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Listen to Kelly Clarkson's Iconic Duets, From Dolly Parton to Brett Eldredge
From Kellyoke to official recordings and live performances, The Voice Coach's star-studded duets are unmissable.
Between her eponymous talk show, hit albums, and role as a Coach on The Voice, Kelly Clarkson has made a prolific career for herself that combines both music and television. She's found a way to stay on our screens while still gifting us with regular live performances—which is no easy feat. One of the most beloved iterations of this is “Kellyoke," where Clarkson performs covers of hit songs to kick off each episode of her show.
But the musical moments don't stop there. Viewers of The Kelly Clarkson Show are frequently treated to Kellyokes and the show often has musical guests, like Sam Smith, Dolly Parton, and Brett Eldredge, who join in on the fun. Even guests not famous for their musical talents, like Dwayne Johnson, have surprised us with impressive duet performances.
Clarkson has also written and recorded duets for her studio albums, gracing us with more opportunities to hear her voice blend with fellow performers.
Whether they're one-time performances or recorded hits, it's no secret that Clarkson's duets and covers are some of the best in the business. Watch some of her most-loved duet performances, below.
Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton: "9 to 5" and "I Will Always Love You"
"Iconic" is an understatement for how incredible it is to see two musical powerhouses team up to sing an all-time top hit. In the Kellyoke Afterparty video (above), music director Jason Halbert and guitarist Jaco Caraco joke about how Dolly Parton told them that "9 to 5" is "the kinda song you can screw up if you want."
Fans of Parton were also blessed with a second duet during her appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Clarkson and Parton reminisced about Whitney Houston's powerful cover of the song, too, with Parton saying that she first heard it on the radio while driving: "I had to pull over to the side... it was the most overwhelming feeling."
Parton also praised Clarkson's cover of the song at the Academy Of Country Music Awards in 2022. "I know that Whitney is smiling down on us tonight, so thank you very much. She would be proud of that," she said.
Brett Eldredge and Kelly Clarkson: "Under the Mistletoe"
Clarkson and Brett Eldredge released this duet in strange circumstances: They never even met in person! Clarkson and Eldredge discussed working together before meeting during Eldredge's recent (in person!) appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. And, for two people who hadn't spent much time together, their vocal compatibility is jaw-dropping.
During the 2020 Christmas season, Clarkson sang "Under the Mistletoe" live with Eldredge on The Voice, and audiences were wowed by how well their voices blended together. Clarkson began the song alone, and Eldredge joined her right after she sang the perfect lyrical cue: "You're walking towards me now." They also performed the holiday hit on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Christmas in Rockefeller Center as well as Clarkson's 2021 NBC Christmas special When Christmas Comes Around.
Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean: "Don't You Wanna Stay"
We'd be remiss to not include this oldie-but-goodie.
Performing at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards, Clarkson and Jason Aldean stole the show with their rendition of their hit song, "Don't You Wanna Stay." The song was part of Aldean's fourth studio album, My Kinda Party, and was nominated for a Grammy and later won two American Country Awards. Because of its popularity, Clarkson added the hit to her 2011 album, Stronger.
Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson: "Fancy" and "Because of You"
Is there anything better than listening to a song about making it big in the entertainment industry, sung by two women who have, by every definition of the term, "made it"? Clarkson joined Reba McEntire in singing one of her most critically acclaimed hits on stage for the CMT Crossroads show in 2007.
The pair later recorded one of Clarkson's biggest hits, "Because of You," as a duet together.
McEntire and Clarkson dove into McEntire's future dreams when she appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show 13 years later. What's next for a woman who has already achieved wild success?
McEntire said she wanted to be in an authentic Western movie or television show, and we volunteer to be first in line to watch it.
Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande: "Santa Can't You Hear Me"
In another Christmas treat, Clarkson dueted with Voice Coach alum Ariana Grande. The duo sang "Santa Can't You Hear Me" for Clarkson's ninth studio album and her second Christmas album, When Christmas Comes Around in 2021.
In a live performance of the hit on Clarkson's NBC Christmas special, Clarkson and Grande donned their finest seasonal outfits and sang their hearts out. The song complements both of their voices perfectly, allowing for plenty of jaw-dropping high notes and rifts.
P!NK and Kelly Clarkson: "Who Knew"
Clarkson dueted with P!NK on two of her hit songs on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Before the performance, P!NK explained that "Who Knew" was written about the death of a close friend. "The thing about the song that I love now, after all these years, is that I never get tired of performing it and it's taken on so many different meanings," she told Clarkson.
Clarkson made sure P!NK could take the lead on this song, jumping in at times to harmonize and add depth to the performance. "I want her to have her moment, but I brought her here so I could sing with her," she joked to the audience.
The duo also performed another one of P!NK's past hits,"Please Don't Leave Me."
Kelly Clarkson and Ed Helms: "Since U Been Gone" (Banjo Version)
During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Helms told Clarkson about his love for the banjo before magically procuring one from behind the couch. He then explained that he would play a "traditional" song for her, since banjos are more old-timey, classic instruments, but surprised her with her own song.
Jewel and Kelly Clarkson: "Foolish Games"
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Jewel's album, Pieces of You, Clarkson and Jewel performed a duet on the show. The location limitations had no impact on the overall performance, though: both Clarkson and Jewel's voices shine through and tug at heartstrings.
The duo's "Foolish Games" rendition rendition was also recorded as a single.
Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bolton: "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
Speaking of nostalgic tunes, Michael Bolton surprised Clarkson with an invitation to duet on his hit song with him.
"You've worked with so many big artists, who do you still want to work with?" Clarkson asked Bolton in an interview on her talk show stage. He immediately pointed to her, and asked if they could sing from his catalog in a completely impromptu duet.
Fellow guest Alison Brie even joined in on the fun.
John Legend and Kelly Clarkson: "Run Run Run" and "Baby It's Cold Outside"
Clarkson recorded the duet "Run Run Run" with fellow Voice Coach John Legend years before the two sat in their opposing red chairs. The track was part of her sixth studio album, called Piece by Piece, and released in 2015.
The two vocalists do the song's melancholic lyrics justice, with each of their voices shining in tandem.
Legend later surprised fans at Clarkson's 2017 "Meaning of Life" tour, where they sang the duet together live.
In 2020, the pair reimagined the classic Christmas hit "Baby, It's Cold Outside," with Legend's part having more supportive lyrics instead of encouraging Clarkson's role to stay. "Your body, your choice," is one of the new lyrics in their viral, acclaimed rewrite.
Kelly Clarkson and Josh Groban: "All I Ask of You"
Clarkson doesn't just do viral hits and Christmas music; she also knows how to get her Broadway on. In 2015, she performed "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera with vocalist Josh Groban. Clarkson and Groban's duet, and the way both performers capture the characters' emotions, definitely has us begging for more musical theater from the Voice Coach.
Janelle Monáe and Kelly Clarkson: "Unbreakable"
Anyone who hasn't listened to the Ugly Dolls soundtrack is missing out on some incredible Clarkson vocals. Her hit song "Broken and Beautiful" was tied to the 2019 movie, as was her show-stopping duet "Unbreakable," with Janelle Monáe.
"Show 'em who you are, show 'em that you're strong, show 'em they've been seeing you all wrong," the duo sing in the triumphant, motivational track.