10 Best Country Artist DuetsPublished on January 14, 2016.
As of recently, country music has begun to find a place among mainstream music with a larger fan base and growing audience. Undeniably, each artist in the genre is uniquely talented in their own way, but sometimes when two of our favorite artists come together they become even better. Some of the best songs in country music are sung as a duet with another artist, and in some cases, with their significant other! It’s impossible to name off every successful country duet in the history of the genre, but we’ve done our best to name some fan favorites. Whether these two artists have collaborated to enhance a special meaning behind a song or to simply to pump up the sound and create a powerful anthem, the following songs are the product of some of country music’s best duets.
10. Clint Black – When I Said I Do ft. Lisa Hartman
Clint Black’s 1999 hit song, “When I Said I Do” is sung with his beautiful wife, Lisa Hartman. It’s not their only song as a duet, they also pair up for the single “You Still Get to Me.” But their collaboration on “When I Said I Do” is the sweetest thing and puts so much more meaning behind this love ballad that it gives us goosebumps. This country couple definitely give the rest of us some serious relationship goals! When asked about singing with his wife, Black told People magazine, “As soon as she opens her mouth and starts singing it does something to me. I know the wonderful person behind that voice so it becomes a great joy for me.”
9. Kid Rock – Picture ft. Sheryl Crow
This unexpected duo collaborated on the song “Picture” and, since it’s release in 2001, the song has become a country anthem that is recognized across the board. When asked about how it all came to be, Kid Rock told MTV in an interview, “[Sheryl and I] hooked up one year at the Grammy’s and talked…I had the idea for the song, and she came to Detroit, and we sat down together and bounced ideas off of each other. We wrote and recorded the song in a day and had fun hanging out for the next two days.” The song is about heartbreak and love lost when a photo becomes a painful reminder of love lost. The album sold more than 1.1 million copies…not too bad for a days work!
8. Keith Urban – We Were Us ft. Miranda Lambert
Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert are huge names in country music and both singers take extremely different avenues when approaching their music, which is why this pairing is particularly unique. Miranda, especially with her newest album Platinum, tends to go with a more folk country twang, while Keith turns out a lot of pop-country tunes. But when these two came together and Keith introduced Lambert into his world of country-pop it worked really well. Miranda’s voice lends beautifully to this upbeat duet and the two look adorably friendly singing together. When asked about their unexpected collaboration, Keith said, “It’s not the kind of song Miranda would normally do, but her voice is the first one I heard in my head. I called her up and sent her the song and she loved it and came to the studio.” The song went on to win ACM Award for Vocal Event of the Year!
7. Chris Stapleton – Tennessee Whiskey ft. Justin Timberlake
Despite the fact that Justin Timberlake is clearly not a country artist, the collaboration between him and Chris Stapleton at the 2015 CMA’s swept audiences off their feet. The duet received a standing ovation at the end of their performance, created a media frenzy and even got a shout out from the country queen Miranda Lambert during her acceptance speech later that night. The two artists come from completely different worlds, but the amazing thing about music is that no matter what genre you belong to, it all comes from the same place. Since his performance at the CMA’s, Chris has been topping the charts and sweeping the award shows. We’ve even heard rumors that Timberlake might do some more country songs since he received such big praise for his duet with Stapleton. It’s safe to say we’d like to see more from these two!
6. Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter – You & Tequila/Wild Child
In 2011 Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter came together for their first duet, “You and Tequila,” a song about regret and getting over lost love. The two came together again in 2014 for a song that Chesney wrote with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne called “Wild Child,” which Kenny has said was influenced by all the women in his life. But who is Grace Potter? She’s a much less known star than Chesney as the front singer of the band Nocturnals. Chesney said after his first duet with Potter he wasn’t necessarily thinking of doing another one, despite their initial success, but when he finished writing “Wild Child” it was inevitable — the song fit her to a tee and he couldn’t deny how well their voices worked together. In an interview Chesney said, “It’s weird that they do. She grew up in Vermont and I grew up in East Tennessee and I never met Grace until we went into the studio to sing ‘You & Tequila’ together. We both just kind of looked at each other and went, ‘Where have you been all of our lives?'”
5. Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss – Whiskey Lullaby
Paisley’s “Whiskey Lullaby” is an emotionally haunting song about a couple that is torn apart by alcohol and infidelity. The intertwined voices of Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley on the track turn this simple song into a heartbreaking country ballad which was incredibly successful and went on to win CMA’s Award for Song of the Year. The song was written in the year 2000 by Bill Anderson and Jon Randall to reflect a particularly rough patch that Randall was going through at the time. When trying to sell the song, not many people were drawn to its dark lyrics. The song was originally put on hold by the Dixie Chicks who were interested in singing the song, but that was around the time their careers imploded pushing them into a hiatus. Brad then stumbled across the song and the rest is history!
4. Miranda Lambert – Somethin’ Bad ft. Carrie Underwood
These two women are the queens of country so it only makes sense the two collaborated on a song together. This song is a bada– anthem that just oozes Miranda’s country sass. We aren’t surprised Carrie does so well with it because this is the same woman who took a baseball bat to her boyfriends car in the music video, “Before He Cheats.” We must admit though it’s nice to see Miranda corrupt Carrie’s good girl image. This song is the ladies first ever duet together and they are a force to be reckoned with! The two took the stage to sing the song at the Billboard Music Awards, the CMT Music Awards and during Lambert’s set at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. The single is from Miranda’s Platinum album which has seen huge success since its release. “Somethin’ Bad” was at the top of the Billboard Hot Country songs chart and had a number of CMA Award nominations. In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Miranda Lambert said, “Somethin’ Bad came across and it just felt like the rock and roll edge that she and I have in some of our songs, put it all into perspective…I sent it to her and she said yes. It was that easy.”
3. Johnny Cash and June Carter – Jackson
Johnny Cash and June Carter are an iconic couple in country music, although Cash is infamous for his bad habits, he’s also recognized as one of the best country crooners with his distinctly unique drawl. When it’s paired with Carter’s twangy belle sound, it’s perfect. It helps the duo just know how to work an audience. Their undeniable chemistry on stage eventually blossomed into a loving marriage. Johnny Cash in country music is what Elvis Presley is to pop rock: a legend. The song “Jackson” was a huge success, and became became a Number Two hit and even won a prestigious Grammy award. It was originally recorded by the Kingston Trio in 1963, but the best known version came four years later when Cash and Carter sang it as a duet. The song (and couple) has since been featured in the blockbuster hit Walk the Line and The Help.
2. Kenny Rogers – Islands in the Stream ft. Dolly Parton
Now this is a musical partnership that just makes sense. The chemistry between Parton and Rogers was undeniable. Such a well rehearsed duo, each one compliments the other in terms of vocals and stage presence. They were made to perform together. Originally written for Marvin Gaye, the song was inspired by an Ernest Hemingway novel and supposed to have more of an R&B sound. When Kenny Rogers first sang the song as a solo it just didn’t feel right. At the time, Parton was recording in the same studio and Rogers sought her out to turn the song into a duet. From then on the 1983 duet “Islands in the Stream” was a huge smash hit on both country charts and pop charts winning too many awards to name. The song was the only country song to reach Number One on an all-genre Billboard 100 until the year 2000. Today, the song is recognized as an iconic duet and has been deemed CMT’s Number One greatest country duet of all time — that just says it all! Parton and Rogers have gone on to record numerous other successful duets together.
1. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are country music’s power couple who began a relationship after hitting the road together in 1996. These veteran artists dominate the music industry with their incredible voices, creative talent and long lasting marriage (the duo recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary). McGraw and Hill have countless duets together, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one because each and every song they have recorded together has been a huge success. When these two sing together their chemistry as a couple comes forward and it just puts so much more meaning behind each song. We only wish they could do it more often! Their first duet together was “It’s Your Love” in 1998. The song sat in the Number One spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and was a Top Ten pop single winning multiple awards, including four ACM awards. More recently, Faith was featured on one of McGraw’s biggest hits, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.” McGraw has even gone on to sing a duet with his eldest daughter, Gracie, on his newest single “Damn Country Music.”