WatchMojo

Login Now!

OR   Sign in with Google   Sign in with Facebook
advertisememt
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
Ah, those sultry tones! For this list, we'll be looking at the best, most iconic, and timeless songs on which the late musical icon collaborated with his contemporaries. Our countdown includes duets with Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga and more!

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Tony Bennett Duets. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best, most iconic, and timeless songs on which the late musical icon collaborated with his contemporaries. Which Tony Bennett collab deserves a place in the Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments.

#10: “Rags to Riches” with Elton John


“Tony Bennett: An American Classic” (2006)
While Tony Bennett wasn’t the only artist to record this song, there’s no denying that his rendition is the one we measure all others against. Indeed, it’s probably the best-known version, spending eight weeks in the top spot of the Billboard charts in 1953 and earning gold certification. And just as we thought it couldn’t get any better, he threw another icon into the mix: Elton John. The two crooners’ voices blend seamlessly and radiate such warmth that you can’t help but smile. It’s beautifully jazzy and an absolute classic. Listening to them sing together, you’d think this song was written specifically for them to duet.

#9: “Speak Low” with Norah Jones

“Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)
As we’ll soon see, Bennett collaborated with the best of the best on his 2011 “Duets II” album. Hearing him sing “This Is All I Ask” with Josh Groban is dreamy. Meanwhile, “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me),” sung with Queen Latifah, won the “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)” Grammy Award. But hearing him sing “Speak Low” with Norah Jones is beyond stunning. The arrangement is perfect, sultry, and slow, drawing out the absolute best from both jazz vocalists. And they complement each other so perfectly that it’s almost like they were born to duet. We’d happily listen to them on a loop.

#8: “The Way You Look Tonight” with Thalía

“Viva Duets” (2012)
In 2012 Tony Bennett released his “Viva Duets” album, celebrating Latinx artists and featuring songs in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, and Gloria Estefan are just some of the icons who feature alongside him on the album. But this bilingual version of “The Way You Look Tonight” with Mexican artist Thalía stole our hearts. Just listen to how well his soft jazzy tones and her powerfully versatile voice work together. Magnetic, isn’t it? It really makes you believe in every word they’re singing. And the orchestration only elevates it higher.

#7: “My Kind of Town” with Frank Sinatra

“Sinatra and Friends” (1977)
They say don’t meet your heroes, but if you’re lucky (and talented) enough, you just might end up singing alongside them. Well, at least that’s true for Tony Bennett, who joined Ol’ Blue Eyes on stage to sing “My Kind of Town.” Sinatra once told Life magazine that Bennett is “the best singer in the business” and added, “He excites me when I watch him, he moves me.” Does it get more iconic than that? If we had a time machine, we’d totally go watch this duet live. But perhaps we’d also make a pit stop to hear him sing with Judy Garland on her eponymous talk show.

#6: “Stranger In Paradise” with Andrea Bocelli

“Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)
When you pair up one of the greatest voices in the American songbook with one of the best tenors of all time, you get a duet that’s pure, well, paradise. The individual and combined beauty of their respective styles only heighten the emotion behind the lyrics. And while they performed the number in a studio, there’s no denying that a performance of this magnificence belongs on a much grander stage. And if you want to know how that might sound, check out this performance from Bocelli’s Central Park concert a year earlier. No matter what genre they tackle, their commanding performances prove that this pairing is nothing short of kismet.

#5: “Blue Velvet” with k.d. Lang

“Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)
According to an interview with the “Desert Sun,” the first time Bennett heard Lang sing, he just knew, “She has it.” And if you’re wondering what “it” is, well, he went on to liken her to artists like Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Much like the late legend, when Lang sings, you can tell it’s from the depths of her soul, and she wears her heart on her sleeve through every note. So as you can imagine, her combined efforts with Bennett are as comforting to the ear as velvet is to the touch. To call this number breathtaking barely does it justice.

#4: “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” with Aretha Franklin

“Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)
Can you imagine a better musical partner for this song than the Queen of Soul? Okay, so his duet with George Michael is a close second. But it really doesn’t get much better than the back-and-forth between these two icons and the seamless blending of their respective styles. The arrangement elevates the song’s passion, and it’s impossible not to get swept up by their energies. Throughout the number, we enjoy listening to two phenomenal vocalists find harmony in both their voices and emote through every syllable they sing. While sadly, both are no longer with us, we’ll gladly “Keep the Music Playing” in their memory.

#3: “For Once in My Life” with Stevie Wonder

“Duets: The Making Of An American Classic” (2006)
Yes, Stevie Wonder might have popularized the song. But did you know that Bennett released his own version in 1967? So it only made sense for the pair to collaborate on a jazzy ballad cover for Bennett’s “Duets: An American Classic” album. The respect and admiration each has for the other shines through and clearly pushes both to deliver their absolute A-game. And the track perfectly balances Bennett’s softer tones with Wonder’s powerful runs. It probably won’t surprise you that they won the Grammy Award for “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.” This isn’t a duet you’ll want to listen to, just “Once in [your] Life.”

#2: “The Lady is a Tramp” with Lady Gaga

“Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)
In 2011, Lady Gaga joined forces with Bennett to record “The Lady Is a Tramp” for his “Duets II” album. The result: One of the most unexpected yet unparalleled collaborations of the modern era. We loved exploring this new side of Gaga’s artistry. Meanwhile, she helped introduce her singing partner to new audiences. Bennett gushed over the time he spent with the singer calling her “an artist of exceptional singularity, just like Picasso.” Their partnership continued until his retirement and included highlights like “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” But we’ll never forget where it all began.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Sing, You Sinners” with John Legend, “Duets: The Making Of An American Classic” (2006)


Bennett & Legend Give a Saintly Performance

“God Bless The Child,” with Billie Holiday

A Beautifully Poignant Showcase of Two Music Legends

“On The Sunny Side Of The Street” with Willie Nelson, “Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)

This Duet Can Brighten Up Even the Dreariest of Days

“If I Ruled The World” with Céline Dion, “Duets: An American Classic” (2006)

A Duet to Rule Our Hearts

“New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel, “Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert” (2008)


A Partnership That Puts Us in a Great State of Mind

#1: “Body and Soul” with Amy Winehouse

“Duets II: The Great Performances” (2012)
Just months before the world lost one of the greatest vocalists of the modern age, she and Bennett shared the privilege of singing together. The number is a testament to Winehouse’s far-reaching talents and Bennett’s skill in bringing out the best in his collaborators. The late crooner was in awe of Winehouse, comparing her to music greats like Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday. And you don’t have to be a musical expert to agree. There’s just something so comforting about hearing these two sing together, and their harmonies send chills throughout our bodies. They certainly perform with all their body and soul. Talk about a heavenly duet.

Comments
advertisememt