“Don’t Call Me Angel” And The Elusive Female Collaboration
In a year where artists like Camila Cabello, Billie Eilish, Lizzo and more have brought female domination back to the charts, the new Charlie’s Angels single, “Don’t Call Me Angel” by Ariana Grande/Miley Cyrus/Lana Del Rey serves as a reminder that mainstream female collaborations remain a wildly rare occurrence in 2019.
In what feels like an absurd Stan Twitter dream, Grande confirmed this summer that she would indeed be collaborating on a song with none other than Cyrus and Del Rey. Fans were quick to start hailing the track as *the* female collaboration of the year with many calling it the next “Lady Marmalade.” While it’s certainly a compliment to compare the two tracks, the fact that fans are referencing a nearly 20-year-old track is indicative of an industry where female artists continue to be held to a different standard than their male counterparts.
A look back at the Billboard Hot 100 this decade shows just how rare a female collaboration as high-profile as DCMA really is. Only 11 songs (11!) featuring more than one female artist have cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 this decade, while just two went on to top the chart (“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX & the “S&M” remix by Rihanna feat. Britney Spears). Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that not a single song with more than one female lead artist has gone #1 since “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Lil Kim and Mya in 2001.
Such stats makes the arrival of “DCMA” that much more exciting, especially considering the fact that there hasn’t been a female collaboration to enter the Hot 100 Top 10 since 2017 when “Motorsport” by Migos, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B peaked at #6. You have to go back even further to 2016 to find a Top 5 female collaboration (“Side to Side” by Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj – peak #4).
“DCMA” comes as a welcome change of pace in a pop scene where female artists are constantly being pitted against one another. The glaring lack of mainstream female collaborations is no doubt reflective of the higher standards to which main pop girls are held to, including the added pressure of delivering an engaging album rollout, high-caliber music videos and well-rounded social media branding. It’s this scrutiny from pop girls’ respective fan bases that makes it that much harder to deliver a female collaboration where all parties are equally satisfied.
A collaboration between two or more female artists at the top can often present risks for those involved. If the track is a hit, then fans are given even more incentive to argue over who carried who to the top of the chart. Live performances may also prove to be difficult to schedule as it’s likely that both artists will be out promoting their respective projects. How will fans feel if one artist is given a lead credit and the other isn’t? Will the song be reflective of each artist’s new album? And then there’s the predicament of each singer delivering exactly what their fans want while further elevating their brand and overall aesthetic, a problem which men are rarely faced with.
Pop fans have no choice but to embrace “DCMA” if they truly want to see women supporting other women at the top of the charts. The public still has the opportunity to promote the female rap collaboration, “Hot Girl Summer” as well as the female-dominated Charli XCX album, ‘Charli.’ There are sure to be even more collaborations similar to “DCMA” with the arrival of the Grande-produced soundtrack for Charlie’s Angels where both Normani and Chaka Khan have already been confirmed to appear.
Support for “DCMA” appears to be strong among all three of the lady’s fan groups as stans have already started entertaining the idea of the song going #1 on the Hot 100. If it does, then “DCMA” would be the first female collaboration in the history of Billboard to debut at the top as well as the first one overall to go #1 since “Fancy” (2014).
While the chart performance of “DCMA” remains uncertain, it’s looking likely that the track will at least enter the Top 10 on Billboard. Continue reading below for a complete list of every female collaboration this decade that has achieved the same feat:
“Telephone” by Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce (peak: #3)
“Till The World Ends” (remix) by Britney Spears feat. Kesha and Nicki Minaj
“S&M” (remix) by Rihanna feat. Britney Spears (peak: #1)
“Give Me All Your Luvin” by Madonna feat. Nicki Minaj and MIA (peak: #10)
“I Love It” by Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX (peak: #7)
“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX (peak: #1)
“Problem” by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea (peak: #2)
“Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora (peak: #3)
“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj (peak: #3)
“Hey Mama” by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack (peak: #8)
“Side to Side” by Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj (peak: #4)
“Motorsport” by Migos, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B (peak: #6)
Which female collaboration (listed or not) do you think should’ve seen more success? Share your thoughts with us by tweeting us at @PopCrave!