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Mix: Duets

ABC premieres Duets on May 24. The reality show will feature contestants performing duets with Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles for a chance to win a recording contract with Hollywood Records.

The verdict is still out as to whether or not we’ll become addicted to the show, as we have with reality shows in the past. In the meantime, enjoy The Spec Ladies’ picks for favorite duets.


Artist: Brandi and Monica |Song: The Boy is Mine
I couldn’t resist putting this song on my list. I have a terrifying memory of singing this at karaoke with fellow Spec writer Dee. Good thing there weren’t any cameras.

Artist: Elton John feat. Kiki Dee |Song: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
This song just makes me happy and it’s fun to sing along!

Artist: I Blame Coco feat. Robyn |Song: Caesar
Coco is the daughter of Sting, I think that makes me think this song is better than it actually is.

Artist: Amanda Blank feat. Lykke Li |Song: Leaving You Behind
Amanda Blank can usually be heard rapping. However, she slows it down in this tune and still manages to keep the same fierceness I’ve always been drawn toward.

Artist: Puff Daddy feat. Mase |Song: Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down
This song will never get old.


Artist: Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole |Song: Unforgettable
There’s nothing sweeter than a father-daughter duet.

Artist: Conor Oberst and Emmylou Harris |Song: Landlocked Blues
This song is beautiful lyrically. Harris’ vocals blend so well with Oberst’s. In grade school, a boy wrote me a letter and told me my eyes were like diamonds in a diamond store, which reminds me of the lyric ” the sidewalk holds diamonds like the jewelry store case.”

Artist: Bette Midler and Tom Waits |Song: I Never Talk to Strangers
I love the flirty nature of the song and the contrast of their vocals.

Artist: Alela Diane and Michael Hurley |Song: Age Old Blue
So beautiful.

Artist: Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush |Song: Don’t Give Up
So relevant. Also, the pair hug for the entire six-minute video.


Artist: Jenny & Johnny |Song: Switchblade
I love this song. It makes me feel like I have woken up in LA after some bender. Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice and not only fellow musicians but real life lovers. It gives their music a (less drama filled) Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks feel.

Artist: Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong |Song: Can’t We Be Friends
Till the day I leave this planet, I will love these two. I love them apart, but I adore them together. This tune, as well as “Baby It’s Cold Out Side,” are my favorites. They bring sunshine to every song they sing.

Artist: Rolling Stones |Song: Gimme Shelter
Technically this is not a duet, but if it were not for Merry Clayton, this song would have never been what it is. I would do anything to sing like Merry Clayton. My favorite part of this song is at 3:03. You can hear Clayton belting it out, her voice cracks and you hear Mick Jagger say, “Hooo!” That’s what I am talking about!

Artist: Conor Oberst and Emmylou Harris |Song: Landlocked Blues
What could make a Conor Oberst song more melancholy? The answer is Emmylou Harris. He was able to capture the wartime sadness that blanketed a great deal of this nation just a few years ago.

Artist: Johnny Cash and June Carter |Song: Long Legged Guitar Pickin Man
These are two of my favorite people! I love listening to this song almost as much and singing it with a real long-legged, guitar-pickin’ man.

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