I Got You Babe!: The 12 Best Duets By Real-Life Musical Couples From The Past 20 Years
Musicians have been dating each other for decades, and when they join together in the studio, the results are pretty magical. One of the first mainstream pop duets performed by a real-life couple was 1965’s “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher. This feel-good song has become the platform for the artists of today to create their own musical love stories.
Sure, there have been boatloads of artist collaborations, features, mash-ups and pair-ups in recent memory, but we decided to stick with real-life amore, and compile a list of the best duets from 12 musical lovebirds over the past 20 years. Get in the mood below!
12. “Another” – Notorious B.I.G featuring Lil Kim (1997)
The Notorious B.I.G. had a dramatic fling with protégée Lil Kim while working on their collaboration track “Another,” from the late rapper’s Life After Death. But don’t expect this to be just another love song! The two throw shots at one another, bragging about how they openly cheated and contemplate whether they should break it off. Well, in real life Lil Kim had no choice but to end the fling, after Biggie’s then-wife Faith Evans found out about the secret relationship. So messy.
11. “Where You Go” – Ciara featuring Future (2013)
Ciara and Future may have just recently started dating, but the couple is already making music together. Back in 2012, Ciara hopped on the remix to her boyfriend’s club favorite “Turn On The Lights,” and he returned the favor on her latest self-titled album. Their song “Where You Go” (which was also co-produced by Future) is a charming summer tune. The delicate melody and lovey-dovey lyrics (“There’s a light in the sky, it was brightened by your face” and “Don’t have no fear, I got that cure, baby my love is pure”) reveal the couple’s budding affection.
10. “Half Of My Heart” – John Mayer featuring Taylor Swift (2010)
Both John Mayer and Taylor Swift have had their fair share of relationships, so it came as no surprise when they became a couple in 2009. During their short-lived time together, the two created pop-rock magic when they collaborated on “Half Of My Heart.” The song (from Mayer’s Battle Studies album) deals with a person at the crossroads of carrying on with their significant other or facing the fact that it isn’t true love. The message could also be applied to these two in real life, as the couple called it quits in early 2010.
9. “House of Love” – Amy Grant featuring Vince Gill (1994)
The adult contemporary genre is the perfect platform for sappy love songs, and Amy Grant‘s “House Of Love” is no exception. The song, which features Vince Gill, has quite a scandalous back story for the Christian singer. The duo recorded the song in 1994 while Grant was married to fellow Christian musician Gary Chapman. She filed for divorce from Chapman in 1999, and married Gill the following year. It’s pretty safe to say “House Of Love” was an insight for what was to come in the future.
8. “Nobody’s Business” – Rihanna featuring Chris Brown (2012)
Rihanna is known for being a “bad gal” and not holding anything back. (Her latest album is called Unapologetic after all.) The most talked-about song off the album, “Nobody’s Business,” is a duet between the popstress and her then on-again boyfriend Chris Brown. The track (which draws influence from Michael Jackson‘s “The Way You Make Me Feel”) shows the two professing their undying love for each other. Too bad it didn’t last long — the couple ended their relationship (for now) earlier this year.
7. “Take Care” – Drake featuring Rihanna (2012)
Rihanna‘s on-again, off-again relationship with Chris Brown can get very muddled, especially when there are other guys thrown into the mix. During her break from Breezy over the past two years, Rihanna had a very brief fling with singer/rapper Drake. Their affair led to songs like the 2010 hit “What’s My Name” from Loud, and the moodier “Take Care” off Drake’s sophomore album of the same name. The emotion of the song was amplified thanks to the couple’s affectionate embrace, which may or may not have pissed off Brown.
6. “Over You” – Miranda Lambert featuring Blake Shelton (2012)
Miranda Lambert co-wrote the song “Over You” with her husband Blake Shelton, but he was not featured on the original version due to his emotional attachment to the tune (it talked about the death of his younger brother). The song took a different kind of significance when the couple performed it together as a tribute to the Oklahoma tornado victims on the most recent season of The Voice back in May. “Over You” was already moving, but with Shelton’s presence it became deeply personal.
5. “No Me Ames” – Jennifer Lopez featuring Marc Anthony (1999)
Jennifer Lopez is no stranger to showcasing her beaus on camera. (Remember Ben Affleck‘s feature in the “Jenny From The Block” video?) Her premiere feature was with Marc Anthony when they came together for “No Me Ames,” the first duet for the future lovers that was featured on her debut album On The 6. They were both single at the time, but the pair have referenced the spark on the set that led to their marriage in 2004. Lopez and Anthony may not be together anymore, but their chemistry will always hold strong — thanks to the emotionally-charged Spanish ballad.
4. “Where You Are” – Jessica Simpson featuring Nick Lachey (2000)
The Pop world was overjoyed when Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey (of 98 Degrees fame, just in case you forgot) got married in 2002 after dating for two years. The duo had no shame about displaying their love and affection for the world to see, as evidenced by their popular MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick And Jessica. One gem that came out of their relationship is their duet “Where You Are,” from Jessica’s debut album Sweet Kisses.
3. “I Need You” – Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill (2007)
Country music legends Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have been making sweet music together since the mid-90s, and one of their strongest duets comes courtesy of “I Need You.” The ballad, from McGraw’s 2007 album Let It Go, is truly beautiful. The couple have been together since 1996 and show no signs of ending their relationship. So hopefully they will record more love songs in the years to come.
2. “Something In Common” – Bobby Brown featuring Whitney Houston (1993)
Despite their marriage troubles, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown always made timeless music. So when the couple joined together for the bouncy track “Something In Common,” off Brown’s 1992 album Bobby, it was bound to become a classic within its own right. It was the couple’s first and only musical collaboration, but it became the foundation for what everyone came to understand about their rocky relationship.
1. “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” – Jay Z featuring Beyonce (2002)
Over the years, Beyonce and Jay Z have collaborated on numerous hit songs (“Crazy In Love,” “Deja Vu,” “Upgrade You,” and their latest “Part II: On The Run”) But the song that started their reign as music’s leading power couple was the sensuous “’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” off Jay Z’s 2002 album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. At the time, the two were still hiding their relationship — but once the video was released there was no denying the spark between them. The rest is music history!