Ever since their breakup, she's suffocating and he feels lost at sea. How can they breathe without each other?
That's the musical question posed by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown in their current smash duet, “No Air.” Hearing the intertwined voices – the anguish! the drama! – is a reminder of previous hit duets throughout the years.
From Diana Ross and Lionel Richie rhapsodizing about “Endless Love” to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder harmonizing on “Ebony and Ivory,” duets have represented some of the most popular songs of the past 50 years. Here are a dozen duets we love: Sarah Rudman, Boston Globe
“Ain't No Mountain High Enough” and “Your Precious Love”
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. This Motown duo is synonymous with duets, so we had to squeeze in two.
“Where is the Love”
Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack. This golden-throated pairing killed us softly with its tale of frustrated love.
Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. The movie may be forgotten but not this ode to first love.
“They Can't Take That Away From Me”
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. You can't take anything away from this classic.
“Leather & Lace”
Don Henley and Stevie Nicks. The first couple of '70s rock join in raspy-voiced bliss.
“The Boy Is Mine”
Brandy and Monica. Oh, no, she didn't! Oh, yes, she did.
Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. The Man in Black and his spicy bride get playful.
George Michael and Mary J. Blige. Wham, a hip read on a Stevie Wonder treasure.
“Kingdom Of Rain”
Sinead O'Connor and The The. Chilling lyrics: “Our bed is empty/the fire is out.”
James Taylor and Carly Simon. A funky '70s update of the Charlie and Inez Foxx '60s hit.
Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Love may hurt, but these two make it sound good.
Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson. The Stooge and the B-52 make a touching tale of yearning.