MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 15

There have been a lot of artists to collaborate and make duet songs that have stood the test of time such as Lionel Richie & Diana Ross with ‘Endless Love,’ and Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack with ‘The Closer I Get to You. It goes beyond just R&B and R&B/Hip Hop collabs have become very popular since the new millennium. I wanted to highlight 3 duos that made a big name for themselves as duets rather than solo artists.

While Marvin Gaye had a solo career he teamed up with Tammi Terrell to make some of the best love songs of all time. Their hits include: ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, ‘You’re All I Need to Get By,’ and ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.’

The duo only released two albums, United (1967) and You’re All I Need (1968), due to Terrell’s health issues. Tammi Terrell passed away March 16, 1970 due to complications with brain cancer at 24 years old. Marvin went on to continue his solo career before his untimely death in 1984.

Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson are more known for their songwriting than for their collaborative work as a duo. They have released 10+ albums and are most commonly known for their smash, ‘Solid (As a Rock).’

Aside from performing together the duo has written music for: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Teddy Pendergrass, Chaka Khan , and more.

Ike and Tina Turner are known for a tumultuous relationship, but their music is not to go unnoticed. Over the course of a nearly 20 year career as a duo they released 20+ albums and hits such as ‘Proud Mary,’ and ‘Nutbush City Limits,’ gave them mainstream success.

‘Proud Mary’ earned the duo a grammy at the 14th Annual Grammy Awards (1971) for Best R&B Vocal Performance after receiving two nominations in 1961 and 1969. Their songs, ‘River Deep-Mountain High’ and ‘Proud Mary’ have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  The duo was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Although they departed musically and personally they both received stars on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Tina received a star for her solo work on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. As a solo act she’s earned 8 Grammys.

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