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Posthumous Collaboration

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"...if [George R. R. Martin] dies early, Hollywood will pay somebody a lot of money to finish the books from his notes. Probably Brandon Sanderson or Kevin Anderson or someone whose name rhymes with either of them. If you’re a fantasy writer looking to make it in the big leagues finishing other peoples’ work, you could do worse than to change your name to 'Ganderson.'"

Deaths during production can be a sad thing. When a famous author dies and they leave only partly-completed works, never to be finished or seen by the general public. Or will they?

A Posthumous Collaboration is when an unfinished work is completed by someone else for the sake of the fans.

The new author may have been close to the original one or even helped with the work while the original author was alive, or just working off some discovered notes on what the original author had planned, but what's important is that the work has to have already been started by the original author before their passing; it doesn't count if someone just creates a brand new work using the dead author's characters or universe.

See also Literary Mash-Ups.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • When its creator Takao Saito passed away on September 2021, Golgo 13 would continue with his assistants at Saito Production helming his opus, according to his last will.
  • After an indefinite hiatus that resulted from the death of its creator Kentaro Miura on May 2021, Berserk would continue with his assistants at Studio Gaga, under the supervision of Miura's long-time friend and collaborator Kouji Mori, creator of Holyland and Suicide Island.


  • "Siege", a Batman arc in Legends of the Dark Knight, was written by James Robinson working from an outline by the late Archie Goodwin.
  • Hergé averts this trope : he stipulated in his testament that all his series, Tintin, Quick and Flupke and Jo, Zette and Jocko were to be discontinued after his death. Although Tintin and the Picaros is a decent ending to the series (there's nothing "final" about it, but it doesn't leave the reader on a cliffhanger), Hergé planned to have one more final story. He was still working on a very rough draft of Tintin - Tintin and Alph Art when he died. Unfortunately, he never told anyone exactly how he planned to end it, and the incomplete story ended on a colossal Cliffhanger.
  • Fellow Belgian comic book author Edgar P. Jacobs died while working on the second part of "Professor Sató's Three Formulae", the last volume of his Blake and Mortimer series. Unlike Hergé, however, he played the trope straight, having left plenty of notes and a complete outline of the story, which made it possible for another artist, Bob de Moor, to complete the story three years after Jacobs' deathnote . Because he suspected he wouldn't finish "Three Formulae", Jacobs left the copyright of the series relatively open so it would eventually have an ending, (leading to Olrik being Killed Off for Real). Which worked, but also led to new Blake and Mortimer adventures made by two different writer/artist teams. One team actively tries to ignore established canon. The other team was very good... but one of its members, René Sterne, died while working on the first volume of the dyptich The Curse of the Thirty Denarii. The volume was eventually finished by Sterne's girlfriend, Chantal de Spiegeleer, and the second part made by another artist.
  • Omaha the Cat Dancer creator Kate Worley died of lung cancer before she could finish the comic, but her husband James Vance was able to finish the story using his wife's notes.

    Fan Works 
  • The Miraculous Ladybug fic author Maerynn died in a car accident in February 2018, leaving a number of fics incomplete. However, they were mostly collaborations, and as of November 2018, one of them, Under Lock and Key , was completed by the other author (and illustrator) based on her notes. Another, The Other You, was finished in January 2021.
  • SoulSonicResonace25, well-known for his Naruto crossover stories, was shot dead in 2015. His brother KingSora3 has announced since that he had taken over his account and continued some of his stories, including unpublished ones, while rewriting others and leaving some up for adoption.

  • A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was started by Stanley Kubrick and finished by Steven Spielberg.
    • This is something of a special case due to its lengthy Troubled Production. Kubrick conceived the project, and seems to have gone back and forth on whether he would direct it or produce it while having Spielberg direct it. Ultimately, Spielberg directed the finished film, based closely on Kubrick's outline, after Kubrick's death.

