Missy Elliott and H.E.R. joined forces for the Super Bowl LIV Pepsi Zero Sugar commercial, which highlights the brand's new matte black can. The duo reworked the classic Rolling Stones song "Paint It Black" for the spot, complete with new lyrics, searing guitar licks from H.E.R. and a vocal performance from Elliott. Timbaland also contributed drums to the track.
"Working on the Pepsi Zero Sugar campaign with H.E.R. has been amazing, she's an incredibly dynamic talent," Elliott said in a statement. "Seeing her energy in the studio and on set was refreshing and I am excited to have a fellow bada— woman by my side throughout this collaboration."
Elliott later told PEOPLE she was excited to work with the up-and-coming "Hard Place" singer, who already has two Grammy wins on her resume.
"When Pepsi reached out, I didn't know who I was going to be doing it with," Elliott told PEOPLE. "Then they said, 'H.E.R.' so I'm most definitely honored because I at least talked to her a few years ago on Twitter."
For H.E.R., it's a chance to bring her talents to one of the biggest audiences she's ever had. Working with Elliott makes the opportunity even sweeter.
"I definitely fangirled when she tweeted me before we even met," H.E.R., whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, told PEOPLE. "I was going crazy. I was like, ‘Yo, Missy Elliott tweeted me. She's a fan. She's listening to my music.'"
Elliott said one of her friends introduced her to H.E.R.'s music and instantly fell in love with her work. They finally met at a Janet Jackson tribute in Atlanta.
"We spoke then and said how we needed to get together to do something," Elliott explained. "Then Pepsi said, 'Hey, we're doing a Pepsi Zero Sugar commercial and we want you to be a part of it, with H.E.R.' and then I mentioned having Timbaland come in to do the beat."
"That was the icing on the cake," Elliott continued. "You got three masterminds coming together. It was amazing just being in the studios together. She plays the guitar, and she’s a musician. Not someone who’s just an artist, but a musician. It's amazing to me."
H.E.R. has only released two albums, her self-titled debut and I Used to Know Her, both of which earned Grammy Album of the Year nominations. In 2019, she won Best R&B Performance for "Best Part" with Daniel Caesar and Best R&B Album. Her single "Hard Place" was nominated for Record and Song of the Year this year.
Elliott is a five-time Grammy winner who performed at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show with Katy Perry. Last year, she collaborated with Lizzo on the single "Tempo," which was featured on Lizzo's Cuz I Love You.0comments
The Super Bowl airs Sunday, Feb. 2 on FOX.
Photo credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images