Eight of Kylie’s musical collaborations

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Eight of Kylie’s musical collaborations

Kylie Minogue songs
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

She’s hugely influential in both music and fashion, having shifted the landscape consistently since the late 80s.

Kylie Minogue is Australia’s golden girl, and everyone’s has had a few Kylie Minogue songs in their head at one point or another. Having blazed the way for superstars who began on Neighbours, Minogue went on to become the highest-selling female Australian artists of all time, having sold 80 million records worldwide.

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

She had huge success throughout the 90s, but it wasn’t to stop there. 2000’s album Light Years had smash hit singles “Spinning Around” and “On a Night Like This”, before her 2001 album Fever featured one of the highest-selling singles of the 2000s, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”. Having starred in films like Moulin Rouge!, Holy Motors and San Andreas, she’s a hugely influential persona , and it’s no wonder that Kylie Minogue songs are responsible for some very famous collaborations, a who’s who of music’s biggest wanting to work with her. Having grown up in the 80s, her own influences span from Madonna and Olivia Newton-John to Prince and Adam + The Ants, having now influenced generations of performers. Let’s dive into some of the best musical collaborations with our own “Princess of Pop”.

“Where The Wild Roses Grow” with Nick Cave

Nick Cave is an Australian artist of huge global fame, or maybe notoriety. Having begun his musical career as frontman for The Boys Next Door who became The Birthday Party, Nick Cave draws influence from blues, Americana and post-punk, as well as an obsession with the Old Testament, informing his lyrics that often speak to battles between good and evil.

“Where The Wild Roses Grow” is a single by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, from 1996’s album Murder Ballads, and the song is just that. Kylie and Cave trade off lines, singing of a woman meeting a man to her eventual demise at his hands. Lyrically, the character portrayed by Minogue in the lyrics is established in the past tense “But my name was Elisa Day”. The song was co-produced by Tony Cohen and Victor Van Vugt.

“Christmas Wrapping” with Iggy Pop

Kylie’s own album, Kylie Christmas in 2015 featured a list of musical collaborations, one of the more interesting ones being with Iggy Pop. The song begins for a few bars sounding very typical of a Christmas song, before punky, punchy guitars roll in. Kylie’s “Christmas Wrapping” is a cover of The Waitresses from 1982.

The verse begins and this reimagined cover is one of the classic Kylie Minogue songs, it’s upbeat and cheeky, and Iggy’s iconic, resonant vocal arrives just in time. Bass players rejoice, the low end on this song is crazy. It’s consistent, funky and present in the mix, much like the original.

“Kids” with Robbie Williams

This song was a hit, and remains one of the bigger Kylie Minogue songs. 2000’s “Kids” by Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams had Robbie’s falsetto on show, reaching Number 2 on the charts and now being certified Gold in Australia.

This song has a few versions, some of Williams’ more crude lyrics being removed for radio play, as well as the version that appeared on Kylie’s album Light Years. It has since been re-arranged and re-released by the duo for Robbie’s 2022 album compilation album, XXV.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with Frank Sinatra

Another cut from Kylie Christmas is this hit from Kylie and the late Frank Sinatra. Sinatra passed in 1998, so the single was produced posthumously, using vocals from Sinatra’s version of the song, the song itself being originally recorded in a radio performance in the mid-1930s by Harry Reser, though he didn’t write the song.

In classic big-band style, Kylie is relaxed, while Sinatra’s laid-back croonin’ offsets her pop-style vocal. Muted and wah-wah style horns are on show here.

“Monkey Man” with The Wiggles

2009 saw Kylie become an honorary pink Wiggle. This one is from the album Go Bananas!, the lyrics of “Monkey Man” are very open to interpretation, and frankly we can’t really figure out what the song is actually about; he’s hungry for bananas, he rides a white horse and he’s a big monkey.

Lyrical concepts aside, the huge success of the single donated profits to UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) Australia, of which Kylie and The Wiggles are ambassadors for.

“Real Groove” with Dua Lipa

“Real Groove” really sees Kylie return to her roots, having obvious influence from Kylie’s early songs like “Loco-Motion”and “I Should Be So Lucky”. Dua Lipa and Kylie Minogue both straddle disco, funk and pop in their own music, and their collaboration is no different.

The single is a remix of the song from 2020’s Disco, which was recorded mostly at Kylie’s home studio, at the time in the UK, due to the COVID pandemic.

“Really Don’t Like U” with Tove Lo

Tove Lo is a Swedish pop-artist, bringing darker elements to her music, and “Really Don’t Like U” is a collab with Kylie that uses her upbeat, shining vocals to offset Tove Lo’s own emotive vocal style.

“Really Don’t Like U” is filled with paddy synths, trappy hats and a lyric speaking to the feeling of disliking someone you’re envious of, a concept we can all relate to. The single is from Tove Lo’s album Sunshine Kitty, Lo having a growing list of collaborations with some of the biggest stars on the planet, bolstered by her own superstar level of fame.

“Black and White” with Garibay and Shaggy

The Kylie and Garibay EP is also known as Black and White (because of the black and white photo of Kylie on its cover), was a largely experimental collaboration between Kylie and Garibay. Kylie left her management company Roc Nation, and the three-track was released as a surprise by record company Parlophone and Minogue’s own production company, Kimberly Limited.

The single “Black and White” features Shaggy, once famously caught on the counter (it wasn’t him). There’s pop elements to the track and EP as a whole, but Kylie has more freedom as is doing her own thing. Shaggy chimes in with ad libs here and there, as well as  a verse of his own, while Garibay’s own production style is on show.

Keep listening and watching here.