  • After the Rain was written by Akira Kurosawa, who was planning on directing it; after his death, Takashi Koizumi took over.
  • A variation of this occurred with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Heath Ledger passed away during filming, so Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell stepped in to play the same role and help finish the film.
  • The songs for The Shocking Miss Pilgrim and Kiss Me, Stupid were written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin after George's death.
  • The screenplay for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was started by Douglas Adams and finished by Karey Kirkpatrick. Adams actually originated a lot of the changes, including Humma Kavula and the POV gun.
  • The 2015 Lifetime TV movie (NOT a Lifetime Movie of the Week) Turkey Hollow was adapted from an unproduced Thanksgiving special that was devised by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl (who died in 1990 and 2005, respectively) in 1968. The script that Henson and Juhl produced was itself adapted into a graphic novel, under its original name The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, the previous year. The story's fascinating journey from script to screen can be found here.

  • Hero and Leander by Christopher Marlowe and George Chapman.
  • The Gathering Storm, Towers Of Midnight and A Memory Of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L. Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh
  • Fall of Kings by David Gemmell and Stella Gemmell
  • The Golden Demon by Ozaki Kōyō and Oguri Fūyō
  • The Wanderer by Cherry Wilder and Katya Reimann
  • The Children of Húrin and The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien
  • Hooray For Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky
  • Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson, working from copious notes
  • Grumbles from the Grave by Robert and Virginia Heinlein
  • Garden of Shadows and Fallen Hearts by V. C. Andrews and Andrew Neiderman
  • Antagonist by Gordon R. Dickson and David W. Wixon
  • Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman by Walter M. Miller, Jr and Terry Bisson
  • Eternity; Home, Sweet Home 2010 A.D.; The Other Time; Trojan Orbit; Deathwish World: Mack Reynolds and Dean Ing
  • The Double Tower; Prince Alcouz and the Magician; The Scroll of Morloc; The Descent into the Abyss: Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith
  • Nekht Semerkeht by Robert E. Howard and Andrew J. Offutt
  • Psychoshop by Alfred Bester and Roger Zelazny
  • Donnerjack and Lord Demon by Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold
  • Poodle Springs by Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker
  • The Watsons by Jane Austen and Catherine Hubback, John Coates, Laura Wade, or Helen Baker; each one showed up with a different version.
  • Through the Ice by Robert Kornwise and Piers Anthony
    • In this case, the living author is actually the more famous one.
  • Whistle by James Jones and Willie Morris
  • The two concluding books of the Dune series, Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune, are supposedly based on Frank Herbert's notes, written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
  • The prolific David Foster Wallace left a large cache of notes behind before he died and so others were able to step in and finish his long-awaited novel, The Pale King.
  • When young adult author John Bellairs died, he left behind two unfinished manuscripts and outlines for two other stories. The finished versions of those four books, completed by Brad Strickland, were so well-received that Strickland has since been commissioned to write several more books in the series.
  • E. B. White, up until his death, kept adding to and revising William Strunk's The Elements of Style, to the point where he was even credited as a co-author. Now since White's own death, other editors have been doing the same, uncredited.
  • "The Shuttered Room" and certain other fragmentary stories were completed after H. P. Lovecraft's death by August Derleth.
  • The Family, a novel about Pope Alexander VI and his family, the Borgias, by Mario Puzo, was completed after his death by his girlfriend Carol Gini. Notably, the last chapter features a woman mourning the death of her lover though in the novel, her lover is also her brother.
  • Titus Awakes, the fourth of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels, was incomplete at the author's death: only a single chapter had been completed and the rest was illegible due to Peake's advanced case of Parkinson's Disease. He did, however, leave behind a list of tropes he wanted to include in the next novel. His widow, Maeve Gilmore, completed the book, using the notes as a guide.
  • With the unfortunate death of Vince Flynn, the Mitch Rapp series is being taken over by Kyle Mills for at least three titles in the series, one complete and two in the works.
  • Archaia Entertainment examples
    • The graphic novel Tale Of Sand was based on an unpublished movie script by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl, both of whom died long before the book came to fruition.
    • They also adapted Henson and Juhl's The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow into a graphic novel, which gave it enough attention to become an actual TV special, bringing it full circle.
    • The Storyteller was adapted to comic form via some scripts from the late Anthony Minghella that were never used in the actual show.
  • The Painted Queen by Barbara Mertz (AKA Elizabeth Peters) and Joan Hess.
  • Terry Pratchett continued to be credited as co-writer of The Long Earth series after his death, which he'd started with Stephen Baxter.
  • Before Robert L. May passed away in 1976, he wrote a third story starring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer called Rudolph's Second Christmas note . May written manuscripts for the story in 1947 but decided not to publish it, instead he released Rudolph Shines Again in 1954. "Rudolph's Second Christmas" wouldn't get published until Montgomery Ward and May's daughters discovered a manuscript of the story in 1991 and published the story in 1992. Due to Denver Gillen (the original illustrator) no longer being alive, Michael Emberley was brought in to illustrate the story. When it was renamed Rudolph to the Rescue in 2006 (to avoid confusion with the official sequel "Rudolph Shines Again" from 1954), it was illustrated by Lisa Papp.
  • Donald Bain was the primary author for the Expanded Universe novels based on Murder, She Wrote, with his wife co-writing books 44-46 and his daughter also co-writing some. Book 47, however, is where this trope kicks in, since Bain (working with his grandson, Zachary Bain Shippee) had started the book, but died partway through. Jon Land completed the work before continuing the series, with Shippee as a consultant on future books.
  • While Anna Dewdney passed away in the Fall of 2016 of breast cancer, the Easter book "Llama Llama Easter Egg" became one of Dewdney's last books that were completed during her lifetime. Previously unpublished Llama Llama books such as "Llama Llama Loves To Read" managed to get released two years after her passing. Future Llama Llama books (such as "Llama Llama ABC") would also get released years later using Dewdney's manuscript and JT Morrow as the new illustrator.
  • The Islands of Chaldea, begun by Diana Wynne Jones and finished by her sister Ursula Jones. Although a good chunk of the book was written, Diana characteristically didn't leave notes indicating how she wanted it to end, so Ursula had to scour the existing chapters for hints of foreshadowing.
  • The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake.

