NEW 102.7's 19 Best Pop Duos of All Time

February 14, 2020
Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)

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"Duets are not about the individual skill, but about the relationship between the two players."— Daisy Goodwin, writer and television producer

By Allen Foster

Nowhere is it more evident that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts than in a musical duo. Each artist brings not only a performance, but also a narrative to the song, which allows it to exist in its own world and become larger than life. The relationship, the give and take, and the lyrical situation all combine to create a transcendent moment that is, as Natalie and Nat King Cole showed us, "Unforgettable." Following is a list of the best pop duos or duets of all time.

See Also: Our Favorite Love Songs: NEW 102.7 DJ Get All Sappy for Valentine's Day

 

Mike Adam's Picks:

Matt & Kim

They're from Brooklyn. Thee end. Okay, kidding... I'll elaborate. These two are six albums deep, have blended pop with dance and rock (and in a way that doesn't sound like crap), and back in '09 for the music video for "Lessons Learned", they got naked in Times Square. So you know how terrified you are of Times Square? Now picture being naked in the middle of it. Yup. They get serious props for surviving something like that.

 

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

These two successfully crossed over from hip-hop into pop... that's just how POPular their music became. Oh, and they have a couple of GRAMMYs and some of the most recognizable, iconic songs of all time! 

 

Daft Punk

These guys were rockin' helmets before super-producer Marshmello was even a thought in his marshmallow mommy and daddy's mind. They've sold MILLIONS of albums worldwide, and have been active in the biz since the early nineties. Their resume puts them in a league of their own.

 

Christine Richie's Picks:

P!nk & Nate Ruess - "Just Give Me a Reason"

This song knocks me out. First you're hit with their vocal power and then the emotion and lyrics, it’s perfection.

 

Taylor Swift & Zayn - "I Don’t Live Forever"

Two huge artists and one sexy movie equals this smash. Plus, add in the fact that Taylor dated Harry Styles and was now doing a song with Zayn, heads were exploding over this team up. It worked though, it’s a great song.

 

Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - "Lucky"

The sentiment of this song is made even sweeter by the way their voices compliment each other. I think everyone knows someone who had this as their wedding song.

 

AND here are a few more amazing duos that can't be overlooked...

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper - "Shallow"

Heart-wrenching is an understatement. Bradley Cooper surprised everyone with his sublime vocals, which provided an arresting and soulful foundation for Lady Gaga's remarkable performance. "Shallow" might still be a new song, but it's already reached the elevated status of being labeled a standard.

 

Pitbull and Ke$ha - "Timber"

Pitbull and Ke$ha — back when she was still "Key-dollar sign-ha" — struck infectious gold with a mighty earworm called "Timber." It was a perfect storm with Pitbull's machismo rap and Ke$ha's soaring vocal hook combining to make the song a global hit. In 2013, the brassy track reached No. 1 in countries as diverse as Israel, Sweden, Denmark, the US, and others.

 

Beyoncé and Jay-Z - "Crazy in Love"

In 2003, Beyoncé and Jay-Z showed the world what pop music royalty could do when joining forces. The upbeat, anthemic "Crazy in Love" from Beyoncé's debut solo studio album “Dangerously in Love” hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 before the song was even released in stores. It went on to top several charts in the US and was a Top 10 hit in most of the rest of the world.

 

Captain & Tennille - "Do That to Me One More Time"

Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille proved each artist doesn't need to have a microphone and be trading lines to create musical chemistry. Sometimes all it takes is a connection that is expressed jointly through song. The Captain & Tennille had many hits, but "Do That to Me One More Time" is the one that was responsible for the most cold showers.

 

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes - "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life"

Whenever a song is attached to a movie, it just makes it even more iconic. Even better if the movie becomes an enduring favorite. Righteous Brother, Bill Medley, and chart-topping vocalist Jennifer Warnes delivered a rousing performance, making this “Dirty Dancing” ditty a timeless classic.

 

Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes - "Almost Is Never Enough"

On its own, Ariana Grande's performance is cripplingly beautiful, but when you contrast her angelic highs with Nathan Sykes' exquisite pop power, the song becomes an emotional masterpiece. It's hard to remember to breathe when listening to these two talents double-team the melody.

 

David Guetta and Sia - "Titanium"

At one point, French DJ David Guetta had Mary J. Blige in mind for "Titanium." However, he decided Sia's vocals were so spectacular that he would keep her performance on the track. In 2011, David reportedly released the single without Sia's knowledge. Although it initially caused a little friction between the pair, the anthemic hit proved to be the best thing that could happen not only for Sia's career, but also for music fans around the world.

 

Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran - "Everything Has Changed"

Chart-wise, "Everything Has Changed" might not have reached its full potential, but that doesn't make this track any less mind-blowing. Two of the biggest names in the entertainment world reportedly joined forces in Taylor Swift's own backyard to write a song about how everything changes when someone new enters your life. Just the story behind the song is enough to make it noteworthy.

 

Sonny & Cher  - "I Got You Babe"

The oldest and arguably the most endearing and genuine song on this list was written by Sonny Bono as a heartfelt sentiment and a possible response to Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe." Sonny & Cher's No. 1 single helped define the music of a generation and, over the years, the song has been covered by numerous other artists and duos including David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull.

 

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - "You're The One That I Want"

It's impossible to have a list of the all-time best pop duos and not include John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's version of "You're The One That I Want" from “Grease.” The song's impact is intensified not only by the star power of the iconic duo, but also by the unforgettable scene it accompanies in the film, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time.