The Female Singer Lemmy Kilmister Always Wished To Work With

Musical collaborations, when they occur, have the power to create magic, combining diverse styles and talents into a unique whole. However, not all envisioned partnerships come to fruition, often due to logistical, contractual, or creative differences. History is replete with examples of such dream duets and supergroup formations that remained unrealized. One such missed opportunity occurred between the late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister and Janet Jackson.

In his long-term career, Kilmister was not unfamiliar with collaborating with female artists. Notably, he worked with British rock band Girlschool, producing their hit EP ‘St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’ and performing with them as Headgirl. Additionally, he partnered with Wendy O. Williams, the frontwoman of Plasmatics, for the Motörhead and Plasmatics joint single ‘Stand By Your Man.’

These partnerships showcased the late frontman’s respect for and willingness to work with talented women in the music industry. Lemmy’s vision for collaborations, however, extended beyond the realms of rock and punk. One such unconventional pairing he desired was with Janet Jackson, a dominating figure in the R&B and hip-hop world.

Jackson’s 1989 album ‘Rhythm Nation,’ despite its controversial subject matter, is lauded as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album deviated from the singer’s signature dance-pop style, particularly the track ‘Black Cat.’ This arena-rock anthem, a sharp commentary against substance abuse and gang violence, struck a chord with Kilmister.

He admired the track and aspired to record a special version of the song with Jackson. According to him, the video for the track highlighted Janet’s enjoyment of the rock genre, which resonated with his own love for the song. Unfortunately, Sony, Jackson’s record label at the time, did not permit this collaboration.

Here is what Lemmy said about his desire to team up with Jackson during a 2003 interview with Glenn Milligan and Rob Campbell:

“I wanted to do a version of ‘Black Cat’ with her, but Sony wouldn’t let me. You could tell from the video that she was having a good time, that this loud rock music is what she really wanted to be doing. I love that f*ckin’ song. Great f*ckin’ song that, but the record company wouldn’t let it be possible.”

Despite this setback, Kilmister remained hopeful about the potential duet and even planned to include it in his solo album, ‘Lemmy & Friends.’ However, this project, much like the dream collaboration with Jackson, did not materialize. We can’t help but wonder what the potential blending of Lemmy’s gritty rock vocals with Janet’s smooth R&B tones would be like.