    Live-Action Television 
  • One Sesame Street segment is a remake of the song "I Don't Want to Live On the Moon" as a duet between Ernie (performed by Jim Henson) and Aaron Neville. The segment was recorded in 1993, three years after Henson passed away. The song used his original track and another puppeteer performed Ernie to Henson's vocals. Two other Sesame segments were later remade while keeping Henson's original vocals ("Rubber Duckie" and "La La La").
  • A rare example of a trope being prepared for well in advance occurs with Game of Thrones. In 2013, George R.R. Martin, author of the book series upon which it was based, indicated that he'd briefed the showrunners of the series regarding his planned ending of the novel cycle, in order to allow the producers to both plan ahead and also continue the story should Martin be unable to complete the novels.
  • Legendary Doctor Who writer Robert Holmes died before he could finish writing "The Ultimate Foe", the finale to the season-long arc "The Trial of a Time Lord". The script for part one was completed by script editor Eric Saward, but his script for part two was rejected due to the possibility that its ambiguous ending would give the BBC the excuse it needed to cancel the show. As such, Pip and Jane Baker were called in to complete the story at the last minute.
  • Parodied on Saturday Night Live in a sketch skewering Natalie Cole's duet with her deceased father Nat King Cole, showing Natalie (Ellen Cleghorne) singing other duets with other deceased stars, including Sammy Davis Jr. (Tim Meadows), Ethel Merman (Julia Sweeney), Judy Garland (Mike Myers), and both young (Rob Schneider) and old Elvis Presley (John Goodman), as well as Tammy Wynette (Melanie Hutsell), who was actually alive at the time the episode aired.

