When rock stars come together and collaborate, they can create something truly memorable. That’s the case for every entry in our list of the 30 Greatest Duets in Rock History.

In many cases, a male/female dynamic turned out to be the perfect combination. Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ann Wilson and Mike Reno and Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty are just some of the many examples of opposite genders uniting to make an impressive song.

Other classic duets saw artists crossing genre boundaries to create groundbreaking material, like Aerosmith teaming up with Run DMC and Anthrax joining forces with Public Enemy.

Then there are the duets that saw generational acts working side-by-side, like Queen and David Bowie’s timeless track “Under Pressure,” or Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder coming together on Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike."

These memorable combos and more can be found below in our ranking of the 30 Greatest Duets in Rock History.

30. Bryan Adams and Tina Turner, "It’s Only Love"
When Bryan Adams reached out to Tina Turner about a collaboration, the Canadian singer was unsure what kind of response he would get. Turner was back in the spotlight thanks to her comeback album Private Dancer, making her one of the biggest stars in the world once more. To Adams’ delight, she embraced “It’s Only Love” and agreed to record her part while she was in Vancouver. "I remember when she left the studio... I looked back into the control room, and I saw the engineers just sort of stood there and I went in and said, 'I hope you got that on tape,'" Adams later recalled.. "And they all sort of looked at me and said 'Yeah, we got it.' It was almost like a tornado had come through the studio and just blown everything apart. It was one of the best moments for me ever recording, for sure."

29. U2 and Green Day, "The Saints Are Coming"
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, U2 and Green Day came together and covered “The Saints Are Coming.” With lyrics about clouds and floods, the tune – which was originally released by Scottish punk band the Skids in 1979 – felt appropriate for the moment. “The Saints Are Coming” soon turned into an anthem of resilience, as the New Orleans Saints NFL team adopted it as their theme song. U2 and Green Day memorably performed the song in 2006 when the Superdome – which had been heavily damaged during the hurricane and was also used to shelter residents – reopened and hosted Monday Night Football.

28. Ann Wilson and Mike Reno, "Almost Paradise"
Songwriter Dean Pritchard was tasked with creating tunes for the 1984 film Footloose. He decided to work with a wide variety of collaborators, including Eric Carmen, best known as the frontman of the Raspberries. Together, the men created the film’s love theme, “Almost Paradise,” but they needed the right male-female combination to bring the track to life. Enter Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson and Loverboy lead singer Mike Reno. Together, the vocalists’ intertwined their voices in a soaring, heartfelt ode to romance. “It was the first of its kind,” Wilson later recalled to Songfacts. “It was at the very dawning of the bombastic ballad era. I just think it was a great song. A killer song.”

27. Alice Cooper and Donovan, "Billion Dollar Babies"
It’s the duet the world didn’t know it needed: Alice Cooper, the king of shock rock, joining forces with “Mellow Yellow” crooner Donovan. Impressively, the unlikely pairing works to perfection, thanks largely to the dynamic between Donovan’s falsetto and Coopers demonic growl. “Power bands in Britain had already learned that to have a singer in a power rock outfit, you need a singer who can go into falsetto. That's why you've got Robert Plant in Zeppelin, Jon Anderson with Yes. They have to raise their voices into the high range,” Donovan explained to Songfacts. “Chris Squire of Yes, who was a friend at the time, I said, 'Why is it?' And he said, 'Well, it's very easy. If you want your voice to be heard, you've got to climb above the guitars in the mid-range, or else you won't even hear the vocal.' And it's true.” “Billion Dollar Babies” became the title track to Cooper’s sixth studio album, and eventually became one of his most popular singles.

26. Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, "It Takes Two"
One of the most famous soul duets in history is “It Takes Two” by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston. Released in 1966, the track immediately became a hit thanks to its upbeat, romantic theme and infectious chorus. Interestingly, Gaye and Weston never performed the song together – she’d left Motown by the time the single was released and the two never reunited onstage. Still, “It Takes Two” stands as a testament to their natural chemistry together. The tune would later be covered by a wide range of artists, including Rod Stewart and Tina Turner in 1990.

