Magazine Feature

Bonnie Raitt Picks Her 10 Favorite Duets

Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooke
Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker photographed in 1990. 

The blues artist estimates that she has guested on more than 100 songs. Her shortlist of the most unforgettable

The veteran blues artist estimates that she has guested on more than 100 songs. Here, her shortlist of the most unforgettable -- with apologies to those left off the list.

"I'm in the Mood," with John Lee Hooker (1989)
This collaboration won a Grammy for best traditional blues recording, but that's not why it ranks among Raitt's favorites: "I shared musical heat with John Lee Hooker."

"I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," with Ruth Brown (1997)
“When I sang it live with Ruth Brown, I’d ad lib: 'I know it may sound funny / Funny as can be / But I’ve seen all your children / And one looks a whole lot like John Lee.' That would break her up."

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"I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues," with Tony Bennett (2001)
"Not sure I've got the right to sing with Tony Bennett," says Raitt, a guest on Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues. "But I sure as hell didn't refuse."

"You Remain" with Willie Nelson (2001) 
"I really only sang the background," remembers Raitt, "But the song still stays in my heart."

"Wrap It Up," with Brittany Howard (2014)
At that same ACL celebration, the Alabama Shakes frontwoman joined Raitt for this 1968 R&B single: "Two chicks with guitars rocking the Sam & Dave classic. Big thrill."

An edited version of this story originally appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of Billboard.