SBS PopAsia HQ
K-pop has been global for a long time, and collaborations between Korean singers and international stars is definitely not a new thing. But there’s been something in the air in 2019, K-pop is bigger than ever and the collaborations are becoming more unexpected and elaborate as time goes on.
We may still have some months left in 2019 – which undoubtedly means more collabs we could never imagine happening actually coming through – but here’s some of our fave collaborations between K-pop and Western pop artists from 2019 so far.
1. MONSTA X & French Montana: “Who Do U Love?”
MONSTA X‘s English-language single debut was slinkier and more sensual than we could’ve possibly imagined, and it got MONSTA X some serious US radio play.
2. BTS’ RM & Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Seoul Town Road Remix)”
2019 is the year of “Old Town Road”, and what’s better than combining two of the most relevant popstars of 2019? BTS leader RM dropped a verse full of wordplay that had everyone’s jaws on the floor.
3. NCT 127, Lay & Jason Derulo: “Shut Up and Dance”
What happens when you put three powerhouse acts with incredible dance skills in one MV honouring Michael Jackson? Pop magic, that’s what.
4. BTS & Halsey: “Boy With Luv”
What is there even to say about “Boy With Luv”? It’s a juggernaut of a song and led to BTS ascending to even greater heights in their international domination of the pop scene.
5. NCT DREAM x HRVY: “I Don’t Need Your Love”
This clever collab combined the 20-and-under NCT DREAM with 20-year-old English singer HRVY in a song that perfectly fits their fans’ desires. It’s soft but unbelievably catchy and allows all artists involved to shine individually.
6. Red Velvet, Ellie Goulding & Diplo: “Close To Me Remix”
This song won Red Velvet their first Teen Choice Music Award, so it’s safe to say it was a hit with Reveluvs as well as new fans!
7. KATIE x Ty Dolla $ign: “Remember”
KATIE has been establishing herself as a new voice in Korean R&B and her track “Remember” made impact on first release thanks to its powerful visuals and vocals. Her remix featuring American rapper Ty Dolla $ign gave it a different touch.
8. Ava Max x NCT 127: “So Am I”
To be fair, there’s only a couple of NCT 127 members’ voices on this track but it’s still a genius combination of rising pop star Ava Max and NCT rap talents Taeyong and Mark, along with vocal prince Jaehyun.
9. BTS x Charli XCX: “Dream Glow”
This track was originally a Charli XCX solo uploaded to the British singer-songwriter’s Soundcloud, and it totally transformed as the first release off the BTS WORLD soundtrack featuring vocals from BTS’ Jungkook, Jimin and Jin.
10. Lizzo & AB6IX: “Truth Hurts Remix”
We’re going to say this is the most unexpected of the collaborations on this list. Who would’ve thought rookie boy group AB6IX would end up featuring on a remix of Lizzo’s hit song?
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