10 Best Christmas Duets
Great Christmas duets present an opportunity to involve musicians not traditionally involved with country music, or artists who have been forgotten. Kenny Rogers might be the king of country music duets. It's a difficult chore to choose between his best holiday collaborations.
We gave it a try anyway. This list of the Best Christmas Duets includes his works with Dolly Parton and Wynonna Judd. There's no reason you have to choose between them — after all, the No. 4 song on this list sounds just as good on repeat as No. 1.
Martina McBride, Elvis Presley and Kenny Chesney also make our 10 Best Christmas Duets list more than once. It's been nearly two decades since the superstar teamed with a legend on "Pretty Paper," which means an entire generation doesn't know how great it is. Let's fix that promptly.
Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss once paired up on one of Jackson's most unique albums, but they also joined voices for an angelic cover of "The Angels Cried." Watch the video below and look for a rare beard on the Hall of Famer. He must be keeping warm for the winter.
Do you have a favorite duet? If there's something from the last few years you think is an all-timer, let us know about it in the comments section below or on social media. Great Christmas duets stand the test of time, but that does not mean songs that haven't had that chance aren't great. A true spirit of community is what the holiday season is all about, after all.
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"Martina McBride and Dean Martin
This Christmas song is a popular remake for country stars over the last 10 years. McBride's version features Dean Martin overdubs, and it shows. There isn't the same "in the room" chemistry, but the vocal performances are still warm enough to merit inclusion on our list of 10 Best Christmas Duets. In 2006, this version reached No. 35 on the country charts. Other versions from Dolly Parton with Rod Stewart, and Norah Jones with Willie Nelson also charted. Find this one on the 2007 reissue of McBride's White Christmas album.
"The Angels Cried"Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss
Two of the most dependable voices in country music teamed up for this Christmas duet from Alan Jackson's 1993 Christmas album, Honky Tonk Christmas. Jackson has proven himself to be a modern day Bing Crosby when it comes to Christmas, and Alison Krauss -- who was just 22 years old at the time -- can lend her voice to just about anything and leave it feeling like a warm Christmas memory.
"Pretty Paper"Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson also made our list of top traditional Christmas songs in country music with this song from 1979. He'd written it 16 years earlier for the late Roy Orbison, and Chesney brought it to a new audience on his 2003 album. The younger singer's heavy timbre is a surprisingly pleasant compliment to Nelson's emotional quiver. Both men seem to feel every word of this song, making it an easy choice for our list of the 10 Best Christmas Duets.
"Winter Wonderland"Brooks and Dunn
The legendary duo's versatile Christmas hit can also be found on our Top 10 Christmas Party Songs list and on their 2002 album It Won't Be Christmas Without You. Certainly it's no surprise that the greatest country duo of all time lands a song on our list of the best Christmas duets. There's really no good reason to dislike this holiday song.
"White Christmas"Shania Twain and Michael Buble
This song is found on Buble's Christmas album released in 2011. Shania Twain's baby doll interpretation of her part in the duet will have her longtime fans wondering if that's really her singing with Buble, but she shows that there is still plenty of life left in those famous pipes -- as if one ever doubted -- as she frolics around on the high notes like a little kid swinging from the monkey bars. It's doubtful country radio will give this Christmas song much attention, but it's one every Shania Twain fan will love.
"I'll Be Home for Christmas"Carrie Underwood and Elvis Presley
Carrie Underwood's duet with Elvis Presley is the first of two from the King's Christmas Duets album to make our list of the 10 Best Christmas Duets. Despite dying six years prior to her birth, Presley seems to have his hand wrapped around Underwood's waist in this caring duet. Their voices mix like pumpkin pie and whipped cream.
"The Greatest Gift of All"Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
Any of the 10 songs from the superstar's album of holiday duets could have made our list of the top Christmas duets, but we chose this one because it was the highest charting song from an iconic Christmas album. Once Upon a Christmas has sold over two million copies in the U.S., and another five million in Canada, making it amongst the most popular Christmas albums of all time.
"Christmas in Dixie"Kenny Chesney and Randy Owen
The original version of this song made our Top 10 Original Christmas Songs list, and it's hard to argue that any version could top Alabama's original. After the band retired a few years prior to Chesney's All I Want For Christmas is a Real Good Tan album, Randy Owen's voice on this Christmas duet was a more than welcome surprise.
"Blue Christmas"Martina McBride and Elvis Presley
The music video for this song makes it worthy of inclusion on our list of the 10 Best Christmas Duets. It's a clever pairing of one of the all-time greats with perhaps country music's most talented Christmas songstress. Few fans of "Blue Christmas" thought it could get any better than the King's original, but McBride certainly adds a new dimension.
"Mary, Did You Know?"Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd
When two all-time greats team up, it's hard for things to go wrong. This version of "Mary, Did You Know?" from Rogers' 1997 album The Gift is still amongst the most played Christmas songs on country radio, especially as the actual day draws near. Michael English first recorded this song in 1993, and Kathy Mattea did a version the following year. But Rogers' and Judds' take on it -- adding a second voice to make it a Christmas duet -- seems to bring this song to a higher level.