One of the neatest aspects of the music industry is to watch what happens when musicians inspire their peers. When you have such a unique and diverse array of people who each have their own style, the possibilities for the way one song can be performed are seemingly endless. Sometimes musicians covering other musicians results in disaster, and other times, like when Imagine Dragons recently covered Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” something truly magical happens. Here are 10 unexpectedly awesome covers!
Coldplay: Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”
So there are definitely certain combinations people would never put together that end up winning big time…such as Lady Gaga and The Sound of Music. Another unlikely combo that pairs shockingly well? Coldplay and Michael.
Katy Perry: Sam Sparro’s “Black & Gold”
First, if you haven’t heard Sparro’s “Black & Gold,” look up it now, I’ll wait for you. You’re welcome! Katy proves she more than sugary pop with this soulful cover.
Sam Smith: Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”
Oh Sam, there literally isn’t anything you can’t do. He covers Whitney and does it brilliantly; few people have such bragging rights.
Sia: Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”
Long before Sia was swinging from the chandelier, she was penning songs for tons of artists including Beyonce and, yes, Britney Spears. Sia wrote “Gimme More” and blessed us with her own version that makes what was supposed to be a sexy song actually pretty sexy.
Cary Brothers (feat. Priscilla Ahn): Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps”
The original version of “Maps” is fantastic; there is no denying that. Yet, the Cary Brothers version is so entirely different that you might not recognize it as a cover of the original, which in this case is not a bad thing.
Taylor Swift: Vance Joy’s “Riptide”
For some reason, when an artist who usually dominates the stage with amazing costume changes and fun theatrics strips it all down, it’s chill inducing to hear them sit at their instrument and just play. We love Taylor in all forms, but there’s something particularly special about the simplicity of her rendition of “Riptide.”
James Vincent McMorrow: Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love”
Despite not being an international super star, James Vincent McMorrow has a certain light about him that cannot be denied. Winwood’s “Higher Love” is an 80’s song with staying power, but McMorrow manages to take what is an upbeat classic and turn it into a romantic and soulful ballad. Get ready to be obsessed.
Maroon 5: Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy”
So, we have Adam Levine who is pretty much walking sex singing the song that tainted many a 90’s kids’ innocence. The best cover ever? Debatable. A guilty pleasure? For sure.
Iron and Wine: The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”
“Such Great Heights” is such a wonderfully fun song, popping up everywhere from Grey’s Anatomy to UPS and Target commercials. Iron and Wine got their hands on it and performed a cover that The Postal Service thought was so great they included it on one of their albums.
Branches: The Darkness’s “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”
This surprising rendition of the well known rock anthem might just knock your socks off. What makes an already great song even better? A bit of bluegrass funk and a banjo.
It’s OK if you enjoy these covers so much you might like them better than the original song — we won’t tell anyone! Tell us some of your favorite covers in the comments below!