Adele’s Collaborations, Ranked From Worst To Best
Adele rarely collaborates with other artists, but when she does, she creates something magical.
Most of the biggest stars in the music industry regularly work with other acts, and the artists who score catchy hits and release bestselling albums often rely on duets with other powerhouses to remain as popular as they are. Not Adele. Since the beginning of her generation-defining career, Adele has bucked this trend entirely, preferring to perform on her own, with her relevancy staying as strong as ever. But Adele has partnered with others, though these collaborations are rare.
In the 15 years Adele has been releasing music, she has only doled out a handful of proper collaborations, with two appearing on her new album 30, a departure for the Oscar winner.
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Let’s revisit — and rank — all of Adele’s collaborations.
6. “Be Divine” with Ricsta
This is by far the least known Adele collab, one that doesn’t sonically fit into her discography at all. The Ricsta tune is an electronic club-ready throwback. Released in 2006, “Be Divine” preceded Adele being signed to a label, but her vocal talent is still evident on the song. The song never charted anywhere around the world, and it has largely been forgotten during her career.
5. “Easy on Me” with Chris Stapleton
Only available on the Target-exclusive deluxe edition of 30, Adele invited Chris Stapleton to join her on chart-topping track “Easy on Me.” The country musician doesn’t have his own verse, or even any lyrics that differ from the original. He is largely relegated to the role of a background singer, though his superstar status allows him to receive credit.
4. “Need You Now” with Darius Rucker
This is a cover collaboration that somehow works despite it being an unexpected partnership. Rucker started his career as the frontman of rock band Hootie and the Blowfish before jumping genres and working in country, a field he’s been incredibly successful in for well over a decade. He and Adele performed the Lady A (then known as Lady Antebellum) song “Need You Now” at the CMT Artists of the Year Awards in 2010, and they delivered a stirring rendition of the smash hit, right in front of the trio. Adele went on to include the duet on the deluxe edition of 21.
3. “Water and a Flame” with Daniel Merriweather
When Daniel Merriweather released his debut album Love & War in 2009, Adele was the bigger star of the two, as she’d already become a household name in the United Kingdom and collected two Grammys. Her inclusion on the singer’s first release likely played some small part in bolstering it to the quick success it enjoyed, though the single they worked on, “Water and a Flame,” was not as huge as it should have been. The laidback pop/R&B/soul song didn’t crack the main songs chart in the U.K., despite her popularity and the quality of the song.
2. “Many Shades of Black” with The Raconteurs
The pairing of Adele and The Raconteurs seems odd, but their collaboration works brilliantly. The original version of the tune features the band’s frontman Jack White singing the lyrics, but for a special take, the two don’t really duet, as Adele takes over the entire track. The song was released on the deluxe edition of Adele’s debut album 19. A horn-laden, guitar-powered affair, Adele’s performance proves she has the chops to jump into the rock world.
1. “All Night Parking” with Erroll Garner
“All Night Parking” marks the first tune on an Adele album that credits another artist, at least on a standard, non-deluxe tracklist. The song is sandwiched in the middle of 30, and it is unlike anything the superstar has ever released. It’s a wonderful blend of old-school musicianship and modern mixing, as it takes a piano recording done many years prior and uses modern tech to make it feel current. Erroll Garner is featured posthumously, as the jazz pianist passed away in 1977.
Before she became the Adele the world knows and loves today, she found work as a background singer on two songs by U.K.-based indie rock/soul musician Jack Peñate. Adele’s voice can barely be heard on both “Every Glance” and “My Yvonne,” but she’s in there. Adele didn’t receive credit on either track, and thus they don’t really count as part of her discography.