25. Earth Wind & Fire and the Emotions, "Boogie Wonderland"
Soul group the Emotions connected with Maurice White in the mid-’70s. The Earth, Wind & Fire leader produced several of their albums and developed a fruitful working relationship with the band. So, when Earth, Wind & Fire hit the studio to record their 1979 single “Boogie Wonderland,” the Emotions were invited to contribute vocals. The result is dancefloor perfection, but unlike many of the era’s disco hits, “Boogie Wonderland”’s subject matter was surprisingly dark. “It's not a happy song at all,” songwriter Allee Willis explained in 2008. “It's really about someone on the brink of self destruction who goes to these clubs to try and find more, but is at least aware of the fact that if there's something like true love, that is something that could kind of drag them out of the abyss.”

24. Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne, "Close My Eyes Forever"
It was a collaboration that was never intended to happen. In the ‘80s, Ozzy Osbourne and former Runaway Lita Ford were friends, thanks largely to Ford’s manager, Sharon Osbourne. One night the rockers were drinking and throwing around song ideas, when they unexpectedly came up with a hit. “Close My Eyes Forever” is a hauntingly catchy power ballad, with Ford and Osbourne’s distinctive vocals each taking turns in the spotlight. The single reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest charting song in both of the singers’ respective solo careers.

23. Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, "Say Say Say"
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson teamed up for three different duos in the ‘80s, but our favorite of the bunch is “Say Say Say.” The track features hallmarks of both men’s unique musical talents – McCartney’s smooth pop delivery and penchant for melody, combined with Jackson’s soulful and emotive vocals. George Martin produced the track, adding further depth to the tune with funky horns and a driving bass line.

22. John Mellencamp and Me’Shell Ndegeocello, "Wild Night"
In 1994, John Mellencamp and Me’Shell Ndegeocello were connected via a mutual friend. The two had little in common – Mellencamp was the weathered rock veteran, while Ndegeocello was a soul singer starting her career. Surprisingly, they clicked, and their chemistry shone through on their cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night.” The song became a hit, peaking at No. 4 of the Billboard Hot 100 and remains Mellencamp’s final Top 10 hit.

21. Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell, "Our House"
The version of “Our House” that most fans are familiar with was recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and included in their 1970 LP Deja Vu. But this lesser-known version featured Graham Nash, who wrote the tune, dueting with the woman who inspired it, Joni Mitchell. The two were a couple at the time, and Nash was struck by a remarkably normal day amidst the rock stars’ normally chaotic lives. “I thought, ‘What an ordinary moment,’” Nash later recalled. “Here I am lighting the fire for my old lady and she’s putting flowers in this vase that she just bought. And I sat down at Joan’s piano and an hour later, ‘Our House’ was written.” The Nash and Mitchell duet was an early demo of the song and wasn’t officially released until the Deja Vu 50th anniversary edition in 2021.

20. Elton John and Kiki Dee, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
Inspired by the famous Motown duets of the ‘60s, Elton John and Kiki Dee decided to try their hand at a male/female duet of their own. Naturally, John handled most of the song’s construction, but he enlisted Bernie Taupin for lyrical inspiration. The songwriter responded with the line “Don’t go breaking my heart,” a chorus he called “simplistic without being overly trite.” Equal parts catchy and campy, the tune struck a chord with listeners everywhere. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” hit No. 1 in eight different countries, including the U.K. and America.

19. Prince and Sheena Easton, "U Got the Look"
The biggest hit from Prince’s 1987 album Sign o’ the Times was actually a duet – not that you could tell from the liner notes. Scottish singer Sheena Easton is heavily featured on the track, and in its music video, yet did not receive credit for her involvement. The reason, besides a Prince power play, could come down to how far along the song was by the time Easton got involved. "'U Got The Look' was a track he'd basically finished for himself," Easton explained to the Windy City Times in 2012. "It was just a Prince track. He said, 'Do you want to just come in and sing some backup vocals on the choruses?' So, I went into the studio, and because I didn't know I was singing against him, I was all over the place – and he said he kind of liked that, so he expanded it into a duet." Regardless of credits, there’s no denying the tune’s catchiness. “U Got the Look” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and marked another triumph in Prince’s prolific career.

