We all love music. Music brings out the best, the worst, and the complicated in us. Like most people would say, “there’s nothing new under the sun”, and for the most part that is true. We love a good cover of a classic song, (if it’s done right of course). To be honest, there are times when an artist takes a song, make it into their own, and truly make their rendition just as iconic, if not, better than the original. Like many of you, even I’ve listened to a song, realized it was a remake, and went back and listen to the original. I’ll also admit…sometimes I have the remake on repeat because it’s that much better (no shade). Here’s a look at seven renditions of songs that did the original justice.
(1). Aaliyah “Choosey Lover”
We must start with legendary Aaliyah. Off her second platinum album, One In A Million, the 90’s R&B princess covered one of the biggest hits from the Isley Brothers in the 80’s. Aaliyah’s sultry voice, lower register, and hip-hop influence revitalized the classic song to a younger generation and helped introduced younger fans to the Isley Brothers.
(2). Aaliyah “Got TO Give It Up”
Also off Aaliyah’s second album, One In A Million, Aaliyah got help from 80’s rap legend Slick Rick to help recreate the Marvin Gaye classic. Aaliyah’s rendition was a hit in the UK and was praised by fans and music critics.
(3). Mariah Carey feat. Dru Hill “The Beautiful Ones”
Now you have to be a special kind of powerhouse to be able a Prince song. On Mariah Carey’s 1997 album, Butterfly, the ultimate diva, along with the energetic R&B group Dru Hill, did their rendition of one of the iconic songs off the Purple Rain Soundtrack. With Sisqo’s dynamic vocals, and being the iconic songbird Mariah Carey is, this rendition of “The Beautiful Ones” was truly beautiful, soulful, and did Prince more than justice.
(4). TLC “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
Now you need to be a powerhouse to pull a Prince song, but you also need a level of cool and swag to be able to pull off one of his songs as well. That was no problem for the biggest US girl group of all time. TLC gave us a smooth rendition of Prince’s 1987 classic. T-Boz’s raspy lower tones and clever adlibs helped encompass everything that made this album, and TLC, great…being crazy, sexy, and cool.
(5). Mariah Carey “I’ll Be There”
Mariah Carey started off her career as a powerful vocalist who set the standard for the future vocalists in the industry. It was in 1992 when she performed her rendition of the Jackson 5 classic “I’ll Be There” with Trey Lorenz during her MTV Unplugged special. The rendition was a smash and ended up becoming her sixth number one single. Mariah has performed this song throughout her career including Michael Jackson’s televised funeral.
(6). Boyz II Men “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye”
Many people associate “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” to Boyz II Men, but many don’t know the song was originally recorded for the 1975 Cooley High Soundtrack by G.C. Cameron. The rendition holds a special importance to the group; after their tour manager was murdered in Chicago, the group dedicated to the song in his memory. The song became one of Boyz II Men’s biggest hits and still a fan favorite to this day.
(7). Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You”
Listen, we couldn’t make this listen without mention this song, or the Voice herself. Whitney Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” was arguably the biggest song of her career (The Bodyguard Soundtrack is also the biggest selling soundtrack of all time). Whitney Houston’s rendition is so iconic, many people don’t know or have forgotten that the song was originally a Dolly Parton song. The was originally dedicated to Dolly’s mentor, Porter Wagoner, who she decided to separate from to pursue a solo career. While Parton’s version was number 1 on the Country charts, Houston’s rendition became a global hit, and become her signature song.
What are some renditions you love?