For as long as I can recall, men and women have come together to create some beautiful music. This valentine’s day, get your sweetheart and let these great male/female duets set the mood.
This old-school R&B hit, which was released in 1968, is standard by which other R&B duets are judged. Little known is the fact that it was written by the real-life husband-wife team of Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson and that Ashford & Simpson also sang background on the song.
“The Closer I Get to You,” Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack
One of the most memorable duets of all time, this sweet, sweet love song actually has a slightly sad underccurrent that makes it all the more poignant. There’s a version by Beyonce and Luther Vandross, but it sounds a bit mechanical. For sheer emotion, go with the original.
“Endless Love,” Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey
Although Diana Ross and Lionel Richie sang it first (in 1981), the more modern version by Luther and Mariah (which was recorded for Luther’s Duets album in 1994) is just a tad bit better, in the opinion of yours truly. But you can’t go wrong with either version, really.
“Georgy Porgy,” Eric Benet & Faith Evans
This smooth, sexy number is off of Benet’s second album, 1999’s “A Day in the Life.” Actually another duet from the same album, a song called “Spend My Life with You,” featuring Tamia, became a bigger hit. But “Georgy Porgy” is less way pop-y and way more smooth and soulful.
“911,” Wyclef Jean & Mary J. Blige
“Someone please call 911, Tell them I just been shot down, And the bullet’s in my heart, And it’s piercing through my soul, Feel my body gettin’ cold.” Bad love can definitely make for good music sometimes, and this is a perfect example. Or, as Wyclef sang in the song: “If this is the kind of love that my mom used to warn me about, Man, I’m in trouble, I’m in real big trouble.”
“One Sweet Day,” Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
Mariah Carey teaming up with Boyz II Men on this song was like Wonder Woman hooking up with Superman, or the Beatles collaborating with the Rolling Stones. In other words, it was huge. And this song became the biggest hit of either of their careers, ruling the charts for four straight months in 1995-96.
“My Love is the Shhh!,” Somethin’ for the People and Trina & Tamara
Technically, this song shouldn’t even be on the list because there’s actually four people (two guys and two girls) singing on it, but you know what? Even more than a decade after its release, this song remains so fun and catchy, it would be a shame not to give it it’s props. Don’t stop, get it, get it.
“Baby Come to Me,” James Ingram & Patti Austin
To some people, this song’s a timeless classic, to others it’s old and corny. Personally, I think it’s simple, tasteful and elegant: “Baby, come to me Let me put my arms around you, This was meant to be, And I’m oh so glad I found you.”