Metallica promised fans a unique collaboration for their upcoming Grammy Awards performance, and they weren’t kidding. The hard rockers have now confirmed they will team up with Lady Gaga for a duet at this year’s music awards ceremony, according to Rolling Stone.
Metallica, whose song “Hardwired” is nominated for Best Rock Song this year, previously teased the band’s high-profile Grammys gig, promising fans they have “something very unique and special planned for this celebratory night.” It doesn’t get any more unique than Metallica colliding with Gaga. The big question is, whose song will they duet?
Metallica are no strangers to collaborations. In fact, for the band’s last Grammy Awards performance in 2014, they teamed up with famed Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang for a blistering rendition of their 1980s MTV classic “One.” Metallica also recently reunited with Lang Lang during a pit stop in Beijing during their WorldWired Tour.
While a performance with a concert pianist seems out of Metallica’s genre, James Hetfield and company have had plenty of other unusual matchups. In 2011, Metallica worked with Velvet Underground veteran Lou Reed on a full-length concept album which dropped just two years before the music legend’s death. The album was titled Lulu, and it featured heavy metal instrumentals by Metallica against several spoken word pieces by Reed. The unlikely collaborators had previously played together in 2009 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concert, spawning the idea for the record.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said Metallica meshed with Reed in a unique way.
“Lulu is almost like two languages,” Ulrich told Rolling Stone. “We have m-e-t-a-l in our name. But we can go f***ing anywhere and do anything.”
Indeed they can. In 2016, the website Live for Music posted video of Metallica jamming with another unlikely suspect – this time Neil Young — at the Bridge School Benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Metallica closed out their set at the famed show with the Buffalo Springfield classic “Mr. Soul,” and Young joined in for the ride.
And then there was the Ray Davies collaboration. In 2010, Metallica turned up on The Kinks alum’s collaborative effort, See My Friends. Metallica performed The Kinks classic “You Really Got Me” with Davies. A few months earlier, the band had also performed live with Davies at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert in New York, where they had met the rock legend for the first time.
Metallica has left no genre unturned. In perhaps the band’s most bizarre recording studio meeting, in 2002 the rockers met up with rapper Ja Rule and producer Swizz Beatz for the single “We Did It Again.” Metallica vocalist James Hetfield was noticeably missing from the track, as he was reportedly in rehab when the mix was recorded. But the hard rocking instrumentals are clearly all Metallica.
And in another odd (but totally entertaining) matchup, in 2016 Metallica met up with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots on Fallon’s late-night show to perform a “classroom” version of their 1991 hit “Enter Sandman.” The rockers were accompanied by kazoos, toy drums, and James Hetfield tooting his own toy horn.
While there’s no word on what Metallica has planned with Lady Gaga at this year’s Grammys, metal heads and little monsters alike should be happy with the performance. In addition to the Metallica and Gaga pairing, the 2017 Grammy Awards will feature Alicia Keys with country singer Maren Morris, and the Weeknd alongside Daft Punk.
You can see Metallica’s performance at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 12, on CBS.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS]