There's a vicious rumor going around that Beyoncé is secretly cutting a new album and that it will be released in 2015. Or, knowing her ability to shock and awe and create hit albums in under 10 seconds, this so-called album could be released at midnight tonight for all anybody knows. If it isn't true (and most media sources are learning toward it being a fake story), fans will have to wait even longer to get their hands on new Bey music — wasn't her absence from the MTV Video Music Awards enough suffering to endure? Along with the rumored news that Beyoncé has registered five new tracks, is supposedly leaked information that she is also collaborating with famous musicians like Babyface and Lil Wayne.
Both artists would make for interesting musical partners for very different reasons. But what about the ladies? Could Beyoncé ever top her epic partnership with Nicki Minaj on the track "Feeling Myself?" Over the years, the Queen Bee has shared the stage with everyone from Ed Sheeran to Tina Turner to her husband, Jay Z. She's such a strong performer that you can't imagine it being easy for another celeb to attempt to share the spotlight with her. On the other hand, she also seems like a giving star who knows when to stand back and let her partner's talents take centerstage.
The only thing I feel the world is missing, besides more Beyoncé, are more Beyoncé collaborations with other like-minded strong female performers. Here are six women she should consider working with, whether on this rumored mystical album or on future projects.
1. FKA Twigs
The beautiful thing about FKA Twigs, aside from her hauntingly beautiful voice, is that she has stuck to her guns when it comes to making the kind of melodic, dark, non-formulaic pop music she wants. And she doesn't seem to give a fig that she has yet to achieve the level of success of a Beyoncé or Katy Perry. I picture her singing the same line over and over again beneath Beyoncé's vocals and adding a depth to her music that the "Halo" singer sometimes lacks. It doesn't hurt matters that, when Twigs was just starting out, she danced in this BBC spoof video called "Beyoncé Wants Groceries." Let's bring this thing full circle, Bey.
2. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has very slowly been experimenting with slightly different sounds and darker moods in her usually happy-go-lucky brand of pop. But in the case of a Tay/Bey collaboration, I actually think it would be more interesting to hear how Swift's playful innocence affects Beyoncé, who is often seen — both in her music and daily life — as something of an untouchable goddess diva. Both have broken sales records — Swift sold 1.287 million copies of 1989 in its first week, while, in 2013, Beyoncé became the first woman to debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200 with her first five studio albums. My point being: you can picture record execs' tongues wagging at the thought of a duet.
3. Kim Gordon
The artist and former Sonic Youth guitarist and bassist is a post-punk queen who can add an element of experimental artistry to Beyoncé's music. Gordon is a firm feminist with street cred. She may not possess a classically trained voice, but she can wield her pipes and guitar like a weapon if the situation calls for it. If Beyoncé is open to soaking up the experience of women from different genres, she won't find anyone better than Gordon to serve as her maestro.
4. En Vogue
The other day I stumbled upon three songs from the '90s R&B girl group En Vogue while listening to a friend's playlist and two thoughts shot into my head: Man, these women were good and Man, do they remind me of Beyoncé. The California trio (originally a quartet) gained fame with hit tracks like "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)," "Giving Him Something He Can Feel," and "Love Don't Love You." But their song "Free Your Mind," which featured lyrics like "Free your mind and the rest will follow/Be color blind, don't be so shallow," sounds like it could have been written yesterday, possibly by Beyoncé. The women all had rich, dynamic voices and a project with Bey would allow a new generation to discover them.
5. Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood is the biggest name in country-pop and the type of artist whom I'd love to watch perform a duet with Beyoncé just to see what kind of interesting material a meeting of their minds could produce. Beyoncé's voice over a steel guitar equals goosebumps and Underwood has a vocal range that can blow anyone away. Together, they could create passionate, genre-breaking music and neither country, nor hip hop fans will know what in the hell to do with it.
If you're a hip hop fan and haven't heard Tink's music yet, stop what you're doing and give "Around the Clock" and "Tell the Children" a listen. The Chicago rapper has been called an up-and-coming force. She's say to debut her first album in 2015 and is already being compared to artists like Lauryn Hill. She writes provocative lyrics, many of which are about social issues. Just a sample: "A wise man told me the first step towards change is awareness, the second step is acceptance/Are you aware of the changes that are happening around you?/Are you willing to accept the change that is upon us?" Beyoncé has one of the biggest platforms in music and is able to reach more people than most politicians. If she plans on releasing future tracks with a social message, Tink is her perfect partner.
There you have it: six perfectly good reasons why Beyoncé should be working on her secret album as I write this — and hell, why not include all of these ladies in the mix and create a truly historic album that defies expectations?