Okay, I admit I stole the title, but I am actually wondering about this.
Within the last 5-10 years, it seems that a huge number of songs are credited to Artist A “featuring” Artist B. Glancing at the Billboard Hot 100 from 2011, I noticed it looks like for every 10 songs, about 3 of them were “featuring” someone. And it seems to be happening in several different genres.
So, as someone who isn’t really knowledgeable about current music, I’m just curious about this. Is it just a blatant marketing attempt? Maybe the music companies are hoping that Artist B’s fans will all buy the song and then decide to give the rest of Artist A’s stuff a listen.
Or maybe this has always been going on and the artists weren’t always credited? “Money for Nothing” was credited only to the Dire Straits, despite Sting singing on it too, and I think “Somebody’s Watching Me” was only credited to Rockwell. I mean, everyone knew that Michael Jackson was singing on it, but I don’t remember seeing it as “Rockwell featuring Michael Jackson.” So maybe the only difference is that both artists are now listed in the charts/videos/track information.