  • Country singer Jim Reeves went through this twice after his death from a plane crash:
    • In the late 1970s, with Reeves' previously unreleased music still selling as well as it did prior to his death, RCA Records producer Bud Logan had the bright idea to remix three previously recorded-but-unreleased songs and old album cuts from Reeves' catalog — "Don't Let Me Cross Over," "Oh How I Miss You Tonight" and "Take Me In Your Arms and Hold Me" — and mix them with singer-songwriter Deborah Allen, an up-and-coming artist. All three remixes were top 10 hits during 1979-1980.
    • In 1981, with interest in newly remixed tracks by Patsy Cline also high, another RCA employee came up with a double-posthumous collaboration involving Cline and Reeves, who never recorded together in their lifetimes (and ironically enough, both died in plane crashes). Both artists recorded their solo versions of "Have You Ever Been Lonely, Have You Ever Been Blue" and released them on various albums. Since both versions were the same key and tempo, it was the perfect song for RCA engineers to use to create the "duet." The original vocal tracks were lifted from the original stereo tapes and spliced together with a newly recorded musical backing, resulting in a top 5 country hit and even generating minor airplay on pop stations(!), which is undeniable proof that Dead Artists Are Better.
  • Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Süssmayr
  • Symphony no. 10 by Gustav Mahler and Deryck Cooke
  • Posthumous John Lennon work. His widow Yoko Ono took the 1980 recordings that were unfinished as of Lennon's death, mixed them, and released them with her own songs as the Lennon-Ono album Milk and Honey. Later, when Lennon's old bandmates in The Beatles were compiling The Beatles Anthology in the 1990s, they took two old Lennon demos ("Free as a Bird" and "Real Love"), added instrumental backing and additional vocals, and released them as "new" Beatles songs.
  • Brainwashed by George and Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne
  • The Doors' An American Prayer combines poetry Jim Morrison recorded prior to his death with music the rest of the band added several years later.
  • Made in Heaven by Queen was planned in advance by Freddie Mercury to be completed after his death, as he didn't think he had enough time left to create whole songs (and he was sadly correct). He just did his parts and let the rest of the band finish them after he died.
    • In 2015, Stuart Leathem and Esther Trousdale produced the song "Little Freddie Goes To School" to benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust, which has vocals sung by Trousdale and features Freddie Mercury's vocals within the chorus, Sampled Up from his Barcelona sessions. The song was re-released in 2021 to mark the 30th anniversary of Mercury's passing.
  • Slogans by Bob Marley and the Wailers with guitar solo by Eric Clapton. This song was just a solo home demo by Bob but was overdubbed to make it sound like he was playing it with a full band.
  • In Your Life and Take Me to Heaven Tonight by Melanie Thornton and the rest of La Bouche
  • Countless posthumous collaborations between Tupac Shakur and others, eg "Pac's Life" with Ashanti and T.I.
  • Country singer Keith Whitley's posthumous tribute album, in addition to the usual famous stars' covers of songs (including "When You Say Nothing at All" being Covered Up by Alison Krauss & Union Station) and never-released studio tracks, includes a duet with his widow Lorrie Morgan that fits this trope.
    • And taking it a step further, a DJ spliced the Alison Krauss version of "When You Say Nothing at All" with Keith Whitley's.
  • Adagio in G Minor by Tomaso Albinoni and Remo Giazotto.
  • The Mermaid Avenue albums by Billy Bragg and Wilco, which set old unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics to new music.
    • Dropkick Murphys also set unpublished Guthrie lyrics to new music, first with "Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight", then with their Signature Song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston".
  • Although not nearly as many as Tupac yet, Ol' Dirty Bastard has also had a steady stream of posthumous guest appearances. And while it was released while he was still alive, the album The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones was made without his involvement while he was in jail: a cappellas from unfinished songs (or sometimes even previously released songs) were set to new beats, with many guest appearances filling in the gaps.
  • After Johnny Mercer's death, lyrics of his were set to new music by Barry Manilow.
  • Nico by Shannon Hoon and the rest of Blind Melon. Though the album also included some outtakes that were in fact finished before Hoon's death, as well as a few of his solo demos that the band didn't add anything to at all.
  • Hank Williams Jr. did this several times with his father Hank Williams Sr.
