I Got You Babe

Image: The Duet (1628), by Hendrick ter Brugghen

There have been numerous duets in musical history as musicians love to make music together. We've gathered a few favourite couples to inspire you to make beautiful music with someone this Valentine's month. 


Robert and Clara Schumann

Schumann wrote over 130 songs inspired by his feelings for Clara.  She was by all accounts one of the greatest pianists of the 19th century as well as a composer. Their love story in music is celebrated She was also a first-rate composer.  Despite strong objections from her father, she married Schumann in 1840, and they had eight children between 1841 and 1854.  It didn't end well however. Robert suffered attacks of mental illness for many years and after he attempted suicide, he was committed to a mental institution. Their love remains in their music. Definitely worth a listen.


Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears

The composer Benjamin Britten and the great English tenor Peter Pears met in 1937 and they remained life partners and musical partners for almost 40 years. Peter Pears was Britten's great love and greatest inspiration. Britten wrote many songs for Pears and he wrote leading roles for him in at least 10 of his operas, including the tenor part in one of his most moving works, his great War Requiem

Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich

The great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich" and soprano Galina Vishnevskaya met in 1955 when Vishnevskaya was a star with the Bolshoi Theatre, which was the top upper company in the Soviet Union. Four days after they met, they got married.

Their marriage – her third – came in 1955 after a whirlwind romance, with Rostropovich winning her heart over his competitor, the Soviet premier, Marshal Nikolai Bulganin. They became a stormy but potent combination on and off stage, and had two daughters, Olga and Elena. 


Beyonce and Jay-Z

The power couple's first album together, Everything Is Love, was released in 2018 under the name The Carters. The couple 

have been together for more than 20 years and produced three children: Blue Ivy, and twins Rumi and Sir. If you want to learn more about their relationship, just listen to their music. They have chronicled their life together through multiple Emmy winning albums. 


Yoko Ono and John Lennon

John and Yoko met in London in the 1960s. Ono, an artist, singer-songwriter and filmmaker, was the second wife of The Beatles star John Lennon. In 1968, Lennon wrote the song Julia, a song about his mother, which included a reference to Ono in the lyrics "Ocean child calls me". In the same year, Ono and Lennon also recorded the Two Virgins album, the first of three experimental albums. A year later, they married. They were famous musical activists and known for their Bed-Ins For Peace in protest of the Vietnam War.


Sonny and Cher

 Another iconic couple of th 1960s, Sonny Bono and Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, got their first taste of fame in 1965 with Baby Don't Go and I Got You Babe. Not only were they big on the music scene, but their bubbly and entertaining personalities resonated with television viewers with the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The show lasted for four seasons and made them both household names. Their time as a duo came to an end in the late 1970s when Cher went on to enjoy a hugely successful solo career. Sonny went on to become the Mayor of Palm Springs before his death in a skiing accident in 1998.


Ike and Tina Turner

From 1960 to 1976, the energetic, explosive personalities of Ike and Tina Turner made them one of the most influential duos in music. Giving fans hits like a Fool In Love, River Deep – Mountain High and many more, the two were credited for their significant contributions to soul music. They divorced in the late 1970s and Tina Turner went on to become a global musical sensation. Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 despite their separation and divorce.


Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain

Songwriting credits between Courtney Love, of Hole fame, and Kurt Cobain, frontman of Nirvana, were few and far between, but speculation around Hole's 1994 release, Live Through This was rife. After analysing lyrics, many were of the opinion that Cobain had ghostwritten several tracks on the album, something the band vehemently denied. Publicly, Love and Cobain were in the news on a regular basis, but only appeared on stage at the 1993 Rock Against Rape benefit in Hollywood, where they performed tracks Pennyroyal Tea and Where Did You Sleep Last Night. Their time together, on stage and off, was cut short when Cobain committed suicide in 1994.


Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash

Johnny Cash’s most famous song, Ring of Fire, was written by his wife June Carter Cash about his addiction to pills and alcohol and the difficult times of their love. The couple first began their affair on the road while they were both married to others. Nonetheless, the marriage was a strong one despite her finally accepting his 31st proposal. They were married for 35 years until June’s death in 2003.