The Champion of Duets Revealed!!!
I was on my some-what daily walking ritual, listening to my music and enjoying God’s beautiful creations all around me, when one of my favorite songs came on from my playlist. It was a duet recorded by Patty Smyth and Don Henley. Two iconic voices blended together in a truly great ballad. This got me wondering if others like songs like this as much as I?
As a lover of good music, from any genre, I have noticed over the years that I have a tendency to love duets…. it’s like getting two for the price of one😊! Duets seem to have their own flavor of success no matter how odd the paring; David Bowie singing with Bing Crosby comes to mind!?!? Even my least favorite artists have recorded some great duets, but in an effort to keep my commitment to never say anything disparaging about anyone, I won’t reveal who these “least favorite” folks are.
My research of the greatest duets returned a plethora of different answers and genres. Of course, the rating of greatest depends upon the criteria; most sold…best artistic …best lyrics…best music…most popular…most award winning?
So, I’ve put together my own review of the best all-time duet songs and performers:
Top Duet Performer: We crown the “Queen” of Country…AND…Duets; Dolly Parton. While Tony Bennett, Elton John, and Barbara Streisand are certainly stars who have done their share of successful duets, Dolly is crowned the king, or more appropriately, the Queen, in my book.
Dolly has recorded duets across nearly every genre with a plethora of stars such as; Julio Iglesias, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Ricky Van Shelton, and Zach Williams.
Secular music fans will of course site the hit “Islands in the Stream,” with fellow Country Music superstar Kenny Rogers as her biggest duet hit. But the Christian Music fans will identify more closely with the duet “There Was Jesus,” sung with Christian star Zach Williams, as her best. For you crossover fans, although saying Brad Paisley, a devote Christian, is a crossover star, is questionable, many from both Christian and secular music will declare “When I get where I’m Goin,” as her best duet with the afore mentioned country star Brad Paisley.
There are many other duets where Dolly’s distinctive voice, charm, and personality just bubble through the music. Songs like her and Willie Nelson’s rendition of the Ray Stevens classic “Everything’s Beautiful.” As well as a follow-on hit of her original chart topper “I Will Always Love You,” where she performed her hit single along with fellow star Vince Gill, who himself has been a bit of a crossover star starting in country music, dabbling in Christian music with wife Amy Grant, and now performing with the Eagles.
Certainly, Dolly has had her own solo success, in music and in movies. With a career spanning over fifty years, Parton has been described as a "country music legend" and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Her bigger than life personality, and her Christian faith, have made her one of the hottest stars going today. While her duets are certainly favorites of mine, one can’t forget her great heart and care for others.
Since the mid-1980s, Dolly has supported well over one hundred charitable efforts, particularly in the area of literacy, primarily through her Dollywood Foundation. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a part of the Dollywood Foundation, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten. Currently, over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to almost 850,000 children each month across the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. In 2018, Parton was honored by the Library of Congress on account of the "charity sending out its 100 millionth book".
We crown Dolly the Queen of Duets – God Bless you Dolly for your music, your faith, and your Philanthropy!!!
Here are my personal top 20 Duet Songs:
1. There was Jesus; Zach Williams and Dolly Parton
2. When I get where I’m Goin; Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton
3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough; Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
4. Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough; Patty Smyth and Don Henley
5. Does He Love You; Reba McEntire and Linda Davis
6. Stop Draggin My Heart Around; Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks
7. Under Pressure; Queen and David Bowie
8. Summer Nights; Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta
9. Islands in the Stream; Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
10. The Time of My Life; Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley
11. Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys; Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
12. Dancin in the Street (remake); David Bowie and Mick Jagger
13. Leather and Lace; Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
14. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers; Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond
15. Moves Like Jagger; Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera
16. Almost Paradise; Ann Wilson and Mike Reno
17. Easy Lover; Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
18. When Love Comes to Town; B.B. King and U2
19. Wild Night; Me’Shell Hdegeocello and John Mellencamp
20. Say Say Say; Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
*** Disclaimer – I don’t count groups that are established duets like, Sonny and Cher, The Righteous Brothers, and the Everly Brothers.