15 Best R&B Romantic Duets of All-Time

List Features Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell; Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

Whether you're making a mixtape for your significant other, looking for songs to sing with your baby on Karaoke night, seeking the perfect wedding music or just like hearing male and female voices in harmony, this list of best romantic R&B duets is for you.

1
August 1, 1981 - "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. George Rose/Getty Images

Lionel Richie and Diana Ross recorded the title song of the 1981 movie Endless Love which Billboard declared the greatest duet of all-time. It remained at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks, as well as reaching the top of the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts. It was Ross' 18th number one single and the best selling single of her career (certified platinum). "Endless Love" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and won two American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Single, and Favorite R&B/Soul Single. It was ranked the number 16 song in the history of the Billboard charts  (1958–2015).

Watch Lionel Richie and Diana Ross' live performance of "Endless Love" at the 54th Academy Awards on March 29, 1982 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California here

2
August 29, 1994 - "Endless Love" by Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey

LutherMariah.jpeg
Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey.

Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey covered the Lionel Richie/Diana Ross classic "Endless Love" for his 1994 album, Songs. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

Watch Luther Vandross and Marah Carey perform "Endless Love" live here.

3
April 20, 1967 - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell

Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye. GAB Archive/Redferns

On April 20, 1967, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released their classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" from their United album. Composed by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, it was re-recorded by Diana Ross and became her first number solo hit in 1970.

Watch Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell perform "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" here

4
June 1972 - "Where Is the Love" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack. GAB Archive/Redferns

From the 1972 album, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway"Where Is The Love" won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. It reached the top of the Billboard R&B chart and number five on the Hot 100.

Listen to "Where Is the Love" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway here.

5
February 1978 - "The Closer I Get to You" by Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack

Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack. Michael Putland/Getty Images

From Roberta Flack's 1977 Blues Lights in the Basement album, "The Closer I Get To You" featuring Donny Hathaway reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart and number two on the Hot 100. It was certified gold and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Listen to "The Closer I Get to You" by Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack here.

6
February 2004 - "The Closer I Get to You" by Luther Vandross and Beyonce

Beyonce. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Luther Vandross and Beyonce won Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group at the 2004 Grammy Awards for their version of the Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway classic, "The Closer I Get To You." 

Listen to Luther Vandross and Beyonce sing "The Closer I Get to You" here

7
March 1968 - "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" by Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell

Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye. GAB Archive/Redferns

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" on March 28, 1968 from their second duet album, You're All I Need. Composed by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, it reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. 

Listen to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell perform "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" here

8
July 9, 1968 - 'You're All I Need to Get By" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

MarvinTammi2.jpg
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Echoes/Redferns

"You're All I Need To Get By" was the title song of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's 1968 second duet album, You're All I Need. Composed by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, it reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. The song was the basis of the 1995 Grammy award winning "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" by Mary J. Blige and Method Man.

Listen to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sing "You're All I Need To Get By" here

9
April 1982 - 'Baby Come to Me" by James Ingram & Patti Austin

Patti Austin and James Ingram. Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive

"Baby Come To Me" was the first two classic duets recorded by Patti Austin and James Ingram. Produced by Quincy Jones for Austin's 1981 album, Every Home Should Have One, it achieved minor success until it was chosen as a love theme for the ABC soap opera General Hospital. The song enjoyed a new life, and remained  at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.

Watch James Ingram and Patti Austin perform "Baby Come to Me" live here.

10
March 1979 - "Reunited" by Peaches & Herb

Peaches & Herb. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"Reunited" by Peaches & Herb was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1980. Recorded for the 1978 album, 2 Hot,  the song sold over two million copies, spending four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.

Watch Peaches and Herb perfomr "Reunited' live here.

11
August 22, 1967 - "Your Precious Love by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Photo by Echoes/Redferns

"Your Precious Love" from 1967 was one of the many hits Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson composed for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It was the second single from their first duet album, United.

Watch Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sing "Your Precious Love" here

12
1982 - "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" by Patti Austin and James Ingram

Patti Austin and James Ingram. John M. Heller/Getty Images

"How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" by Patti Austin and James Ingram was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1983. It was recorded for the film Best Friends starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn.

Listen to "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" by Patti Austin and James Ingram here

13
1982 - "If This World Were Mine" by Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn

Luther Vandross. L. Cohen/WireImage

Luther Vandross produced Cheryl Lynn's 1982 Instant Love album featuring their version of the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell classic, "If This World Were Mine."

Watch Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn perform "If This World Were Mine" live on Soul Train here.

14
December 1979 - "With You I'm Born Again" by Billy Preston & Syreeta

Billy Preston and Syreeta. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From the 1979 movie Fast Break, "With You I'm Born Again" by Billy Preston & Syreeta peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and number four on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Watch Billy Preston and Syreeta perform "With You I'm Born Again" live here.
 

15
1978 - "It it Still Good To You" by Ashford and Simpson

Nick Ashford And Valerie Simpson. David Redfern/Redferns

One of the greatest songwriting duos of all-time, Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, composed numerous classics, including "Let's Go Get Stoned" by Ray Charles, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (re-recorded by Diana Ross) and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" by Ross. They also wrote "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan which was covered by Whitney Houston.

Ashford & Simpson also recorded 16 albums as a duo. One of their greatest songs was the title tune of their 1978 gold album, Is it Still Good To You.

Watch Ashford & Simpson perform "It it Still Good To You" with Johnny Gill, live here.

Edited by Ken Simmons on April 14, 2016