During his lengthy career, Justin Bieber has provided us with some pretty big hits. But while his solo stuff is good on its own, there’s no denying the power that comes from a JB collab. Only Justin, someone who’s been adding to his celeb contact list since age 13, can work with the biggest artists in the world and still overshadow them. From his friendship with Big Sean, his career turnaround with Diplo and Skrillex and that time he sung in Spanish, here are 12 of our favourite collabs from the star.
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‘Cold Water’ – Major Lazer ft. MØ
Released fresh off Justin’s Purpose drop, Diplo teamed up with the star again in 2016 but this time under the alias of his EDM group Major Lazer. This track was huge for a number of reasons. For one it had a team behind it that consisted of Diplo, Benny Blanco and Ed Sheeran but it also helped secure Justin’s switch to EDM dance-pop. And it proved just how good he was at the genre. ‘Cold Water’ became the highest-charting single for Major Lazer in the US and went straight to number 1 in over 14 different countries.
‘10,000 Hours’ – Dan + Shay
Justin’s most recent collab with country duo Dan + Shay surprised us a little, mostly because we never thought we’d hear ‘country’ and ‘Justin Bieber’ in the same sentence. But it turns out the context around the track fits a newlywed Justin pretty well. Dipping his toes into a new pond, Justin smashed records and proved that he really was good at absolutely everything. The track hit number one on all four of Billboard’s country charts, gave Justin the title of being the only artist ever to top a country chart and a R&B chart at the same time (for ’10,000 Hours’ and ‘Yummy’), and is currently spending its 16th week on the Hot Country chart. Phew, talk about a collab!
‘Never Say Never’ – Jaden Smith
Having the task of coining up the new theme song for the latest remake of The Karate Kid is quite a challenge but, as usual, Justin absolutely aces it. Preaching the powerful message of never giving up, Justin enlists the help of the film’s lead (and the incredibly famous son of Will and Jada Smith) Jaden Smith to create a song so youthful and cutesy yet so strong and intimidating that it’s followed them for the rest of their careers. And can we just aww at Jaden’s adorable verse?
‘I Don’t Care’ – Ed Sheeran
Longtime collaborators and friends, ‘I Don’t Care’ shows the first time that pop royalty Ed Sheeran and Justin have ever actually sung together. And it’s well worth the wait. Incorporating all the best parts of both artists, Ed’s dancehall beats and Justin’s R&B influences, the track became an instant pop classic. Not to mention the hilarious music video. ‘I Don’t Care’ debuted with over 10 million global streams on Spotify, breaking the platform’s single-day streaming record, and spent six weeks on their global charts.
‘Baby’ – Ludacris
Look up “an absolute classic bop” in the dictionary and you’ll find this song. We just couldn’t leave it off the list. Perfectly reflecting Justin’s playful pop youth, Ludacris brings a verse so well put together that you just can’t imagine the song any other way. There is no ‘Baby’ without Ludacris and therefore there just isn’t a Justin Bieber without him either. Thanks Luda, we’ll have your rap memorized for eternity.
Muroki – Find Me
‘As Long As You Love Me’ – Big Sean
Introducing dubstep Justin, ‘As Long As You Love Me’ just works in so many ways. The entire song feels like a movie with its big beats, powerful vocals and emotional lyrics; and it may just contain one of the best Big Sean verses there is. Also, that music video is basically a movie in itself. This track was a huge turning point for the star, showing that he could play around with different genres and still keep himself secured on the throne. It also introduced the incredible musical partnership between Justin and Big Sean, who would go on to make 2 more great songs together.
‘Beauty And A Beat’ – Nicki Minaj
‘Beauty And A Beat’ is brilliant. It’s the most 2012 song that could come out of that year. Not only were both stars at a career high but the entire promotion for the song revolved around an elaborate prank where Justin led us to believe his computer was stolen. You really can’t get more 2012 than that. The hit again showcases Justin’s knack for dubstep and Nicki’s verse fits in perfectly with the upbeat nature of the song. A total pop powerhouse smash that’ll go down in history, we’re sure. If not for that prank alone.
‘I’m The One’ – DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, Chance The Rapper, Quavo
Pack a bunch of music’s best stars onto one song and you’re bound to get a smash hit, and that’s exactly what ‘I’m The One’ is. With Justin’s catchy hook over that equally catchy popping beat and stellar verses from three excellent rappers, there just really is no competition. This track was huge for Justin, yet again throwing him into perfect party production. It debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, earning DJ Khaled, Quavo (outside of Migos) and Chance The Rapper their first, and became the first hip-hop track to do so since 2010.
‘Despacito’ – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (Remix)
Nobody expected Justin to hop on a Latin pop song and nobody expected him to actually kind of suit it. It seemed you couldn’t go anywhere in 2017 without hearing the song’s catchy beat and that’s probably because it ran the entire world. Justin remains to be the perfect choice to have on the remix, his falsettos hitting right every time. And that Spanish? Not bad, Justin. Not bad. The remix has since won 12 awards, appeared on several all-time-favourites lists, became the most-streamed song worldwide and has spent an entire year on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. What an iconic song to be a part of.
‘Where Are Ü Now’ – Diplo, Skrillex, Jack Ü
Proving to be a huge step in all of their musical careers, this track is a showstopping collab that will probably be one of the best either artist will ever do. It was the perfect way to turn Justin’s musical sound around, introducing him back into the spotlight with the best EDM track at a time where EDM was everywhere. It also stood as an excellent blueprint for the new sound of pop, and Justin was right there pioneering it all. The hit has gone on to win 5 awards, including a Grammy, been ranked at number 1 on two Best Songs of 2015 lists (and made appearances on nine others), led the Dance/Electronic chart, gained over 1 billion views on YouTube for the music video and spent 45 weeks in the top 10 of Billboard Hot 100.
‘Stuck With You’ – Justin Bieber & Ariana Grande
Released smack in the middle of 2020, ‘Stuck With You’ was the lockdown collab we didn’t know we absolutely needed. From the adorable music video to Justin and Ari’s *blessed* harmonies, this tune got us through the loooong year. Fun fact, ‘Stuck With You’ is actually Justin and Ari’s second collab together after Ari remixed Justin’s ‘What Do You Mean?’ way back in 2015!
‘Monster’ – Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber
I think we can all admit that ‘Monster’ is one helluva tune! The way Justin fully went from “Who is Shawn Mendes?” to an entire collaboration with the fellow Canadian megastar stands as one of 2020’s (few) iconic moments. Throwing the pair into the deep waters of introspection, ‘Monster’ earnestly tackles life’s pressures and it’s honestly one of Justin’s most powerful tracks.
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