    • In the mid-1960s, when Hank Jr. was still a teenager, MGM Records took a dozen of Hank Sr.'s vintage recordings, updated their musical tracks, and had Bocephus record new vocal tracks. The result was new "duets" with with father and son. One of the duets was "Mind Your Own Business," which sounded much like a typical 1960s song but wouldn't become a hit ... until re-recorded nearly 20 years later, without Hank Sr. but with Reba McEntire, Tom Petty, the Rev. Ike and Willie Nelson.
    • In 1989, the Hank Jr.-Hank Sr. duo finally hit paydirt with "There's a Tear in My Beer." This incorporated a vocal track recorded by his father along with Hank Jr.'s newly-recorded vocal track and a hard-driving but retro-sounding musical track. The elder Hank's recording was made in 1950 but never released until Hank Jr. got a hold of it. Its video digitally inserted Hank Jr. into a performance of Sr.'s.
    • In the early 1990s, Hank Jr. corralled his son Hank Williams III into doing an album called Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts, which combined previously recorded vocals by Hank Sr. and newly recorded vocals by Hank Jr. and Hank III. Hank III doesn't even acknowledge this album's existence, because perhaps he agreed with a reviewer who deemed it morbid and unnecessary.
  • In the same vein as the Hank Williams example above, "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, "God Bless the Child" by Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett and "All The Way" by Frank Sinatra and Céline Dion.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd did this with "Travelin' Man". Ronnie Van Zant's vocals were lifted from a live recording of the song and mixed into a duet with his brother, Johnny.
  • Kenny G produced a re-recording of "What a Wonderful World" which spliced in samples of Louis Armstrong's original recording. This led to a dispute with Pat Metheny, who decried the remix.
  • The above wasn't the first time Armstrong was a subject of this. In 1996 (three years before Kenny G's "duet"), Scatman John released "Everybody Jam!", featuring samples of Armstrong's voice which were edited into a "conversation" between the two musicians, and also sampling some of Armstrong's trumpet work.
  • And the Scatman himself became the subject of this in 2019, when Lou Bega of "Mambo No. 5" fame heavily sampled the Scatman's most famous song, "Scatman", in "Scatman & Hatman". Bega was inspired to create this track when he remembered that "Mambo No. 5" was released in 1999, the year in which both the Scatman and Bega's father died.
  • Yo-Yo Ma's venture into tango music includes a track on which he "collaborates" with deceased tango legend Astor Piazzolla using preexisting recordings.
  • Michael Jackson's segments from "We Are The World" were re-used on the 2010 remake for Haiti, given his then-recent death and his heavy involvement in the original. Janet Jackson even sang along with her late brother in the remake.
    • "Hold My Hand", featuring Akon, was Michael's last known song before his death.
    • Another such collaboration, "Love Never Felt So Good" featuring Justin Timberlake, was the lead single for the 2014 album Xscape, comprised of previously unreleased songs mixed with re-recorded instrumentation.note 
    • "Slave to the Rhythm", also from Xscape, also has an alternate mix featuring Justin Bieber, which was not fully sanctioned by Jackson's estate.
    • When Michael was alive, his 2001 recording Invincible featured posthumous vocals from other people: "Unbreakable" has a guest vocal from The Notorious B.I.G. (whose verse was taken from Shaquille O'Neal's "You Can't Stop The Reign"), and Rod Serling also made an appearance via audio from The Twilight Zone (1959).
    • Ironically enough, Justin Timberlake's hit "Rock Your Body" was written (by Pharrell Williams) for Invincible over a decade before "Love Never Felt So Good".
  • Speaking of The Notorious B.I.G., all of his posthumous albums (except Life After Death, completed when he was still alive) counts, since they are mostly put together using unreleased (or sometimes already released) content.
  • Japanese R&B singer Ken Hirai has a "duet" on his Cover Version album Ken's Bar with noted Japanese pop singer Kyu Sakamotonote , who died about 20 years before the album was recorded, covering Sakamoto's song "Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi wo".
  • In 1969, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash recorded a version of the former's "One Too Many Mornings", which was often bootlegged, but never really saw official release. The 2012 Bob Dylan tribute album Chimes of Freedom, released almost nine years after Cash passed away, took this recording and added some additional vocals by The Avett Brothers. Kind of an odd example, as the song wasn't "unfinished" to begin with.
  • Six months after the death of rapper Lisa "Lefteye" Lopes, TLC's fourth album 3D was completed by the remaining two members with posthumous vocals by Lopes on four of the songs.
