In Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Lady Catherine De Burgh states that “There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself.” Replace “music” with “duets” and the sentence could be uttered by no other than Coldplay’s Chris Martin. After a 20-year career, Coldplay have had enough guests up on stage, combined with Martin’s own cameos, to fill an entire concert setlist twice over. The nicest man in rock loves nothing more than sharing the limelight with others, whether they’re industry giants like Kylie Minogue, or his children, Apple and Moses. Here’s the proof:
Who: Gwyneth PaltrowWhen: Sometime in 2003Where: A friend’s weddingWhat happened: On the outer fringes of YouTube exists a shaky recording of a Paltrow and Martin duet at a friend’s wedding. They performed the song ‘Cruisin’’, taken from the Bruce Paltrow directed film Duets (2000). The pair performed the same track in March 2014, less than three weeks before their “conscious uncoupling”, at a benefit for their children’s school.
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Who: Richard AshcroftWhen: 2 July 2005Where: Live 8What happened:In 2005, Coldplay performed the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, and invited The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft, introduced by Chris Martin as the “best singer in the world”, to join them onstage for ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, “the best song ever written”. The guest slot was such a success that Ashcroft was invited on Coldplay’s 2006 Twisted Logic tour as the band’s support act.
Who: Ricky GervaisWhen: 5 October 2006Where: ‘Extras’, the set of ‘When The Whistle Blows’What happened:“It’s only Chris Martin from Coldplay!” Immortal words uttered by the fictional Andy Millman, played by comedian Ricky Gervais. The Martin cameo includes a feeling performance of ‘Fix You’, thwarted by the nasal twang of the curly haired sitcom character. Martin portrayed himself as an egotistical self-promoter, wearing a Coldplay merch tee.
Who: Shane WarneWhen: March 2009Where: Sydney stretch of the Vida La Vida tourWhat happened: A close friend of Chris Martin, the former cricketer Shane Warne joined the band to add some maracas to the track ‘Green Eyes’. Martin announced Warne as “probably the greatest cricket player of all time, probably not the greatest percussionist, but anyway.”
Who: John FarnhamWhen: 14th March 2009Where: Sound Relief in SydneyWhat happened: Shane Warne wasn’t Martin’s only guest on the Australian Vida La Vida tour. The Australian pop musician John Farnham triggered an audience-wide clap along for the anthemic classic ‘You’re The Voice’ as the penultimate track of the set. Before exiting the stage, Farnham called the band “an incredible bunch of fellas”.
Who: Simon PeggWhen: 15 April 2011Where: A London pubWhat happened: At the wake of two of their friends who died within a week of one another, Pegg and Martin performed at The Boogaloo in Highgate, thought to be the inspiration behind The Winchester in the Pegg film Shaun Of The Dead. The pair performed ‘Green Eyes’, with Pegg on harmonica. Just 60 people were in attendance.
One of the attendees, photographer Nick Pickles, said “the evening felt less like a gig and more like a few friends messing around on guitars at a house party.”
Pegg and Martin were also guest co-hosts on Zane Lowe’s show on BBC Radio 1 in 2007.
Who: Rihanna and Jay-ZWhen: 9th September 2012Where: Paralypics closing ceremony, LondonWhat happened: Arguably one of Coldplay’s most legendary concerts to-date, the Paralympics closing ceremony saw the band perform 15 tracks to an 80,000 strong crowd. They were accompanied by Rihanna, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, who entered the arena on the back of a ship model, and performed their collaborative track ‘Princess of China’ for the crowd. The band was joined by Rihanna again for ‘Run This Town’ and a re-worked ‘Paradise’, together with Jay-Z.
Who: Jay-ZWhen: 31 December 2012Where: The Coldplay ‘Holiday Party’ on New Year’s EveWhat happened: At the Coldplay ‘Holiday Party’ on New Year’s Eve 2012/2013, the band were joined onstage by Gwyneth Paltrow (then married to Chris Martin), Martin’s daughter Apple, Apple’s friend, and Jay-Z, on the track ‘Lost+’ from the ‘Prospekt’s March EP’. The band played the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, home of the Brooklyn Nets, the basketball team owned by Jay-Z. Clearly feeling the New Year’s spirit, the rapper spent £250,000 on bar drinks over the course of the evening.
Who: Kylie MinogueWhen: 19 June 2014Where: Enmore Theatre, SydneyWhat happened: Coldplay celebrated a concert in Sydney in style with a guest performance by Kylie Minogue, the most iconic Australian musician of all time. Martin and Minogue dueted on ‘Can’t Get Your Outta My Head’ at their show at the Enmore Theatre in Newtown, before playing the Minogue and Nick Cave track ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’. After the show, Kylie tweeted Coldplay to say “thank you for the magic”:
Thank you for the magic
coldplay. ?Such an honour to be onstage with you tonight!! ? pic.twitter.com/lePK3Sz3zI
— Kylie Minogue (
kylieminogue) June 19, 2014
And they of course returned the compliment:
Kylie just took the roof off the enmore: where the wild roses grow x can't get you out of my head. Pop royalty in the house. PH
— Coldplay?☀️ (
coldplay) June 19, 2014
Who: U2When: 1 December 2014Where: World AIDS Day (RED) Benefit, New YorkWhat happened: Chris Martin and Bruce Springsteen stepped into Bono’s shoes to perform on his behalf following his bike injury in Central Park. The Coldplay singer wore a T-shirt with the slogan “substitute”.
Who: Garrett HedlundWhen: 15 December 2014Where: Brunch at the Fig and Olive, LAWhat happened: At a promotional brunch for the Angelina Jolie film ‘Unbroken’, starring Garrett Hedlund, the Coldplay frontman performed ‘Vida La Vida’ and ‘Miracles’, a song he wrote for the movie. He joked with the audience about leaving a “tip jar” at the front, suggesting attendees give “about $5” per song, so they could afford to make a sequel.
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He was then joined onstage by Hedlund to perform the seasonal Irving Berlin tune, ‘White Christmas’. After Martin had sung the second verse, Hedlund said that Martin’s rendition “was perfect”.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiRaqZsahd0
Who: BeckWhen: 8 February 2015Where: Grammy AwardsWhat happened: The pair performed ‘Heart Is A Drum’ from the album ‘Morning Phase’, which won Album of the Year at the awards ceremony that night.
Who: Ed SheeranWhen: 25 September 2015Where: Gillette Stadium BostonWhat happened: Martin made a guest appearance of his own when he appeared onstage at Ed Sheeran’s show in Boston to duet with the singer on ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Martin’s own song, ‘Yellow’. Sheeran prefaced the Martin appearance by describing how Coldplay had influenced him over the course of his childhood and career. Sheeran thanked Martin for guesting, calling the performance “epic”: