Country music has been a big hit with people since the 1920s. In that time, many artists have put together such endearing classics that, even after decades, they are still being played. Some of the most memorable selections come from when two favorites team up for something wonderful.
So, we bring to you, in no particular order, the 33 best country duets of all time!
1. There’s A Tear In My Beer – Hank Williams and Hank Williams Jr.
Arguably the most well-known hit of Hank Williams’ short career, “There’s A Tear In My Beer” practically made him a household name. Unfortunately, due to poor decision-making, he passed away at 29.
Many years later, his son let two worlds collide when he sang the same song as a duet with his long-departed father. Hank Williams Jr., who is a country music star in his own right, made one of the best music videos by incorporating himself into a video with his dad.
2. Islands In The Stream – Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
When “Islands In The Stream” was released, it came from two of the biggest acts in the business. Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers were at the top of their game. It was the early 1980s, and country music was all the rage. These two power vocalists sang their hearts out about love and making it work as two individuals.
3. Golden Ring – Tammy Wynette and George Jones
This song is especially poignant, given the real emotion behind it. It’s a rare occasion in any music genre to get actual couples to sing their hearts out and become a massive success.
“Golden Ring” is the heartbreaking timeline of a failed relationship. At first, this young and in-love couple is barely making it but is ready to get married. As the last verse starts, it’s all over. The rawness might have been aided by Tammy Wynette and George Jones’ own divorce the previous year.
4. Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys – Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
In the late 1970s, two country favorites came together to do something unique. This duet was a PSA for mothers of sons everywhere. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson used lyrics to explain how rough the life is of a cowboy. That’s not the type of lonely existence a mother wants for her son. Hard to tell if the pleading helped, but the song sure left its mark on music.
5. Neon Moon – Brooks & Dunn
The two men of Brooks & Dunn released this ballad of sadness and regret in 1991. They tell the story of a long-lost love in a small town. It’s at night when those memories dance around the most because that’s when you go home alone.
6. It’s Your Love – Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
One of the most loved couples in country music today consists of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. They met and got engaged on tour together in the mid-1990s. Little did they know, a year after they got married, that they’d release a song that would go on for decades as being one of the most popular at weddings. Singing about the transformative power of love is a sure way to transcend genres, as it has.
7. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man – Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty
One of country music’s favorite duet partners in the 1970s was Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. Both were massive hitmakers and beloved by the entire country music community. The duo came together for several songs, but this remains one of the top favorites because of how relatable it is. It’s basically the music equivalent of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.”
8. Love Can Build A Bridge – The Judds
This mother-daughter duo started the 1990s off with this touching tribute to every singer’s favorite emotion: love. Bringing people together and putting differences aside was the aim of this song, which really stays relevant.
9. A Bad Goodbye – Wynona Judd and Clint Black
Another subject that many musicians can’t stay away from is heartbreak and the result of a love gone bad. The mid-1990s gave us this jewel of morose moving on. The words of this song are just as touching as the voices are impactful.
10. To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before – Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias
Long before he had a son to take up his musical mantle, Julio Iglesias bridged the gap between Latino and country music with this song. It’s basically an ode to all the memorable or not times that the men have had with a multitude of women over a lifetime. Talk about reminiscing.
11. The Heart Won’t Lie – Reba McEntire and Vince Gill
If you’ve ever loved someone despite every effort not to, this is the song for you. Basically, you can lie to others, you can lie to yourself. At the end of the day, your heart won’t do the same. To be fair, sometimes life does get in the way, but you can only avoid the truth for so long.
12. From This Moment On – Shania Twain and Bryan White
This sweet song is another popular wedding song that goes beyond country music. Many have also applied the sentiments to giving birth. Most of the lyrics can be seen either way. Shania Twain and Bryan White are essentially dedicating their entire beings to one another, and if that’s not special, what is?
13. After The Fire Is Gone – Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty
When love in a marriage fades, a decision must be made. One can either accept defeat and get a divorce or find love elsewhere. Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty are talking about the second option. They aren’t about to miss out on the good stuff in life.
14. Over And Over – Nelly Featuring Tim McGraw
There aren’t enough crossovers, so that makes this combo by Tim McGraw and hip hop star Nelly particularly noteworthy. Regret is a funny emotion. It’s often too late to change the outcome of a situation, but you can’t help feeling bad about it. McGraw adds the perfect country crooner sound to Nelly’s.
15. Tell Me About It – Tanya Tucker and Delbert McClinton
Ever had feelings for someone in a relationship that you knew wasn’t good for them? Yeah, these guys get it. “Tell Me About It” focuses on being there for someone going through a breakup. Also, listening to someone as you’re waiting in the wings to replace the ex. Sneaky.
16. This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For A Long, Long Time) – Marty Stuart Featuring Travis Triff
Okay, you’ve messed up. Your mate has had it and they’re done. Procrastination is not a good look, and you’re just now realizing it. So, what else is there to do? Guilt your partner into staying, of course.
17. Jackson – June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash
“Jackson” is basically about a couple trying to one-up each other and push some boundaries. This is another example of a song about a couple being more fun because it’s sung by a couple. It was released in 1967, a year before they got married.
18. ‘Til All The Lonely’s Gone – Pam Tillis And Mel Tillis
A feeling we all get but is not easy to put into lyrical form is loneliness. Pam Tillis and her popular country singer father, Mel Tillis, wrote a cryptic message into a song about being alone and the relief felt when it’s over.
19. Let’s Make Love – Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
For much of country music’s past, the audience was conservative and many topics were taboo. Married couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw break down the walls and just get real. Let’s be honest, intimacy is great and necessary.
20. I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool – Barbara Mandrell and George Jones
The 1980s hit the ground running with a wave of country popularity. Barbara Mandrell wanted the world to know that she hadn’t jumped on any bandwagon, and she’d been at the game for a while. Bringing on the likes of George Jones only solidifies her stance.
21. Not Too Much To Ask – Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joe Diffie
Mary Chapin Carpenter wants to be your everything. She knows it’s a lot to ask, but why not shoot your shot?
22. The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’ – Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart
These guys are at a crossroads. Hanging out at the bar and getting wasted every weekend is not getting them anywhere. They’re just looking for a little incentive.
23. If You See Him, If You See Her – Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn
This country chart-topper hit the airwaves in 1998 and was released on both musical acts’ albums. This is a split perspective from the eyes of the two partners when the ex comes up. Let’s just say they haven’t moved on.
24. Mama He’s Crazy – The Judds
This is a kind of cute song that’s perfect for the mother-daughter dynamic. That’s because it involves a romance the mother might not be keen on. The daughter is pleading with her mother to understand it.
25. It Ain’t Me, Babe – Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
“It Ain’t Me, Babe” was so popular that it was covered several times. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash thought country music was lacking a cover, so they did one in 1964.
26. Does He Love You – Reba McEntire Featuring Linda Davis
This song rocked the 1990s duets for the subject matter. Reba McEntire sings as the wife of a man who is cheating on her with Linda Davis. Throughout the song, they go back and forth from questions about the man to feeling bad about their emotions. It’s a lot.
27. Rockin’ Years – Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton
These two are singing about something many of us hope to achieve. Having the love of a partner to grow old with is why dating apps are popular. It’s nice to feel confident for the long haul.
28. Helping Me Get Over You – Lari White and Travis Tritt
This couple broke up. As often happens, the two individuals carry a flame for the ex. Dating someone else is helpful because it gives them someone else to focus on. Instead of admitting the obvious, of course.
29. Walkaway Joe – Trisha Yearwood Featuring Don Henley
Early in her career, Trisha Yearwood was joined by famed Eagles singer Don Henley to tell the story of a girl in love. The mother does not see this guy as someone who will be there for her daughter. She’s seen it all before, but what are you going to do? The young woman will have to learn for herself.
30. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett
The laid-back Jimmy Buffett sings the best song he could with Alan Jackson. “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” is an ode to happy hour where you can have an alcoholic beverage if you want to. What a reason to celebrate!
31. When I Said I Do – Lisa Hartman Black and Clint Black
This song is another example of a real-life couple who wanted to share their love with us through song. Taking vows is serious business, and they are in it to win it for the rest of their lives.
32. In Another’s Eyes – Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks
If you didn’t know already, these two legends of country music have been married since 2005. You might have mistaken this song for a powerful ballad of love between the couple. However, this song, as touching as it is, was actually released eight years prior. At the time, both superstars were married to other people. Perhaps, it was a foreshadowing of love.
33. Brotherly Love – Keith Whitley and Earl Thomas Conley
If this song doesn’t make you warm and fuzzy inside, nothing will. This is about two brothers acknowledging their importance in each other’s lives. Why don’t we have more of this?
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.