Curated Playlist: 5 Legendary Collaborations Between K-Pop Superstars and Western Icons

kpop collab songs

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Hana Lee

K-pop collaborations with international artists are like the ultimate gifts that fans worldwide have been eagerly anticipating. The artists spend countless hours crafting extraordinary cross-border projects, which they unveil at the perfect moment to create a global phenomenon. Get ready to be blown away by these five exceptional collaborations that have left us utterly mesmerized.

Coldplay X BTS – My Universe (2021)

“My Universe” was brought into the world after BTS proposed a collaboration to Coldplay. The track centers around the theme of space, which Coldplay has been exploring through his music since debuting in 1998. BTS has also presented various space-themed songs, including “134340” (2018), inspired by Pluto, “Mikrokosmos” (2019), and “Moon” (2020). Despite the pandemic, the two bands worked together on “My Universe” in person at a studio. They even performed together at the 2021 AMAs on a stage set against a starry-night sky, bringing joy to fans worldwide. Additionally, Coldplay co-wrote and composed “The Astronaut,” the solo single released by BTS’ Jin right before his military enlistment.

PinkSweat$ – 17 (feat. Joshua and DK of SEVENTEEN) (2020)

Pink Sweat$’s song “17” features a 17-year-old boy wishing to dance until he’s 92, just like he does now. If Pink Sweat$ were to collaborate with any K-pop stars on this track, many fans worldwide would consider SEVENTEEN to be the most fitting because of their name. In the remix version, SEVENTEEN’s Joshua and DK added Korean lyrics while keeping the original romantic vibe. Their sweet and refreshing vocals enhance the song’s charm, resulting in another lovely love song.

Chung Ha, Christopher – Bad Boy (2020)

When pop stars collaborate with K-pop artists, they tend to choose idol groups as their collaboration partners. In other words, it’s rare to see collaborative works between a K-pop solo artist and a global pop star like “Bad Boy” by Chung Ha and Christopher. Chung Ha, who had shown a powerful performance so far, showcased her refreshing and warm voice through the collaborative track. Additionally, Christopher’s sweet and soft vocals seamlessly blended with hers, making it a perfect duet song. The song almost reminds us of a scene from a romantic comedy-drama in which a woman says she wants someone who can embrace her as who she is, while a man feels sorry for her that she wants a bad boy. Riding the popularity of “Bad Boy,” Chung Ha and Christopher released their second duet track, “When I Get Old,” in 2022.

BLACKPINK – Ice Cream (with Selena Gomez) (2020)

Following the release of Dua Lipa’s “Kiss and Make Up” in 2018, female musicians around the world began expressing interest in collaborating with BLACKPINK. The group was also featured on Lady Gaga’s star-studded lineup for her sixth full-length album, which included the song “Sour Candy” (2020). Another noteworthy collaboration was with Selena Gomez on the catchy and kitschy “Ice Cream,” whose music video has amassed over 820 million views. The song highlights the strong chemistry between the two singers, giving the impression that they have been part of the same group for a long time. BLACKPINK’s first full-length album, THE ALBUM, includes their Cardi B collaboration “Bet You Wanna,” as well as “Ice Cream.”

Lizzo, AB6IX – Truth Hurts (2019)

Lizzo’s 2017 hit “Truth Hurts” is a true chart conqueror, having achieved the rare feat of re-entering the Billboard charts after its initial release. After being used as the OST for the Netflix movie “Someone Great,” it received even more love as the TikTok #DNATest challenge went viral, parodying a scene from the movie.The lyrics of “Truth Hurts,” including the line “Why men great ’til they gotta be great?”, make it a perfect match for Lizzo, who is a vocal advocate for body positivity. Then, an unexpected collaboration emerged, as she teamed up with AB6IX to create a unique song that not only captures the struggles of K-pop idols in their daily songwriting process but also maintains the upbeat mood of the original.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

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