was usually sung by John Paul Jones.