The Top 10 Best Love Song Duets

Updated on November 28, 2019
Jane Lockhart profile image

Jane is a writer and singer with a special place in her heart for love stories and love songs.

Would these love songs make it onto your top ten list?
Would these love songs make it onto your top ten list? | Source

When you’re in love, you want to sing—and it’s even better when you can sing together. Whether it’s just for fun at karaoke or for an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or a wedding, these duets are perfect for a couple or for friends and family who want to celebrate love and great music.

I've compiled the greatest love song duets—ranging from pop to country to R&B—into a top ten list. I include a little information about each song and some of the lyrics, too. Don't forget to let me know your favorite love duets (maybe I'll have to change my list).

Best Love Song Duets

  1. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
  2. "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
  3. "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
  4. "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher
  5. "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  6. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee
  7. "We're Gonna Hold On" by George Jones and Tammy Wynette
  8. "Solid (As a Rock)" by Ashford & Simpson
  9. "In Spite of Ourselves" by John Prine and Iris DeMent
  10. "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson

1. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Album: Radio 1: 1967—Summer Of Love

Release Year: 1966

This Motown classic was actually written by Ashford & Simpson (#8 on our list)! Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell toured and recorded together throughout the late '60s, producing many hit duets, but this was their first and most infectious. This high-spirited song is buoyant and full of celebratory joy as singers pledge that nothing can keep them apart—from mountains to valleys to wind to rain, not even the natural world is more powerful than their love.

Listen baby, ain't no mountain high

Ain't no valley low, ain't no river wide enough baby

If you need me call me no matter where you are

No matter how far don't worry baby

Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry

You don't have to worry

'Cause baby there ain't no mountain high enough

Ain't no valley low enough

Ain't no river wide enough

To keep me from getting to you babe

— "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

2. "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

Album: Dolly Parton's Greatest Hits

Release Year: 1982

This upbeat country song from 1982 has a dance-y, almost disco flair—because, believe it or not, it was written by the Bee Gees! At first, Kenny Rogers didn't know if this would work as a country song, but Dolly Parton came in to save the day, and her unique sense of joy and rhythm influences the song. "Islands in the Stream" is great fun to sing or clap along with, and it's about the sense of delight and devotion when you've found an "island" in the unpredictable stream of life.

Islands in the stream

That is what we are

No one in between

How can we be wrong

Sail away with me

To another world

And we rely on each other, ah ha

From one lover to another, ah ha

— "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

3. "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

Album: To Love Again

Release Year: 1981

One of the most successful duets ever, Lionel Richie wrote this song for himself to perform with fellow Motown legend Diana Ross in 1981. It's cinematic and romantic, with piano and string flourishes, as well as lyrics about a love that will last forever. "Endless Love" also gives these two great talents a perfect showcase for their impressive ranges and styles.

You'll be the only one

'Cause no one can deny

This love I have inside

And I'll give it all to you

My love, my love, my love

My endless love

— "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

4. "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher

Album: Look at Us

Release Year: 1965

Another real-life couple, Sonny Bono and (now solo artist) Cher recorded pop albums and performed in a variety show for television together. This song, their biggest hit, is full of sunny '60s optimism—even though they're young and may not have it all figured out, they are at least sure of their love and that they'll be there for each other no matter what.

Then put your little hand in mine

There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb

Babe

I got you babe, I got you babe

— "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher

5. "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Album: A Star Is Born Movie Soundtrack

Release Year: 2018

Previous versions of the movie A Star Is Born featured songs by singer-actresses Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, and the 2018 remake showcases the talents of Lady Gaga. Winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song, "Shallow" is a modern version of a power ballad with shades of country, pop, and rock. Gaga belts out the feelings of her character, a singer-songwriter finding a special connection and falling in love with a country star.

I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in

I'll never meet the ground

Crash through the surface where they can't hurt us

We're far from the shallow now

— "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

6. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee

Album: Don't Go Breaking My Heart

Release Year: 1976

Inspired by '60s Motown-style songs, this duet combines a bright and upbeat sound with lyrics about the dance of insecurity and reassurance in a relationship—the singers ask each other not to break their hearts, and both agree to stay committed and hopeful. Written by Elton John with his lyricist Bernie Taupin and featuring English singer Kiki Dee, this song topped the Billboard charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. in 1976.

Right from the start

I gave you my heart

Oh oh, I gave you my heart

So don't go breaking my heart

I won't go breaking your heart

— "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee

7. "We're Gonna Hold On" by George Jones and Tammy Wynette

Album: We're Gonna Hold On

Release Year: 1973

These two country superstars—also married in real life—recorded many duets together, and this was one of their biggest hits. While some of their songs focus on the trials and tribulations of relationships, this one is about how, although life and love are hard, it's all worth it in the end when there's someone by your side.

Life can be rough

Sometimes it's kind

A real good life is hard to find

But the best love is the one we've known

And the faith we have between us makes it grow

— "We're Gonna Hold On" by George Jones and Tammy Wynette

8. "Solid (As a Rock)" by Ashford & Simpson

Album: Solid

Release Year: 1984

Real-life married couple Ashford & Simpson not only raised two children, they also worked together, forging a songwriting partnership and churning out hits for artists like Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross. Eventually, they wrote for themselves too, including this duet from 1984. The song features an unforgettable hook, and the lyrics are about trust, support, and commitment over time—something they definitely understood, as they were together for nearly 50 years, from 1964 until Ashford's death in 2011.

And for love's sake, each mistake

Ah, you forgave

And soon both of us learned to trust

Not run away, it was no time to play

We build it up and build it up and build it up

And now it's solid

Solid as a rock

— "Solid (As a Rock)" by Ashford & Simpson

9. "In Spite of Ourselves" by John Prine and Iris DeMent

Album: In Spite of Ourselves

Release Year: 1999

This funny, down-to-earth duet is about a couple who are in it for the long haul, even though they can recognize their own (and each other's) flaws. The song comes from John Prine's album of the same name, featuring all duets with women—some are covers of classic country songs and some are original compositions, like this one with country-folk/Americana singer Iris DeMent. Prine's low, grizzled voice contrasts with DeMent's higher-pitched, bouncy sweetness for comic effect.

In spite of ourselves

We'll end up a-sittin' on a rainbow

Against all odds

Honey, we're the big door prize

We're gonna spite our noses

Right off of our faces

There won't be nothin' but big old hearts dancin' in our eyes

— "In Spite of Ourselves" by John Prine and Iris DeMent

10. "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson

Album: Born to Love

Release Year: 1983

This smooth, sophisticated ballad by two R&B legends was a hit in the '80s and is still popular at weddings and romantic special occasions. It's a mature, graceful song featuring two greats showcasing their skills—as well as majestic lyrics by Gerry Goffin, who wrote many '60s girl group classics with Carole King.

Tonight there'll be no distance between us

What I want most to do, is to get close to you

Tonight

Tonight I celebrate my love for you

And soon this old world will seem brand new

— "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson

Which Duet Is Your Favorite From This List?

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