  • Anita Cochran did a very strange one in 2004 when she recorded "I Wanna Hear a Cheatin' Song". She wanted to include the voice of Conway Twitty, who died in 1993. Cochran and producer Jim Ed Norman achieved this feat by splicing his part together from various other recordings of his.
  • Rodney Crowell's 1992 hit "What Kind of Love" is the inverse of the Johnny Mercer/Barry Manilow example above. Crowell and Will Jennings wrote lyrics to a melody that Roy Orbison had composed shortly before his death.
  • The last album of Russian rock group Kino, one of the most influential in the 1980s, was finished after the death of their singer and songwriter Viktor Tsoi. He had recorded draft voice tracks before he was killed in a car crash. The album is officially named "Kino", but is best known as The Black Album.
  • "Who's Got The Action" by Dean Martin and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. It was the lead single for Forever Cool, an entire album of posthumous collaborations with Martin and other musicians.
  • In 2014, Barry Manilow released an entire album of these, entitled My Dream Duets. Its lead single is a version of "The Look Of Love" with Dusty Springfield, other artists featured include Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jr., John Denver, and Louis Armstrong.
  • Queen and Michael Jackson had another odd example. Their team-up "There Must Be More to Life Than This" was originally recorded in 1983 as simply a Mercury/Jackson duet. The sessions fell apart and the song didn't see the light of day until the 2014 sort-of Greatest Hits Album Forever featured a remastered version. As with the Reeves/Cline version of "Have You Ever Been Lonely" mentioned earlier, "There Must Be More to Life" ended up as a double-posthumous collaboration.
  • An odd subversion is Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Jajouka, an album that was recorded by Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones) as a Solo Side Project but was unfinished when he suddenly died. As a result, this 1968 recording was only made available to the public in 1971. And even then it's not really a collaboration. It was merely produced by him, but doesn't feature him on vocals or instruments at all - it's actually just an album by the Master Musicians of Jajouka, a Moroccan folk group, with Jones' name tacked onto it for sales purposes.
  • Eva Cassidy had one when her cover of "What a Wonderful World" was remixed to add the vocals of Katie Melua, resulting in one of the favorites to win the Christmas Number One for 2007 (it ultimately lost to another X Factor winner).
    • Michael Bolton also sang with pre-recorded vocals of Eva Cassidy for the song "Fields of Gold" on Gems: The Duets Collection.
  • J Dilla died in 2006, leaving his third solo album The Shining only 75% complete. He saw it coming and tasked beforehand his close collaborator Karriem Riggins to finish the album, which was released months after Dilla's death.
    • His collaboration with Snoop Dogg "Gangsta Boogie" on his album The Diary (slated to be released in 2002 but shelved; it was finally released in 2016) also counts, as Dilla wanted Snoop to collaborate with him on the song, but Snoop's verse was recorded long after Dilla's passing.
      • Speaking of The Diary, Nas' verse on "The Sickness" was also recorded way after Dilla's death.
    • Since this is Dilla we're talking about, he appears in tons of others artists' albums way after his death. Highlights include his former group Slum Village's 2013 Villa Manifesto and 2016 YES! albums (both also features posthumous appearances of Baatin, another Slum Village member), his little brother Illa J's 2008 debut "Yancey Boys" (entirely produced by Dilla), and group Yancey Boys' (Illa J and Frank Nitt) Sunset Blvd. album (entirely produced by Dilla, again).
  • Several years after Christmas Duets, Elvis Presley released a "new" album in 2015, entitled If I Can Dream, which features his vocals from live performances edited with a new orchestral backing track. One of the cuts, "Fever", features a duet vocal from Michael Bublé. Another, "It's Now or Never", features vocals from classical crossover trio Il Volo.
    • Another such album called The Wonder of You was released in 2016. It featured a posthumous "duet" with Helene Fischer called "Just Pretend".
    • Since then, at least two orchestras have made a living off remixing various musicians' greatest hits with new orchestral arrangements, most notably the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. They've even been known to do this with still-living artists.
    • Bing Crosby's 2019 album Bing at Christmas does this, featuring new "collaborations" with Pentatonix, The Tenors, and The Puppini Sisters.
  • Hellyeah, a supergroup including Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, added a pre-recorded guitar track from the late Dimebag Darrell to their version of Phil Collins' "I Don't Care Anymore". Dimebag's guitar part was sourced from an unfinished recording session of Damageplan, the group he and Vinnie had formed after the breakup of Pantera.
