The music scene of the 1980s was a popular time for duets. While there were many of them, some of the most famous ones were by such artists as Michael Jackson, Madonna, George Michael, and Bonnie Tyler. These duet songs were vital to their singers’ careers and each duet played a crucial role in the music industry as a whole.
Duet acts are always popular in any decade but because of the increased popularity of duets during the 1980s, they had an even greater impact on pop culture at that time. Although in some cases, they didn’t receive much attention during their times, some of these duet projects have since become highly collectible due to their timeless appeal.
Here are some of the most popular duets in the 80s:
“Endless Love” (1981) by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
This song was released in 1981 and became one of the most popular duets of all time. This song is still part of the standard repertoire for many romantic duets even to this day, and it has been covered by several singers and groups. Lionel Richie himself wrote this song, which was also used in a feature film of the same name.
The duet enjoyed an uninterrupted run atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and stayed on the chart for nine weeks. It became Ross’ most successful single and Richie had one of the first many #1 hits.
“Under Pressure” (1981) by David Bowie and Queen
This song was originally released as a single, then later on as part of Queen’s 1982 album Hot Space. It was another hit for the band and it became a huge hit single in the UK and many other countries outside of the UK. It peaked at first place on the UK Singles Chart, which was the second time this happened for Queen after “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
This is an example of a duet between two artists who have been rivals throughout their careers: David Bowie and Queen, but despite that, they were able to record this song together without any major problems or disagreements during recording sessions. This song has become one of their most successful songs ever, as well as one of Bowie’s signature songs.
“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (1987) by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
This song was a #1 hit on the U.S. charts and has undoubtedly helped the Dirty Dancing soundtrack become the fourth most popular soundtrack of all time. In the movie, the performance features the iconic lifting move done by Patrick Swayze.
The song won a Grammy, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar award, proving to be critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful.
“U Got The Look” (1987) by Prince (featuring Sheena Easton)
This is a single from Prince’s album Sign “O” The Times. The duet song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on top ten of that chart for six weeks.
Fun fact: on the 12” single, there was an extended version that lasted even longer than the music video. This song was the only single for which Easton was not officially credited, and it is the only duet in this list of songs that does not officially credit both singers.