15 Greatest Romantic Duets
via Warner Music Nashville / YouTube
Singing is something you want to do when you’re in love, and it’s even better if you can sing it together. These duets are ideal for a couple or for friends and family who want to celebrate love and wonderful music, whether it’s for a wedding, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or simply for fun at karaoke. Throughout history, one of music’s central motifs has been love. Nearly all songwriters and artists have at some point used love songs to express themselves because of their universality and endurance. Leonard Cohen once remarked, “Love never dies,” despite humans turning old and gray. Below are the 15 greatest romantic duets in case there’s a need for you to sing along with some “silly love songs” with your partner.
Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford – “Close My Eyes Forever” (1988)
Ozzy Osbourne had a hazy time in the 1980s, and one of his biggest successes came from a song he didn’t particularly want to be associated with. “Close My Eyes Forever” found a home near the conclusion of former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford’s 1988 album Lita, and the pairing worked well.
Barbra Streisand Ft. Barry Gibb – “Guilty” (1980)
It may come as no surprise that “Guilty” doesn’t sound at all like a Barbra Streisand record. This Top 5 blockbuster, which won a Grammy, serves as further evidence that the Bee Gees’ work back then was always successful.
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong” (1982)
No movie scene in 1982 was more passionate than Richard Gere escorting Debra Winger away in his arms at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman. “Up Where We Belong,” a soaring song performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, added even more poignancy to the iconic tableau.
Mike Reno and Ann Wilson – “Almost Paradise” (1984)
Reno and Wilson produced one of their respective careers’ biggest singles using a gospel-infused piano demo by Eric Carmen, who also co-wrote the song with Dean Pitchford.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Ft. Stevie Nicks – “Insider” (1981)
The fact that Petty and Nicks’s joint work seems so personal is evidence of their affinity. The outcome is one of the finest love ballads from the 1980s, which Petty acknowledged was written with Nicks’ voice in mind.
Captain & Tennille – “Do That to Me One More Time” (1979)
Kissing is what’s being discussed in the song “Do That to Me One More Time.” It was discovered in later years that Tennille used her music to vent her feelings over her marriage to Daryl “Captain” Dragon.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – “You’re the One That I Want” (1978)
The makers of the 1978 film adaptation Grease wanted a song that sounded more modern, so they enlisted longstanding Olivia Newton-John colleague John Farrar to write this catchy duet. With 15 million copies sold globally, it was a natural match and a global hit.
Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston – “It Takes Two” (1966)
The producers of “It Takes Two” were hoping that by partnering Marvin Gaye with female singer Kim Weston, they might coax Gaye away from his retro-leaning devotion to the Great American Songbook and onto the charts. It takes two then became Gaye’s first song to rise high in the U.K. charts.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – “Stick With Me Baby” (2007)
Some duet partners have voices that blend together as if they were always intended to be together. enjoy the harmonies on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ joint albums Raising Sand (2007) and Raise the Roof (2021), which ooze sweetness and compassion.
Sonny & Cher – “I Got You Babe” (1965)
Oboe’s insistence from the choir lends a touch of elegance and agelessness. “I Got You, Babe,” the duo’s debut record, spent three weeks at the top of the charts in July 1965. It then developed into one of the longest-lasting love ballads in music history.
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967)
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell propelled this song to the Billboard Top 20, laying the groundwork for Diana Ross to emulate when the Supremes updated “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with the Temptations a year later.
Elton John and Kiki Dee – “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (1976)
Elton John and Kiki Dee collaborated on the vocals for “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” as if they’re lovers living thousands of miles away apart.
Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell – “Our House” (2021)
On the 1970 album Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Nash penned a song titled “Our House” about their happy home life before their separation. Nash and Mitchell participated in a private demo that was included in the album’s 50th-anniversary edition in 2021.
Stevie Nicks and Don Henley – “Leather and Lace” (1981)
The coworkers and ex-lovers tell a story of two troubled lovers who are trying to find common ground, one cynical and the other sympathetic. Nicks and Henley’s voices, which are mournful and alluring on their own but genuinely hypnotic when they combine in the song’s heartbreaking chorus, are supported by a beautiful acoustic guitar arrangement.
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – “Islands in the Stream” (1982)
This early 1980s musical all-star jam is one of the most upbeat tunes ever made. The Bee Gees’ “Islands in the Stream,” which was co-produced by Barry Gibb and features vocals from both Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, never ceases to surprise and delight.