  • Sarah Brightman did a duet of "Hawaii '78" using the recorded voice of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. This was released as a bonus track on certain editions of her 2013 album Dreamchaser.
  • The last official Penguin Cafe Orchestra track, "Lullaby", was completed by members of the group after composer and group leader Simon Jeffes' death.
  • Drake's fifth album Scorpion has two collaborations of such: "After Dark" (which in addition to Ty Dolla Sign, features Static Major note ) and "Don't Matter to Me" (which features Michael Jackson note ).
  • Nujabes collaborated with Shing02 to make a series of songs, titled Luv [sic]. Parts 1, 2 and 3 were released when Nujabes was still alive. But his unfortunate death left the series appearing to be unfinished. Fortunately, parts 4 and 5 were completed while Nujabes was still alive, and Shing02 had to complete the last one by himself, with only a beat (intended to be the last Luv [sic] song) found on Nujabes' phone.
  • Big L's second album, The Big Picture, was unfinished when he was shot down in 1999 and was completed by his manager Rich King before being released in 2000. Several songs were recorded after L's death, such as "Platinum Plus" (featuring Big Daddy Kane) and "Fall Back" (featuring Kool G Rap). There's also a posthumous Tupac Shakur verse on "Deadly Combination".
  • George Michael's 1990 B-Side "Fantasy" received a posthumous makeover featuring Nile Rodgers in 2017, nine months after George's death.
  • Avicii's third album, TIM, released a year and two months after his suicide, was posthumously completed by a team of his colleagues, including Carl Falk, Vargas & Lagola, Albin Nedler, Bonn, Joe Janiak, Aloe Blacc, Imagine Dragons, and Chris Martin.
  • Whitney Houston covered Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" in 1990, but it was only released as a Japan-exclusive bonus track. In 2019, seven years after her death, her cover version resurfaced as a posthumous collaboration with Kygo.
    • The same year, Pentatonix utilized the vocals from her cover of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (from the first A Very Special Christmas album) for a new version of the track, one of several new tracks on a best-of compilation of the band's previous Christmas releases.
  • In 2019, the surviving members of The Cranberries produced a final album, In the End, posthumously utilizing Dolores O'Riordan's vocal demos recorded shortly before her 2018 death.
  • Phantoms’ song “One in a Million” is a deep house track built around a sample of the late Aaliyah’s R&B song of the same name, released 19 years after her passing.
  • Miles Davis' Doo-Bop became this due to Miles dying midway through the recording sessions. Producer Easy Mo Bee finished the album by creating two tracks from some of Miles' unreleased recording sessions.
  • System's in Blue's 2008 album Out of the Blue was produced posthumously in the wake of frontman Rolf Köhler's death from a stroke the preceding year.
  • Bob Marley's "Sun Is Shining", obscure during his lifetime, received a boost in recognition two decades after his death with a disco-house update by Funkstar De Luxe, who also remixed "Rainbow Country", The same year, Marley posthumously duetted with daughter-in-law Lauryn Hill on a remastered version of "Turn Your Lights Down Low".
  • Barbra Streisand did a weird example of this when she put out Release Me 2, a 2021 collection of outtakes from her various albums. She'd recorded "The Rainbow Connection" in 1979 for her album Wet, sometime after The Muppet Movie released, but the version that appears here was spliced with the original recording, which featured Jim Henson, who had died 31 years prior, as Kermit the Frog.
  • MF DOOM died on Halloween of 2020, but almost a year later on October 8th, 2021, Rhymesayers Entertainment released "Barcade", featuring him, Aesop Rock, and Atmosphere.
  • In 2021, to mark the 30th anniversary of Ozzy Osbourne's "Hellraiser" single, a special mashup version was produced, combining Ozzy's vocals with Motörhead frontman and co-writer Lemmy Kilmister's vocals off Motorhead's own rendition into a duet.
  • In late 2021, Aaliyah's uncle and former label head Barry Hankerson announced that he would be releasing a new posthumous album called Unstoppable in 2022, utilizing vocal demos she recorded before her death in 2001 and mixing them into collaborations with artists like The Weeknd and Chris Brown. It was originally scheduled to be released in January, but Schedule Slip ensued and the album still has yet to be released as of November.
  • Klaus Nomi left behind an album's worth of unfinished songs with his death from AIDS in 1983, which were posthumously completed by Page Wood and George Elliott and released as Za Bakdaz: The Unfinished Opera in 2007.

