It’s a stressful time for Britney Spears fans right now, as they eagerly await her new single, “Pretty Girls,” a collaboration with Iggy Azalea that’s expected to arrive next week. Will the pairing be the next “Me Against the Music” or the next “Chillin’ With You”? Will it top the charts, or will it follow her “Britney Jean” flopping spree? Will the new Iggy-directed music video be a major societal talking point, or will it be overshadowed by Britney’s freshly leaked “Tom’s Diner” cover with Giorgio Moroder? So many questions!
While we await the answers, let’s placate ourselves with a trip down memory lane to definitively rank each and every one of Britney’s collaborations — those tracks where another artist is CREDITED with a feature, or Britney is the featured artist. From worst to best, let’s give them a listen — baby, one more time.
17. ‘Chillin’ With You’ feat. Jamie Lynn Spears
While it was sweet that Britney gave her little sis an opportunity to join her on a song, the aggressively dumb title should clue you in to the fact that this is quite possibly the worst Britney song of all time.
16. ‘It Should Be Easy’ feat. will.i.am
Will.i.am has taken quite a bit of heat for his WORK with Brit — he produced her last album, and many of Britney’s Army blame him for its failure. This tragic, soulless dance track is pretty strong evidence.
15. ‘Scream & Shout’ (Hit-Boy Remix) by will.i.am feat. Britney Spears, Hit-Boy, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil Wayne & Diddy
This bastardized version of a genuinely good song was not a good look for Britney. Essentially playing the role of hype girl to several rappers, Britney seems utterly lost in the remixed track. She does look superhot as an old-school video chick, though. That ponytail!
14. ‘Tik Tik Boom’ feat. T.I.
The biggest crime of “Tik Tik Boom” is its generic DNA, and Ms. Spears is anything but generic. You could essentially replace both Brit and T.I. with any other pop star and rapper, and the song would sound the same.
13. ‘(Drop Dead) Beautiful’ feat. Sabi
From the get-go, Sabi was a strange choice for the superstar, who reportedly knew her from her WORK with the Bangz. Had this song been anything more than “meh,” you might now know who Sabi is.
12. ‘S&M’ (Remix) by Rihanna feat. Britney Spears
With phoned-in vocals, Britney’s part sounds like she recorded it in 10 minutes between her two sons’ soccer matches. But it was a Billboard Hot 100 topper, so what do we know?
11. ‘What It’s Like to Be Me’ feat. Justin Timberlake
Though the thought of the power couple WORKING together was an exciting one, the inoffensively bland track didn’t really live up to what we’d come to expect from either superstar.
10. ‘I Will Still Love You’ feat. Don Philip
Britney’s first-ever collaboration must be graded on a curve. It’s a tad unlistenable now, but back in 1999, it was a pleasant slow jam. The chemistry wasn’t exactly real, though — a career-less Philip would AUDITION a decade later for the Spears-judged “The X Factor” and come out as gay.
9. ‘Big Fat Bass’ feat. will.i.am
Britney’s first team-up with the Black Eyed Peas mastermind isn’t the most original thing in Spears’ canon, but it does have an irresistibly bouncy beat.
8. ‘Till the World Ends’ (Remix) feat. Nicki Minaj and Kesha
Though the slower pace doesn’t hold up as well as the original, this all-star grouping made the remix feel like a major musical event. Unfortunately, the three never performed the song together live, which left it feeling like a manufactured footnote in Spears’ CAREER.
7. ‘Tom’s Diner’ by Giorgio Moroder feat. Britney Spears
Did Suzanne Vega’s 1987 track really need another cover? Probably not — but legendary producer Giorgio Moroder WORKED his magic and created somethingtruly special.
6. ‘Crazy’ by Kevin Federline feat. Britney Spears
“WHAT?” you exclaim. “Britney had a song with K-Fed?!”
“WHAT?” you exclaim again. “You’ve placed it in the top half of this list?”
Yes, yes, we have. Not to be confused with “(You Drive Me) Crazy,” this song appeared on K-Fed’s iconic 2006 album, “Playing With Fire.” It’s a certifiable jam that would be at home on any Top 40 radio station today.
5. ‘Scream & Shout’ by will.i.am feat. Britney Spears
The most successful of will.i.am and Britney’s dealings smartly EMPLOYEDBritney’s “Gimme More” catchphrase — “It’s Britney, bitch” — and amped it up to the next level.
4. ‘SMS (Bangerz)’ by Miley Cyrus feat. Britney Spears
Britney’s drive-by appearance on the track was fully thanks to the two stars’ shared MANAGER. Regardless, the quirky song is nothing if not original, featuring Britney in rare form as a high-octane scene-stealer.
3. ‘Boys’ (The Co-Ed Remix) feat. Pharrell
Before Pharrell was very “Happy,” he was the boy to Brit’s girl in the ultimate ode to HOOKING UP on the dance floor.
2. ‘I Got That (Boom Boom)’ feat. the Ying Yang Twins
One of Britney’s most underrated tracks, “Boom Boom” features a down-and-dirty beat that had fans twerking before we even knew what that was.
1. ‘Me Against the Music’ feat. Madonna
But of COURSE, Britney’s best collaboration is — and likely always will be — with Madonna. The tour-de-force pairing of the Princess of Pop and the Queen of Pop was not only a passing of the baton, it was a genuine feat of musical decadence — a moment in history that can never be repeated.