Special Report

Most Popular Musical Duos of All Time

Whether it’s a male and a female, a baritone and a soprano, or any other combination of contrasting or complementary twosomes, duos offering a harmonious blend of sound are among the most successful acts in popular music. (Duos do well on screen as well as in recordings. These are the most famous duos in TV history.)

To determine the most popular musical duos of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed chart performance for twosomes on the Billboard Hot 100. Musical duos were ranked based on an inverse point system wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 100 points, a week at No 2 is worth 99 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 100 worth one point. Each duo’s top-charting song was determined via the same method. Only duos with at least five songs on the Billboard Hot 100 were considered, and only songs credited exclusively to the duo (i.e., without guest artists) were included. Chart data is current through April 15, 2023.

Successful collaborations have produced 18 No. 1 singles on our list, representing almost every popular music genre – even an easy-listening take on classical music (by dual pianists Ferrante & Teicher).

These winning partnerships come in various combinations. There are sibling duos (the Purify Brothers, The Everly Brothers, the Carpenters, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Heart) and husband and wife teams (Ike and Tina Turner, Sonny & Cher, Thompson Square, and Captain and Tennille). 

The preponderance of duo acts are American, such as Simon & Garfunkel, Hall & Oates, the Righteous Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Florida Georgia Line, and twenty one pilots. 

Click here for more on the most popular musical duos of all time

There are also many British acts represented on the list, however, including those who found success during the two waves of the British rock invasion in the 1960s and in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Riding the crest were Chad & Jeremy and Peter & Gordon. Later acts included Tears For Fears, Pet Shop Boys, and Eurythmics. (See the biggest hits of the ‘80s according to Billboard.)

Three other non-American acts of note appear on the list: the Swedish duo Roxette (the second-biggest Swedish musical export after ABBA) and the Australian twosomes Savage Garden and Air Supply.

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