  • The pinball project known as Circus Maximus was created solely to complete the late Python Anghelo's machine, Pinball Circus. This is an unusual case of this trope, however, in that Anghelo abandoned Pinball Circus long before he passed away, but his death brought enough attention to Pinball Circus for this project to take place.

  • The Girl in Pink Tights, a musical that opened on Broadway in 1954, three years after the death of its composer, Sigmund Romberg, had this unusual credit: "Music developed and orchestrated by Don Walker." It has been speculated that Walker, a legendary Broadway orchestrator who occasionally dabbled in songwriting, may have composed some numbers by himself.
  • Sir Arthur Sullivan died before completing the score for The Emerald Isle. Some numbers were largely or fully written, others partially, some not at all. Edward German finished the work so skilfully that it's not obvious (definitely not grating on the ears) which songs were by which composer.
  • Euripides' last three plays — The Bacchae, Iphigenia in Aulis and (probably) Alcmaeon in Corinth — were produced posthumously by his son (or possibly nephew) in Athens in 405 BC, and the prize was awarded posthumously to Euripides.
  • Charles Dickens died while writing a novel (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) which Rupert Holmes (as in the guy who did "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)") turned into a musical called Drood. Unique in that the audience at each performance gets to vote for whom they think the murderer is, so each suspect has to be ready with his confession number that he may not get to sing. So, this was written by Charles Dickens and the audience. That is, in the sense of each individual performance. Since Holmes wrote endings for every possible audience choice, in the sense of the overall work, it's Charles Dickens and Holmes.

    Visual Novels 
  • After the death of Palmer, the lead developer of Double Homework, the rest of the Love Joint team completed the story. They were determined to create an ending that Palmer would be proud of.

    Web Animation 
  • Before Edd Gould (the creator of Eddsworld) passed away after a long battle with cancer, he made it clear he didn't want the series to die with him. As such, his friends and fellow cast members continued the series with a new animator and a new voice for Edd's character.
  • Similarly, RWBY became this after creator and showrunner Monty Oum died unexpectedly during the production of Volume 3. Oum had already finished a few scenes of that season before his death, however, as well as miscellaneous pieces of animation that would be used up until Volume 6. He was also very open about his plans for the series up through Volume 7, with writers Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross using those notes as a framework.

    Web Original 
  • Prior to his death, JewWario had been working on a miniseries based on his tokusatsu character, the FamiKamen Rider. After he died, MarzGurl and her husband Josh took it upon themselves to make sure Justin's character was remembered, eventually producing the full length Farewell, FamiKamen Rider, although they later came to regret it once Justin's sexual misconduct was revealed.

    Western Animation