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by Jim Allen

April 8, 2013

It Takes Two: Country Duets

by Jim Allen  |  April 8, 2013

It may be a staple of every genre, from R&B and reggae to pop and classic rock, but country music is somehow the quintessential duet format. Maybe it’s the fact that country tends to traffic in emotional honesty, and the voices trading verses back and forth are meant to maintain a direct connection to the singers’ hearts. That theory certainly makes sense when you hear real-life (ex-) husband and wife George Jones and Tammy Wynette tear into a tune that lays their turbulent union on the table for all to examine. Or when Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings join for the country-music equivalent of a bromance flick, the two outlaw icons celebrating their famous friendship.

Dynamic duos aren’t a phenomenon confined to classic country, of course: Today’s Music City stars make the most out of carefully curated team-ups, too. Sometimes it’s a genre-crossing collaboration like Jason Aldean uniting with Kelly Clarkson for full-on power ballad “Don’t You Want to Stay,” or it could be Miranda Lambert harmonizing with hubby Blake Shelton on “Better in the Long Run.” Trends may rise and fall, but clearly, the country duet is here to stay.

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