18. U2 and BB King, "When Love Comes to Town"
Long before they became one of the biggest bands on the planet, U2 was a group of Irish lads who were smitten with the blues. Among the artists they admired was B.B. King, the hugely influential blues guitarist and singer. In 1987, U2 caught one of King’s performances in Dublin and met him backstage after the show. The musicians struck up a mutual admiration and eventually collaborated on the track “When Love Comes to Town.” U2 do an admirable job keeping up with the blues legend on the track, but King’s distinctive wail and masterful guitar playing rule the day. Released on 1988's Rattle and Hum, "When Love Comes to Town" remains an incomparable part of U2's catalog.

17. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing"
In the ‘60s, Motown perfected their duet formula by combining songwriting craftsmanship with distinctive vocal talents. None proved to be a better musical pairing than Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The duo teamed for several timeless tracks, including 1968’s “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.” A heartfelt ballad celebrating pure love, the tune hit No. 1 on the R&B chart and No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Spoiler alert: It’s not the only Gaye/Terrell duet to earn a place on our list.

16. Anthrax and Public Enemy, "Bring the Noise"
When hip-hop group Public Enemy burst on the scene in late ‘80s, they found an unlikely fan in Scott Ian. Though their genres were totally different, the Anthrax guitarist recognized that Chuck D and Flavor Flav delivered aggression and condemnation of authorities in the way that many metal acts did. When Public Enemy name-dropped Anthrax on their 1988 single “Bring the Noise,” Ian came up with the idea to cover the track. He recorded a demo of the instrumental and sent it to Chuck D, who was reluctant to the idea at first. He eventually warmed up and gave his blessing to the new version. Released in 1991, the Anthrax rendition of “Bring the Noise” featured vocals lifted from the original masters (a painstaking process at the time). The song became a hit and brought both groups to new audiences. Public Enemy and Anthrax even launched a joint tour together in the wake of the single’s success.

15. Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, "Girl from the North Country"
Two folk icons came together on 1969’s “Girl From the North Country.” Bob Dylan had long been a fan of Johnny Cash, and when the two finally met he was excited to discover the Man in Black was also fond of his work. As it turned out, Johnny Cash regularly listened to Dylan’s 1963 LP The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which featured the original version of “Girl From the North Country.” So when the two musicians got together during sessions for Dylan’s Nashville Skyline album, it was a natural choice to re-record. Dylan delivered his vocals in folk-crooner fashion, which nicely contrasted Cash’s deep country twang.

14. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, "Please Read the Letter"
Robert Plant originally released “Please Read the Letter” on his 1988 album with Jimmy Page, Walking Into Clarksdale. The song was revisited in 2007 when the former Led Zeppelin frontman joined forces with country singer Alison Krauss. Together, the duo reshaped “Please Read the Letter” a yearning bluegrass tune, chronicling the end of a relationship. Plant later said the song “hadn't reached its true potential” until he and Krauss collaborated on it. The track went on to win Record of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards.

13. Eddie Money and Ronnie Spector, "Take Me Home Tonight"
When songwriters Mick Leeson and Peter Vale presented Eddie Money with the tune “Take Me Home Tonight,” the singer was drawn to the line "Just like Ronnie said ... 'Be my little baby,'" interpolating the Ronettes' 1963 hit "Be My Baby." After agreeing to record the song, Money called Ronnie Spector – who at this point had retired from music – and insisted she sing on the track. "He called me and said, 'Ronnie, I need your help with this. It needs you to be on it,'" Spector later recalled. "I said, 'Baby, I don't do that anymore,' but he was insistent." The combination proved perfect. "Take Me Home Tonight" reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and gave Money the highest-charting single of his career. It also spurred a comeback for Spector, who returned to recording and performing once more.

12. Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, "Don’t Give Up"
Few artists could go toe-to-toe with Peter Gabriel in terms of talent and artistic creativity – Kate Bush is one of them. The acclaimed songstress joined forces with the former Genesis frontman on his 1986 single “Don’t Give Up.” The moving tune offered both singers the chance to display their emotive brand of vocals. "The sensitive treatment Kate gave our give-and-take on that song was gratifying, because it's not just a song about a woman supporting a man in a demanding relationship," Gabriel explained to Spin in 1986. "Without a climate of self-esteem, it's impossible to function."

11. Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, "Leather and Lace"
Stevie Nicks initially wrote “Leather and Lace” for Waylon Jennings to sing with his wife, Jessi. However by the time he was ready to record it, the couple had split up. Meanwhile, Nicks, who worked on the song with the EaglesDon Henley, felt a personal obligation to the tune. “I worked very hard trying to explain what it was like to be in love with someone in the same business, and how to approach dealing with each other,” she explained in the liner notes to her TimeSpace compilation album. “It's probably the hardest thing in the world to do because it falls out of your hands and into the hands of the world, which tends to want you to not be able to handle it.” Nicks opted to record the song with Henley, with whom she was on-and-off romantically involved with. “Leather and Lace" became a Top 10 hit, and Nicks later described it as “one of the most special love songs that I would ever write.”

10. Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr., "Just the Two of Us"
Not a duet in the conventional sense, 1980’s “Just the Two of Us” was a collaboration between saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. and vocalist Bill Withers. It was Washington who penned the tune alongside producer Ralph MacDonald, who took the track to Withers in hopes of getting the singer onboard. Withers agreed, but he changed some of the lyrics to better suit his style. On the tune, each man gets his time to shine – Withers’ smooth vocals weave the narrative, while Washington’s soulful solos add to the romantic mood. “Just the Two of Us” became a huge success, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.

9. The Pogues and Kristy MacColl, "Fairytale of New York"
It took more than two years for “Fairytale of New York” to come together. Initially, Jem Finer, the Pogues’ banjo player, wrote the song about a sailor missing his wife at Christmas. Finer’s own wife told him the concept was corny and instead suggested he focus on a couple struggling during the holiday season. Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan then added his own spin, combining new lyrics with Finer’s to create the final version of the song. Still, the back-and-forth nature of “Fairytale of New York” required a female voice to balance MacGowan’s. That’s when the Pogues called on singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl to contribute to the tune. The resulting duet has become one of the most beloved modern Christmas songs.

8. Simon & Garfunkel, "The Sound of Silence"
We easily could’ve littered this list with an assortment of songs from Simon & Garfunkel, given their place as one of the most celebrated duos in rock history. Instead, we opted to show some restraint and simply pick our favorite. “The Sound of Silence” was originally released on Simon & Garfunkel's 1964 debut album, but got little attention. It wasn’t until the tune was reworked and released as the title track from their 1966 LP that it became a hit. With somber emotional resonance and gorgeous interweaving of vocal harmonies, "The Sound of Silence” became a benchmark in the history of folk rock, as well as Simon & Garfunkel’s first No. 1 single.

7. Temple of the Dog, "Hunger Strike"
Eddie Vedder had only been in Seattle for a handful of days when he found himself in the studio with several of the city’s rising grunge stars. Soundgarden was working on a project with the former members of Mother Love Bone, the group which preceded Pearl Jam. Vedder was initially just there to watch the session before rehearsing with his new band, but inspiration struck as he observed Chris Cornell. “About two-thirds of the way through, he was having to cut off the one line, and start the other,” Vedder later recalled. “I'm not now, and certainly wasn't then, self-assured or cocky, but I could hear what he was trying to do, so I walked up to the mic — which I'm really surprised I did — and sang the other part.” “We got through a couple choruses of him doing that and suddenly the light bulb came on in my head, this guy's voice is amazing for these low parts,” Cornell confirmed. “History wrote itself after that, that became the single.” With two of grunge’s foremost voices leading the way, “Hunger Strike” became a powerful symbol of the era. It reached No. 4 on the Mainstream Rock chart and helped propel Temple of the Dog to platinum sales.

