The top country music duos dominated the genre during their peak years. They were must-see live performers, radio hitmakers and bet-on-it awards show winners.

You can't describe each artist on this list of country music's 20 best duos that way, but No. 1 fits that trilogy. Longevity is often the hardest part. Several of the unions described here ended early because of creative differences, in-fighting or tragedy. A 10-year run as a member of a country duo is nearly unheard of.

Related: The 50 Greatest Classic Country Artists, Ranked

Some you'll know. If you're expecting to see Brooks & Dunn and the Judds near the top, we won't let you down. If you wonder how contemporary duos like Dan + Shay and Florida Georgia Line stack up, we may surprise you.

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Getty Images

If you're curious about legendary duos that existed before or without chart metrics, you'll find them here as well. There isn't one single metric to rank each of these 20 country music duos, but a combination of radio success, influence, critical acclaim and legacy sorts it out.

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Only true duos were considered for this list. That means successful solo artists who came together for a song or album were not considered, even if — like Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn — they won a bunch of CMA Awards. Duos were carved out of Vocal Group categories at country awards shows starting in 1988, which made a scan through classic country group winners necessary. We think we found them all, but you can be the final judge.

Top 20 Country Music Duos, Ranked!

The best country duos combine unbelievable talent, songwriting skills and proficiency as live entertainers. These 20 do that to varying degrees, but only one has been certified as Entertainer of the Year.

Find that duo at No. 1 but, but learn about many more from the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s and 2000s before you get there. This list of country music's top duos focuses on artists who broke as a duo, not solo artists who came together for an album or series of projects after enjoying commercial success. Contemporary artists are mixed with legends and Country Music Hall of Famers throughout this list. How do you feel about our Top 20?

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

50 Classic Country Artists Today’s Fans Should Know

Today's country music stars owe a debt of gratitude to the legends who formed and cultivated the genre, starting in the early 20th century. These 50 classic country artists remain relevant today. Some developed a style that's emulated on today's country radio. Others set a bar for vocal talent or songwriting skill.

This list of 50 influential classic country artists features country music singers who started their careers before 1990. It's ranked by each artist's current influence on the country music format today, not individual, lifelong impact. Tell us where we got it right or wrong on Twitter.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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