6. Sonny and Cher, "I Got You Babe"
“I Got You Babe” is certainly a polarizing track, with some adoring the ode to love, while others dismissing it as flowery dribble. If you didn’t think much of the song the first time you heard it, you’re not alone. Cher wasn’t initially a fan the first time Sonny Bono played her the song. "Sonny woke me up in the middle of the night to come in where the piano was, in the living room, and sing it,” she recalled to Billboard. “And I didn't like it and just said, 'OK, I'll sing it and then I'm going back to bed.'" Of course, “I Got You Babe” became Sonny and Cher’s biggest hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming a pop culture phenomenon.

5. Led Zeppelin and Sandy Denny, "Battle of Evermore"
In the history of Led Zeppelin, the band only once brought in a guest vocalist. That would be Sandy Denny, singer in the British folk group Bridgeport Convention, who was featured on Led Zep’s 1971 tune “The Battle of Evermore.” Inspired by Scottish history, as well as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Robert Plant created a folksy, medieval-styled tune that addressed the war between good and evil. Plant’s voice would serve as the song’s narrator, while Denny represented a town crier. "For me to sing with Sandy Denny was great. We were always good friends with that period of Fairport Convention,” Plant recalled to Uncut magazine in 1995. “Sandy and I were friends, and it was the most obvious thing to ask her to sing on 'The Battle of Evermore'. If it suffered from naivete and tweeness—I was only 23—it makes up for it in the cohesion of the voices and the playing."

4. Queen and David Bowie, "Under Pressure"
One of the most iconic duets in rock history almost didn’t happen. When David Bowie and Queen got together, the legendary musicians took a “let’s see what happens” approach. Gradually, the song started to take shape, especially once John Deacon delivered the now-famous bass part. Bowie endorsed an avant-garde approach to lyrics, eventually finding the the direction for “People on Streets” (as the song was originally called. While Freddie Mercury acquiesced to many of Bowie’s artistic ideas, he didn’t change his vocal approach. As a result, the Queen frontman delivers his lines in his distinctive operatic manner, while Bowie offers more of a baritone growl. That dynamic is a big part of what makes “Under Pressure” work, as both singers lean into what they’re good at, rather than trying to outdo the other. Though a dispute over the final mix threatened to keep “Under Pressure” on the shelf, it was released in October 1981. It has been one of rock’s most celebrated duets ever since.

3. Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty, "Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around"
Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty already had a mutual respect for each other as the ‘80s dawned. The Fleetwood Mac songstress originally wanted Petty to produce her debut solo effort, but the job eventually went to Jimmy Iovine. Instead, Petty gave Nicks a song he’d written called “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” “I wasn't used to doing other people's songs, so I didn't really like the idea at first, but I loved Tom Petty, so I agreed to try,” Nicks later recalled. “So we went into the studio and sang it live, together. I was completely entranced, and I instantly fell into love with the song. Duets were the things I loved the most... maybe this was a second beginning. And we would sing like no one else, and nobody else would ever sing like us."

2. Aerosmith and Run DMC, "Walk This Way"
In terms of cultural impact, few duets hold a candle to Aerosmith and Run DMC joining forces on “Walk This Way.” In the mid-’80s, rap was still seen as a Black genre, with few predicting it could ever cross into the mainstream. Still, “Walk This Way”’s power wasn’t one-sided. Yes, it brought Run DMC to audiences who were otherwise unaware of the trio, and opened doors for rap in general, but it also reinvigorated Aerosmith. The group had fallen out of the limelight for several years, but the duet sparked a mainstream comeback.

1. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
It’s regarded as one of the greatest songs ever recorded, an uplifting pop classic about the power of love. Yet, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” wasn’t originally conceived as a duet. When Motown songwriters Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson initially gave the tune to Tammi Terrell, she was going to record it on her own. "After Tammi recorded her vocal, the producers decided the single would be stronger as a duet,” Paul Riser, Motown's musical arranger and trombonist, later recalled. “Months earlier, Marvin had a hit with Kim Weston on 'It Takes Two.' So Marvin was added to Tammi's record to help its odds on the charts. Marvin was amazing. He overdubbed his vocal so it wrapped around hers, as if the two of them were in love, singing to each other in the studio." Generations of listeners have since been swept up by “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The single was a No. 1 hit and 1999 it was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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